In the post FSP talks about how:
Everyone has different ideas about what makes a place desirable, so the geographic factor is not a constant, agreed-upon thing, although there are some general trends. Some people are happy to live in a big city, some are not; and some have very particular preferences about climate, topography, proximity to coastlines, and other features that are unrelated to the excellence of a particular graduate program. There might be some connection in particular instances (e.g., oceanography departments and coastal locations), but, in many cases, the geographic factor relates primarily to an individual’s preferences.
She ran a poll on whether or not readers took location into account when they chose their graduate school. The results (as of Mar 24) had 30% said yes, a major factor, 45% said yes, one of many factors and 25% said no.
As I go to grad school in Canada, I do wonder how many people think about this. I’m always surprised when people chose my school and come from more tropical climates. I live in a city that easily has many winter days where the temp falls below -20C. I sometimes wonder why I chose this school – although I do really like my department and the research we do.
I’m surprised that there are people said no in her poll, and wonder how many of these peoples school choices were all in similar climates. Or if they didn’t apply to many schools in the first place. Or were they already committed to their location and were unable to change cities for school.
For me, my decision came down to various cities that all have cold winters, with some being dryer and others more humid. But, my final decision had more to do with how well the research coincided with my interests and the financial aid offer from the university.