Tirian wrote:As a western New Yorker, I'd temper gorcee's comments a little. Winters in both Chicago and Ithaca cap out at the freezing point throughout January and February and are milder in December and March. You'll have a winter coat and a hat and gloves and you'll make it. Both cities are going to tend to get plenty of snow as well, but I prefer to winter in cities that know how to handle snow than cities that are paralyzed by a storm. On the other side of the calendar, I think that the climate the other nine months of the year is an enormous asset to Ithaca -- the Finger Lakes are simply one of the most beautiful places on Earth and if you have any interest in water sports or hiking, it has a lot to recommend. Chicago and New York aren't literally intolerable in the summertime, but they can get hot and humid.
It is true that Ithaca is not cosmopolitan with regards to its culture, but it's still the regional capital of a very rich and elite part of the nation as well as being a vibrant college town. I don't recall hearing complaints about the lack of culture from graduates unless someone's needs literally require living in a city like New York, Boston, Chicago, or San Francisco. (As a Briton, perhaps it is worth saying that Ithaca is about five hours by train from New York for the times when you do feel like having a getaway weekend and hitting up Broadway.) As far as major universities in New York state go, I feel nervous when people go to RPI sight unseen but spending a portion of your life in Ithaca shouldn't be a burden to you if you feel that it's the best program for you in an academic sense.
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