Do you think that time spent at the college won’t leave any free time for your favorite outdoor activities? Studies don’t have to be boring, and we are here to prove that. This article gathered the best outdoor resources for students: universities and majors that would allow you to combine both dirtbag life and education. Moreover, you will find here 15 useful sources to save your precious time.
10 Best Universities for Outdoor Lovers
Lots of universities and colleges have great outdoors near them. No matter where your passions lie: hiking, kayaking, skiing, or anything else,—there is an institution that fits your hobby.
If you are thinking of where to apply, the list of universities below will help you make the right choice!
1. Stanford University, Stanford, California
Stanford is considered one of the best universities in the world, according to THE University Ranking. It surely does not hang back in terms of providing an active lifestyle for its students either. Stanford is advantageous regarding its location. There is a 1200-acre natural reserve next to the campus, perfect for wildlife research. The beautiful hills surrounding the university are ideal for hiking and climbing enthusiasts.
Stanford has are many outdoor organizations: kayaking, the alpine club, surfing, and windsurfing are only a few of them. On top of that, you can find the outdoor education program or outdoor academic courses, including Introduction to Rock Climbing, Winter Camping and Travel, and even Rope Anchors. Hence, any active student would love the experience at Stanford.
2. The University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
The University of Miami offers a wellness and recreation center to its students. You will find there many opportunities to learn how to experience the outdoors. As a student at UM, you get access to their quality gear, services, and facilities.
You will find the outdoor adventures center at the university that offers programs to students, faculty, staff, and the Oxford community. You can kayak, surf, snorkel, camp, hike, and do anything else you would like.
3. Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina
Warren Wilson College has outdoor leadership program which encompasses behavioral science, nature exploration, and leadership training. Warren Wilson is a work college. It means the students are required to work for graduation. Farm crew, garden crew, and the GIS lab are only a few of the offered services.
The location of the school is quite advantageous: mountains and parks are all around it. They are perfect for hiking, climbing, and even whitewater activities. The outdoor clubs for sports are a big part of college. You can play anything, starting from ultimate to fencing and archery.
4. University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
The University of Wyoming takes pride in its outdoor student organizations. Its advantage lies mainly in its location. It is in the middle of the Snowy Range Mountains and the Medicine Bow National Forest. Though the classes within the outdoor program do not offer any credits, they are still worth it.
The University of Wyoming has more courses than expected and works with the National Outdoor Leadership School. You could integrate into its ranch horse team or Nordic ski team. Alpine skiing is also possible. There are many other opportunities, including kayaking, fly-fishing, mountaineering, and rock climbing. It would be the perfect college for you.
5. The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
One thing that puts the University of Arizona on the map regarding the outdoors is its climate. As Arizona is a desert, the weather is always warm and summerish. Because of these conditions, the school offers more than a hundred field study programs.
The University of Arizona has a recreational center for its students. There are many outdoor adventure programs. Imagine going on a moonlight hike! It would be incredible.
In case anything goes wrong, there is a club for outdoor medicine and hiking. Now, get ready for the best part! You can receive certificates according to your interests. You could be a Pilates teacher or a lifeguard. In other words, this is a dream come true.
6. Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington
Western Washington University has many on-campus opportunities for students. On top of that, there are various off-campus facilities for environmental and aquatic learning. The campus lies next to many parks waiting for you to explore them.
Would you like to play quidditch with your friends after class? You certainly can! We should not forget about bike polo and kiteboarding either. There are also more traditional sports you can pursue in Western Washington: Skateboarding, snowboarding, and mountain biking are only a few of them. You can rent all of the equipment you need for your adventures from the school. Moreover, you could also become a coordinator of your favorite sport. It sounds ideal.
7. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Maine
College of the Atlantic primarily focuses on the environment. The only outdoors major it offers is human ecology. As the approach of the college is experimental, they involve the community a lot. College engages in a lot of field-based learning activities and offers outdoor orientation programs to explore the school’s location. Imagine living in the middle of the wilderness in Maine. There are organic farms and even island research centers right next to the college.
Of course, it doesn’t stay behind in terms of sports either. There is kayaking, diving, sailing, and much more. They ensure that your skills are on the top as they need you to interact with the environment throughout your career.
8. Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
Middlebury College encourages its students to explore the outdoors and provides everything they need. The facilities, knowledge, skills, and equipment are all a part of it. The college encourages developing outdoor leadership. Middlebury believes that field education is at the heart of these skills.
Let’s not forget about the famous student clubs: Midd Climbers, Middlebury Mountain Club, and many others. All the clubs offer first aid courses for everyone. Be sure you will be safe in the wilderness!
The college has its ski trails and hosts a winter carnival with ski competitions and music. Middlebury is an excellent academic institution, perfect for outdoor explorers.
9. Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon
The city of Portland has parks all over the place, which are perfect for biking. That’s why we suggest you pay attention to Lewis and Clark College. The institution organizes many student outdoor trips: they explore Oregon, California, and Washington. The club sports do not hang back either—students engage in sailing, ultimate, and even rugby.
Lewis and Clark College occupies indigenous lands, and they are very mindful about protecting them. So, they do many projects regarding conservation and rehabilitation of those lands.
Do you love the environment? Are you fond of sustainability along with the outdoors? This college should be on your list!
10. Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia
Berry College has the largest campus in the world with 27,000 acres of land, including Lavender Mountain, forests, and fields. The best thing about this university is the Berry Outdoor Leadership Development program. The program uses college facilities by organizing classes, including whitewater sports, canoeing, mountain biking, and much more. You will take first aid training to prepare for every emergency. Knowing this, you can go and explore the place on your own.
There is a student club called the Society of Outdoor Life and Experience. It should be the first club you join once you are on campus. You will enjoy going on adventures with them!
10 Outdoor College Degrees
If you want to build your career out of the office, you can consider pursuing outdoor degrees. We have selected 10 majors that will allow you to learn more about our planet, plants, and animals. Check the list below and pick up yours!
1. Marine Biology
Marine Biology is the exploration and study of aquatic organisms. It ranges from whales to tiny sea bacteria. You will have to do a lot of fieldwork. Your office will be lakes, seas, oceans, and any wetlands. The most fun part of the job is scuba diving. They use exciting and advanced technology to find and analyze species. You can get both undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field. It later leads you to many careers, such as marine mammologist, fish specialist, or coral reef biologist. If you love the water, this degree is for you.
Looking for a mix of outdoor life and history? Consider the Archaeology. Archaeologists try to understand the past by studying bones, fossils, and artifacts. Would you like to find how people used to live thousands of years ago? Would you like to understand their culture and behavior? If you don’t mind getting dirty, this degree is for you.
By studying archaeology, you will open your doors to a variety of careers. You can work in museums, historical landmarks, colleges, and other academic institutions. There is even an option to work for federal agencies. Your work will be valuable for the history of your country.
Getting a degree in tourism opens up many exciting outdoor choices for you. For example, you can develop tourist routes in your country. You will need to do a lot of fieldwork and deal with maps. Another option would be becoming a guide. You would take your tourists to many places and tell them about history and culture. Imagine how much you would get to travel and be the one who receives a salary.
It would be incredible for anyone looking to spend their time exploring their surroundings. There are many more careers you can take if you choose to study tourism. In other words, it is the perfect degree for travelers.
Geology is the study of the Earth’s surface. They explore mines, wells, and streams. Finding rare rocks and extracting valuable compounds from them is their main occupation. Geologists spend most of their time outside on fieldwork. You will work a lot with environmental agencies and companies. Getting a geology degree will help you work in many fields, institutes, or other academic institutions. Any science department will welcome you with open arms. In other words, you will spend your time outdoors, researching and exploring exciting places. You will get paid for doing it and enjoy your work.
5. Environmental Science
Environmental Scientists are the ones we are counting on to save the world. They work on developing alternative energy sources, natural resource management, and more. The effects of climate change are the most significant thing on their plate right now.
After getting your degree, you will work in various institutions. They include federal agencies, wildlife organizations, and private industries. You can get it in most colleges, for example, the College of the Atlantic. Learning Environmental Science would be a pleasure for any outdoor lover.
Getting a degree in Agriculture would be perfect for anyone who loves farming and animals. It is the reason we have food to eat, and even clothes to wear. You will learn how to soil to grow crops and how to raise animals to produce food. You can get wool and other products from it as well.
Knowing all of that will result in working as an agricultural consultant or farm manager. Luckily, you will have your farm and grow a business. If you love working outside, taking care of animals and plants, this would be the right degree for you.
7. Landscape Architecture
As a landscape architect, you will learn to design parks, yards, and other similar spaces. The degree includes ecology, architecture, and site design. They make playgrounds, cemeteries, roads, gardens, squares, and much more. In other words, they make the things that hold our cities and towns together. Landscape architects have a wide range of talent and expertise.
Think about your favorite outdoor place in your town. You should most likely thank a good landscape architect for that. If you want to be one, you need to understand what the space needs. Then, think about designing it in a way to fit everyone’s needs. If you love being outdoors and design, this is perfect for you.
Zoologists study animals. They can do this in labs and their natural habitats. The point of this science is to understand the origin of these animals and their behavior. On top of that, zoology determines how the environment affects animals and their lifestyles. Another option is studying the way humans and animals coexist. These specialists work with federal agencies or for governments most of the time.
If you are fond of science, you will enjoy this degree. It includes a lot of molecular and cellular biology, ecology, physiology, and more. Both undergrad and grad levels of study are available for this program.
Botany studies plants. It is very similar to Zoology, but instead of animals, it focuses on flora. They try to understand how to keep the growth of these plants healthy. Pest and disease control is a big part of the job. Another usage is determining how to use them for developing things like food, fuel, or fiber.
Botanists work for companies that make their products from plants. It can include seed production. They can also work for pharmaceutical companies in cooperation with their research team. You can pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees in this field. You will spend most of your time outdoors and in labs.
Viticulture is the study of winemaking. You can either do research or work in the field. You aim to understand how to grow high-quality crops and make the best wine out of them. Determining which kind of grapes are the best for winemaking and how to take care of them is the soul of viticulture. You need to do pest control and ensure your grapes don’t get any diseases. You will learn about fermentation and farming. One of your subjects will be ecological chemistry.
To pursue this degree, you need to love three things: wine, science, and the outdoors. The rest depends on the quality of your education and your willingness to learn.
Now, the best part is coming!
15 Useful Resources for Students
Looking for some useful websites for your research and academic writing? In this section, we provide you with 15 resources you can use in your studies. Here you will find writing advice, essay sample databases, formatting tools, and more. These sources would be helpful to you no matter what your degree is.
1. Purdue OWL
Purdue Online Writing Lab is a source of help for any essay or paper. It does not generate everything for you. However, you can use it as a database of information about writing. The lab helps you with all kinds of things. It teaches you general writing, research, citation, graduate writing, or even how to avoid plagiarism.
Purdue touches upon subject-specific writing as well. If you are searching for a job, it will help you with your motivation letters, resumes, CVs, and preparing applications. Most importantly, you can now access Purdue in Spanish. Though it is still in the beta version, it is a great addition.
2. Google Scholar
Google Scholar is an entirely free academic research tool. You can find articles about any topic. For each of them, you can also get related content. The best thing about it is that you can cite your sources directly in Google Scholar for the most common styles.
There is an option to save articles in your library. You can choose a time range in your search settings to get only sources that are relevant for the period you need. It is the best research tool for students. It offers excellent resources for no price. So, make sure to give it a try!
3. Better Explained
Since we are on the topic of math, let’s stay here for a little longer. Better Explained is the ultimate website for math learners. We all know that it is one of the most challenging subjects to master, and there is never enough help when it comes to math. Better Explained gives you thorough explanations on every single topic.
Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Statistics, Trigonometry, Calculus, and even college math and web development are all a part of the free lesson topics on this website. If you want to master math through and through, you should bookmark Better Explained on your browser.
Desmos is there for you for all of your calculation needs. It provides you with all kinds of math tools. There are graphing, scientific, four-function, and matrix calculators. All of them are in one place.
There is a geometry tool that helps you draw any shape you need and play around with it. For example, you can use reflection, dilation, rotation, and translation. It will make you get a better understanding of what the problem wants from you.
Besides all of these, there is an option for test practice. You can try using those calculators to develop your skills. You might need them during your exams. Desmos is perfect for any math student.
Prezi is the most creative platform for making presentations. You have control over designs and animations. So, yours does not have to be just static images with turning pages. You can do whatever comes to your mind. Slides can appear inside each other or even make a particular shape together. It is all up to you.
Another great thing about Prezi is that you can access your presentation from anywhere, anytime. You do not have to waste any space on your laptop. In case you are doing a group project, your mates can also collaborate on it. You get a beautiful and unique presentation, and you don’t even have to try very hard or hire a designer.
The point of Quizlet is to help you memorize things. It comes in handy when you are learning a foreign language and need to remember words. You can also use it to learn the essential terms in your field. It uses flashcards and games to help you study. There is an option to use ready-made flashcards on a specific topic. However, you can also create your own.
There are thousands of textbooks on Quizlet that you can use on a variety of topics. They range from Discrete Math to Physics and Engineering. You can also find a list of questions on your desired topic and their answers. The most important thing is that these answers and solutions are all trustworthy.
Grammarly is the best tool on the internet for checking and correcting grammar. It does a fantastic job of finding every single mistake. You also get suggestions for better writing, such as synonyms, better-constructed sentences, and punctuation.
You can set goals for your writing. Select whether it needs to be formal or neutral, business or general, and even set the tone. It rates your text on correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. On top of that, there is an option for a plagiarism check. Some of Grammarly’s features are premium, but the basic grammar check is free. You don’t have to worry about it.
BibMe is a free citation generator. It works with most citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago. All you have to do is choose a style, input your file, and the website will give you a ready-made reference item. You can edit everything manually in case there is anything incorrect.
There is no need to register on the website, and citation is entirely free. You can save your references as Word Documents to access them later or use them in your paper. There is also the option of simply copy-pasting them. It gives you’re the most accurate reference possible.
SmallSEOTools provides you with many free tools that can increase the quality of your papers. Firstly, you can use it as a plagiarism checker. It will ensure that all of your citations and paraphrased sentences are correct. Secondly, it helps you check your paper for grammar. You certainly do not want to lose points for that. It has its paraphrasing tool and spell-checker as well. Finally, there are many converters you can use. For example, text to speech, JPG to Word, Text to Image, and Uppercase to Lowercase converters are available. In other words, you can use SmallSEOTools for all of your needs.
IvyPanda is a great helper for any student. Firstly, it has a blog containing many study tips and advice on keeping your mental health in check under academic pressure. Secondly, it has a whole section on literature guides. You can use it for your English classes to analyze and understand books.
Finally, a section full of essay samples will help you get inspired and write a perfect paper. You can find examples on any topic, field of study, and study level. All essays are donated by students and assessed by experienced academic experts. IvyPanda can serve you as an assistant in most academic matters.
StudyCorgi is similar to IvyPanda: it also has a giant database of free essay samples too. You can go through essays about any topic, and it will help you kickstart your own. You can use it as an idea generator of all sorts. The tools it provides are pretty essential. It offers a conclusion maker and a reworder. It can also help you make your thesis statement.
StudyCorgi provides you with a top-notch blog. There, you can find English tests and literature reviews. There are also articles on productivity and career options. It will be a little helper in your pocket.
Notion is the best tool for organizing your life. It has custom templates to help you. Notion is helpful for not only sorting through your academic life but also personal and financial. For example, you can create a cleaning schedule for your roommates, a to-do list and a budget for yourself, and even organize your marketing strategies.
It is the all-in-one tool that takes care of all of your needs. You can keep a journal, track your habits, or the books you need to read.
When you have to work on multiple projects with your course-mates, Trello can be your best friend. You can use this space to organize your work. There is an option to create a Trello board for each of your projects. Afterward, you need to share the project with your friends, and they will collaborate on it as well.
Trello is also a well-designed brainstorming tool. It gathers all of your group-mates in one place so you can think and develop ideas together while being away from each other. Most importantly, you can track the group’s progress to ensure you finish your project before the deadline.
14. Keep Me Out
Another difficulty of being a student is the lack of ability to leave social media and focus on the lecture or the homework. KeepMeOut makes this easier for you. There is an option to input websites to which you want to cut your access. You also need to mention the amount of time, and it locks those websites for you.
KeepMeOut can also help you limit your use of certain websites to prevent any addiction that you might develop. If you are a person who struggles to concentrate on studies because there are more exciting things on the internet, this is for you.
Study Llama is another excellent study blog that you can benefit from a lot. Here you will find the most popular study tools, carefully reviewed by experienced educators. All tools and services are tested on real projects. So you can be sure that you will get unbiased reviews only and forget about spending money on apps that do not meet your needs. No more drama with Study Llama. 😄
Well, we hope you are excited to choose your major and decide which university you want to go to that will satisfy all your needs. When you do, our resources will be right there to help you. Don’t forget to come back to this article to find them. Good Luck!