The sand is always softer on the other side

Chelsea Russler, 20, said,“I could get used to surfing Huntington and eating fish tacos after studying,” about college in So. Calfornia. (Photo by Stacey Angeloff)

Stacey Angeloff

It is no surprise that students dream of attending colleges in different places all over the globe. But what if you had the option to get an education while living in paradise?

For the community college student preparing to transfer to a four-year college, there are many factors to take into account. One must consider a public or private institution, size, cost and financial aid availability, housing and campus life, athletics, and more, according to

Because this is often a young adult’s first chance to experience independence, location is key. Some students may dream of attending colleges in different places, all over the globe, living in paradise.

Learn what to expect from a college’s setting before you make your final decision, say experts. recommends getting an accurate picture by visiting campuses, talking to students and reading campus and local newspapers.

For example, if a transfer student lives in South Orange County and is considering a college in Hawaii, he or she must be prepared for how different the lifestyle of “fun in the sun,” tropical and laid-back Hawaii is from life in the OC.

“I think getting away to Hawaii for two years would be awesome,” said Hannah Jones, 17, social work. “But I love California too much. We already have beautiful weather all year round, so if I go anywhere else, I’d want to try somewhere with a varying climate like Portland, or something.”

Going the other direction can be intimidating too. Native islanders may picture Southern California as Hollywood, celebrities driving expensive sports cars, and blond, tan, fit men and women playing volleyball on the beach as seen in television shows such as “Laguna Beach.”

“We all take things for granted, including the sunshine we walk to work under,” said University of Hawaii Manoa student Lauren Perez. “But Orange County looks too stuck up for me,” added the 21-year-old pre-med student.

Orange County is much more than the stereotypical “Housewives of Orange County” lifestyle. Local esteemed colleges and universities have attracted students from all over the country. Students here thrive in the comfortable Mediterranean climate and can enjoy diverse extracurricular activities.

Saddleback student Cory Dibene, 19, business, said, “There is pretty much everything here. We have the beach, mountains, and even Disneyland. What else do you need?”