“Amazingly addictive” is one Darden student’s description of Charlottesville, Virginia. With a mix of city attractions that include fine arts and celebrity chef-owned restaurants, the feel of suburban living and easy-to-reach outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching and even skiing—not to mention a low cost of living and a dollop of historical appeal—Charlottesville has it all. “Living in Charlottesville is a delight,” remarked another student. “The city is a particularly good place to raise children because of the scenery, the quality of life and the cost of living.” Darden students tend to feel that while a big city offers many activities that can pull students outward, in a smaller community, students end up spending more time together, thus establishing deeper bonds and creating interactions with special character and depth.
Most of the business school’s students choose to live in two complexes located only seconds from campus, but even those who choose to live downtown are never more than ten minutes away, and that is in the worst of traffic. According to those mbaMission interviewed, many Darden students have cars, but they use them more for going shopping or into downtown Charlottesville than for commuting to class. The University of Virginia has a free, comprehensive bus system that runs in a loop around campus and also makes stops at nearby shopping areas.