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Alisa Sandlin Settled on NGU for Its Scenic, ‘Gorgeous’ Setting

“I had lived in the middle of a big city for several years, and I knew that I wanted to live in a place completely different,” says North Greenville University senior elementary education major Alisa Sandlin.

When we asked Sandlin why she ultimately decided to move from Bangkok, Thailand, to attend NGU — a relatively small university located in Upstate South Carolina — she had quite a bit to say:

“I originally wanted a college near the beach because I love the ocean. But I also wanted a school in a rural location, and NGU looked perfect in that way,” she adds.

Sandlin's right. NGU enjoys a rural location right at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and within 25 miles of major South Carolina state parks like Caesars Head, Jones Gap, and Table Rock.

But the university’s also only a 30-minute drive from the up-and-coming city of Greenville, which Livibility.com named one of America’s top 100 best places to live in 2015 and 2016.

“I had heard that NGU was ‘in the middle of nowhere,’ but I had in mind a different kind of ‘in the middle of nowhere,’ a Third World kind. But NGU is not like that,” says Sandlin. “I love how we are 20 minutes away from civilization, yet still in civilization.”

In other words, NGU’s just far enough “away from everything” to feel like you’re out in the country, but not too far that you can’t enjoy the perks of living near a major U.S. city and also near charming small towns like Landrum, Travelers Rest, and Hendersonville, N.C.

Of course, Sandlin’s switch from a big city like Bangkok to a blip-on-the-map town like Tigerville, S.C., took some getting used to.

“In Bangkok, spending time with friends meant going to the malls because there was so much to offer just inside a 7-story building: movies, ice skating rinks, bowling alleys, water parks, amusements parks, clothes stores, grocery stores, restaurants, crafts stores, and so much more. There was no need to even be outside,” she remembers. “Here, I am stripped of that opportunity. Yet the entire outdoors is there waiting to be explored, and that is what makes life so much more exciting.”

She seems to have adjusted quite well to the “gorgeous,” natural setting at NGU.

“I never thought that hiking, sitting by a lake and spending hours talking to a friend, driving through the countryside, petting a horse, walking through a field of tall grass, or climbing a fence to get a better view of the mountains would be so much fun,” gushes Sandlin. “You get the chance to see the world from a much bigger perspective.”

This was just the change of scenery that Sandlin had been longing for a few years ago when, as a high school student, she began sorting through her college options.

“Towards the end of my time in Bangkok, I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. I had a strong desire to just see the sun rise and set. I wanted to see the mountains as my skyline rather than tall buildings. I wanted to see the rain watering the trees and grass, and not just flooding the concrete jungle that I called home. I wanted to smell the scent of the trees and freshly cut grass rather than the smell of car exhaust fumes. I wanted to have space and not worry about bumping into people constantly, everywhere,” Sandlin explains. “I wanted a little freedom. And I get that at NGU.”

Tigerville certainly enjoys a lush atmosphere, as well as a mild year-round climate that, nevertheless, includes four distinct seasons.

“I love that I am able to finally see the sunset, the trees, and the leaves changing,” she says. “And it's so encouraging, because I know that it's nothing that the staff and faculty has done that has made me love this campus so much. They are amazing and godly men and women, but they don't have the power to make NGU what it is by creating the beauty that is around the school. Only God is able.”

Who can argue with that?

For more information about NGU’s uniqueness as a university, visit ngu.edu/admissions or contact Admissions at 864-977-7001.

(Photo used with permission from Alisa Sandlin)

 

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