There’s a reason the vibrant Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina community is a popular place for young people. As a cluster of college towns with prominent public and private universities – including HBCUs – we know how to welcome newcomers. The area is known for food, art, music, protest and an active outdoor lifestyle. Our fellows recommend the farmers markets, Jordan Lake, museums, breweries, Durham Bulls baseball, comedy clubs, music festivals, and hiking in the amazing state parks, all easily enjoyed on a budget. And our temperate climate means we can be outdoors nearly year-round! Students from both Durham and Chapel Hill were early leaders in the sit-in movement of 1960s. One of the South’s first Gay Pride marches was organized over 30 years ago by young people living in these two communities. The first African-American female Episcopal priest and the founders of the country’s first black-owned insurance company were raised in Durham. These roots nourish the community today as progressive Southern cities where all are welcome, and protest marches happen alongside college basketball. Most of the area is served by a free public bus system and there is one car available for shared use. If you want to learn more about living in the south as an LGBTQ+ person, we’re happy to connect you with alums of our program who can share their lived experience.
Enjoy spending time outdoors? You’ll experience all four seasons in North Carolina, with hot summers and mild winters. We’re within driving distance of the beach and the mountains. Eno River State Park is always a favorite place for our fellows to hike or set up a hammock along the water and go for a swim. Places like Duke Forest, Umstead Park, and Duke Gardens also provide excellent opportunities to step outside of the city and enjoy the natural world.
The region is regularly rated as one of the best places to live in the United States based on the cost of living, a growing job market, and people’s desire to live here. With rich college rivalries, thriving entrepreneurship, and a vibrant arts scene, the Triangle has something to offer everyone.
There is a reason that so many of our alum decide to continue calling this area home after their time with JSC. No matter what your interests are or what you enjoy doing for fun, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle region have something to offer you.