Students of Springfield colleges and universities can enjoy the small-town feel of Springfield, a city which prides itself on local cuisine, a thriving performing arts center, and a number of outdoor activities. Springfield residents can enjoy hunting and fishing in the area, and the Springfield Park District operates over 30 outdoor parks. Sports fans in Springfield typically root for the Fighting Illini of the nearby University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Small, specialized schools comprise Springfield colleges and universities. The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine has a campus in Springfield, and is building a cancer institute to support a traditional research laboratory, an outreach center, and patient areas for support group meetings. Springfield colleges and universities give students the opportunity to pursue an education while remaining in the area.