SIU is a pretty decent school overall. For academics, my professors were very helpful and had in depth understanding of what they were teaching. But it all depends on what major you are taking. I know firsthand that SIU has one of the best aviation programs in the country which made my time at the school totally worth it. If you are an outdoor kind of person, you will find SIU very pleasing. The Giant City state park is nearby which has wonderful hiking trails. SIU's Touch of Nature also organizes a lot of outdoor activities every semester (camping, hiking, canoeing etc.). There are also numerous lakes around to go fishing or canoeing. If you like to party, SIU is a sure bet! Carbondale has really good bars and clubs and there are always parties every weekend. In all, College experience comes down to what you make of it. The school certainly provides everything you would expect in a typical college environment.