Durham isn't the most interesting city. It is home to roughly 250,000 inhabitants, but feels rather small. Moreover, much of Durham feels impoverished and unsafe. That could, of course, just be me speaking as a spoiled middle-class student, but it is a fact that Durham has relatively high unemployment and poverty rates.
The area directly surrounding Duke's campus is one of the best parts of Durham, though it isn't far away from the "bad" parts. There are plenty of nice places to eat, professionals walking to work, etc.
Duke's opinion of Durham is a varied one. Some students think Durham is "sketchy" and don't like to hang out on the town. But Durham is actually a really great town. The clubs are fun, and it's one of the "foodiest" cities in America (SUCH good food). It can be a little sketchy at night around the outside of East Campus, but the campus itself is very safe, and if you are walking in groups off campus you'll be fine.
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