I was curious about how others felt about their academic atmosphere - and if it was different school to school, possibly on a larger scale such as region to region, or even simply at the smallest scale of person to person.
I will try to elaborate with my own examples.
I attended undergrad and grad school at the same university in South Jersey, and I also took a few summer classes at a school in Philadelphia and in a community college. The summer classes did not seem to foster much of a community or sense of cohesion. Students did not seem to study together or talk much before or after class. This was likely because of their fast-paced nature of the class and the time commitments people had to commit to the rest of their lives after school. One was also a lower level class and so contained a wide variety of students from different majors.
In contrast, my time in undergrad at Rowan University in South Jersey was much more collaborative. I made friends in almost every class, and was usually successful in finding someone to study with and do homework with. The groups got larger by junior year until it seemed that about 10 of us would show up in the library to work through problems and help each other understand what was going on for certain classes. Certainly there were students who still preferred to work alone or only with one other consistent person, but I guess my point is that the option was there for those who wanted to collaborate. Once it was discovered that "class rank" was a thing, students were slightly more competitive, but still collaborative and supportive of one another. By senior year, I think the group sizes shrunk a bit again, but this could also have to do with the fact that we had senior electives which forced people into smaller groups again.
I found it interesting that in graduate school, the class atmosphere was much more competitive. Students were less interested in working with one another and much less interested in working together for mutual benefit. One of my professors remarked to me once that "your class in undergrad wanted to pull each other up, while the class beneath you who you are doing grad school with seems more focused on trying to stay ahead of each other."
One effect of this was that my undergrad class seemed to be given slightly tougher questions on homeworks and exams, as it was even recognized by the faculty that strong teams would be able to solve the problems. But that is another topic. I simply found it interesting that even class by class in the same school, there could be such a different atmosphere in the student body.
What was your experience like in school, and was it different if you attended multiple schools?