Where to study in USA

The United States of America is a vast country. How do you decide where to study? As with many other countries, those looking for exchange places tend to concentrate their search on two or three main regions, while other areas are much less in demand. One of the most popular is undoubtedly the northeast, particularly New England. This is where the bulk of the highly regarded institutions of the ‘Ivy League’ are to be found (just like the plant which gives them their name). It is also a region with some major state universities, celebrated technical schools, impressive liberal arts colleges, and high-ranking institutions in every category of study. Academic type rather than geography seems to determine the label. Institutions regarded as typical of the north-east are found in other states of the eastern seaboard, ranging well beyond New England, into Maine to the north and certainly as far south as Pennsylvania, with outposts even further south still.

Where is Dense Concentration of Institutions?

The second main group in demand in Britain is found in California in the far west. Again an area with a dense concentration of institutions, it includes some with reputations which match the best of their eastern rivals. California tends perhaps to have more provision in the public sector than does the north-east but offers a similar degree of diversity. In general, the student body there is drawn less from outside the immediate region, though that does nothing to diminish its appeal. Localism is usually positively attractive to students from abroad. A third main group is that of the mid-west, often envisaged as the institutions clustering round or to the south of the Great Lakes. This region, too, contains a number of universities and colleges which always feature among those in the top rank in any league tables, though less markedly so perhaps than with the other two.

Appeal for California

The appeal of California relates partly to its prestige, partly to its ‘West Coast’ lifestyle (much envied and much mocked) and partly to the fact that it is seen as the most dynamic area in the United States today, having overtaken the north-east in this respect over the last half century. As with the north-east, its climate attracts but, in this case, largely because of differences. The absence of a sharp winter season – though the south and north of the state display important differences in this respect – is known to appeal to the sybaritic. Against the charms of the north-east and California, the mid-west appeals largely as the most authentically ‘American’ of the three principal regions, something that has always greatly interested British travellers. Those attracted by Americana find that the north-east and California are suspiciously cosmopolitan. The climatic appeal of the mid-west is also more exotic. The fascination of harsh winters and blazing summers is what students hope to find there.

go to Top