Getting to know the regions of the USA – Part II

In the last post we went over the eastern side of studying in the USA, in this post we’ll take a look at what the western half has to offer.

Let’s start with the Pacific Northwest. In this region there are two states: Oregon and Washington. The major cities are Portland and Seattle, respectively.

Both states are divided down the middle by the mountains of the Cascades. On the western boarder of the Pacific Ocean, the climate is characterized by the rain and clouds, and east of the Cascades, the climate is mild with much less rain.

The colleges in this region have a special interest in ecology, so if you’re looking to pursue environmental studies, the Pacific Northwest is the place for you.

Next we’ll tackle the state of California, which we’ll subdivide into the north and south.

Northern California includes Mt. Shasta, the wine countries in Mendocino and Sonoma, and the Bay Area, which consists of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. The climate of these areas is relatively warm throughout year with cloudiness and rain intermittent, and the temperature is consistently mild, not getting too hot or too cold.

Southern California includes San Diego and Santa Monica. The temperature here is beautiful and sunny year round. Outdoor activities such as surfing and taking walks on the beach are easily accessible.

In general, California is a laid-back progressive place to live. If you’re looking to “go with the flow” this is the area for you.

The Southwest is up next on our list. This area includes Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Nevada. The climate here is typically dry and warm, and we usually associate these regions with deserts and cacti, but there are mountains here too, mountains with snow and tall pines.

The Southwest is one of the few places in the USA maintaining a strong connection to the native lineage and culture that grew from there. It’s understandable why: the skies are big and open, the deserts appear to be infinite, and the mountains are majestic and magical. If you’re looking to wake up in picturesque scenery on a daily basis, be sure to check out the Southwest.

Next we have the region of the Rocky Mountains. A few states in this area include Colorado, Idaho, and Montana. Some major cities include Denver and Boulder. Again, another picturesque area to live in where a trip into the mountains is readily available.

Finally, we have the Plains States, which include the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. There are no major cities here, so most campuses are in rural, open tracts of land (if you need guidance on the rural campus vs. city campus, refer to a previous post Location, Location, Location).

That about does it for the regions of United States. Hopefully these last few posts helped you narrow down your decisions, because after all, the USA is a large place with a lot of character and culture, it’s simply a matter of deciding what is right for you.



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