California has many attractions as a place to study. Firstly, the universities are world-class. Overseas students are welcome, the climate is sunny, the cities are thriving, the beaches are famous all over the world, living standards are very good, the state has an enviable position in the field of leading technologies and the culture is rich and varied.
The Californian city of Los Angeles boasts the second highest population in the USA. Thanks to its gold mining history and the gold-brown color of the hills in summer, the state itself is nicknamed the “golden” state. These days, this reference to golden seems entirely suitable given that the state is also known for its glamor. Indeed, between the years 2003 until 2011, it was governed by a star of the big screen – ‘Governator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger is famous for his action-man roles in such movies as The Predator and The Terminator.
The State of California is renowned too for being home to several highly respected universities. Some of these are the California Institute of Technology in Caltech, Stanford University and the Universities of California in Berkley and Los Angeles (the latter being commonly referred to as UCLA). If you plan on studying in California, read on to learn more about the State’s leading universities and what life is like for students. Lastly, we have thrown in a few interesting facts about the golden state.
As might be expected from a state that is famous for innovation, California is home to some of the USA’s most prestigious academic institutions. According to the 2015-2016 QS World University Rankings, Stanford University ranks at an impressive joint No 3 both in the US and worldwide and the California Institute of Technology in Caltech comes in at No 5 worldwide.
While Stanford can be found in the northwestern part of the region known as Silicon Valley, Caltech is closer to Los Angeles and is located in Pasadena. Although these top research institutions are private, California is also home to two other leading public universities. The University of California operates a public university system with ten campuses throughout the state. Of these, the two main ones are the University of California Berkeley (also known as Berkeley, UC Berkeley, ‘Cal’ and UCS) and the University of California in Los Angeles (known as UCLA).
Living in California
In addition to the movie industry, which has its hub in the Hollywood area, the music industry is also a major player in California. As well as several well-known orchestras, the golden state has provided the world with such artists as 2Pac, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Dr Dre, Frank Zappa, Guns and Roses, Iron Butterfly, Mötley Crüe, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
In addition to its pivotal position in the world of modern pop culture, the State of California also makes a considerable contribution to other sectors including aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, innovation and manufacturing. It is the home of ‘Silicon Valley,’ one of the foremost centers of technological development and innovation in today’s world.
The diverse range of talent to be found throughout the state is equally matched when it comes to ethnicity and cultural composition. Data from the 2010 Census indicates that 13% of Californian citizens classify themselves as Asian and 38% as Latino or Hispanic. Slightly more than 6% of the population are black and nearly 5% describe themselves as belonging to two (and in some cases more than two) races. Many see California as one of the most relaxed and liberal states in the USA, not least because its attitude towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) policies is one of tolerance and it was one of the first places to make gay marriage legal.
As well as being home to the vibrant and thriving cities of San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, which all feature in the top 75 student city destinations in the world, the golden state also boasts some of the most naturally diverse and beautiful scenery in the USA. This ranges from stunning snow-covered mountains to beautiful beaches. Unsurprisingly then, California is reputed for the efforts it has made in the areas of conservation and environmental protection, having implemented some of the toughest.
Environmental-protection laws in the USA.
There are several national parks in California. Two examples of these are the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks where the latter is the natural home of the gigantic trees that give the Park its name – sequoia – the earth’s biggest living organisms. The sight of these majestic trees is sufficient reason for visiting the park. Other wonderful natural features of the state include clear-water streams and waterfalls, long avenues of huge sequoia or redwood trees, stunning cliffs, a pretty salt lake (inland) and two large lakes – Clear Lake and Lake Tahoe. On top of all this, there is a diverse and wide range of wildlife species and other habitats.
So, essentially, whatever your interests, whether it is acting, music, photography, culture, conservation, technology or technology development, you will find a conducive study environment in California, with all sorts of opportunities for enterprise and adventure and many things to explore and discover.
Interesting Facts about the Golden State (California)
- California is situated on the USA’s west coast and is bordered to the north by Oregon, to the south by Mexico, to the east by Arizona and Nevada and to the west by the Pacific Ocean.
- Sacramento is the capital, but Los Angeles is the biggest city.
- The exclamation “Eureka!” (meaning “I have found it!”) is the state’s motto.
- Forest covers around 45% of California’s surface area.
- California is home to approximately 38.7 million people (highest population of any US state), accounting for 12% of the USA’s total population.
- Silicon Valley is home to thousands of businesses. Some of the Fortune 1000 companies among these include Apple, Adobe, eBay, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Netflix, Intel and Yahoo!
- California is home to the world’s oldest (bristlecone pine), largest (giant sequoia) and tallest (redwood) trees.
- At least 50% of the USA’s fresh fruit produce is cultivated in California.
- Lowest energy use (per capita) of any USA state.
- Hydroelectric power is provided by a number of statewide dams.
- The solar energy market has grown more rapidly in California than in any other part of the USA. The State has a number of solar energy plants and 1.2 gigawatts capacity, which equals two large traditional power plants.
- Famous Californian-born people include Cameron Diaz, Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
- The main span of the famous Golden Gate Bridge was, at one time, the world’s longest suspension bridge. The State has a famous car culture.
To sum up, if you decide that California is the place to study, you will have many options everywhere you turn. These include top universities, exciting cities and a diverse range of employment opportunities once you graduate.