North or South: Finding the Right Place to Study in California
Not only is California the third largest U.S. state by size, it’s also the most populous state. Almost no other state in the US has so much to offer international students studying abroad in terms of culture and scenery. Learn more about USA and North America on physicscat.
Many associate Southern California with a perfect, sunny climate, Hollywood and surf beaches. In SoCal, there is also the Mojavi Desert and Death Valley National Park. Famous residential areas for stars and the super-rich such as Orange County and Beverly Hills can be found on the California coast.
The further north you travel in California, the cooler and more mountainous the landscape becomes. Northern California is mostly associated with forests, San Francisco and vineyards in regions like “Napa” and “Sonoma”. The temperate but sunny climate in the north is perfect for viticulture and agriculture. Northern California also offers breathtaking national parks like Yosemite Valley and Kings Canyon and Sequoia with the oldest trees in the world, the Red Woods.
Northern California (NorCal) and Southern California (SoCal) have excellent universities. When choosing the university of their choice, international students can concentrate entirely on which region is more attractive for them. Southern California is considered to be the more conservative region, while Northern California is considered to be more liberal and progressive. All of California is known for its open, multicultural society.
Plus, the growing Hispanic population has shaped California culture for centuries. Students from Germany can meet students from all over the world while studying at California universities, which makes studying abroad in California an intercultural experience.
Study in California and explore national parks
Another point that speaks for a semester abroad in California are the eight beautiful and varied national parks within the Golden States.
Whether the world famous national parks like Yosemite, Death Valley and Redwoods or the less prominent but equally impressive state parks in California – California’s natural parks are home to some of the most famous mountains and landscapes on the planet.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range attracts with its steep mountain formations. In Redwoods National Park, hiking trails lead visitors through a forest of gigantic, hundreds of years old, sequoia trees.
Anyone studying at a university or college in California can explore the diverse and beautiful parks at any time of the year: from Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California to Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California.
The national parks can often only be easily reached with your own vehicle. For this reason, the journey is usually private. Many universities also offer excursions or camping trips to nearby national parks.
- Channel Islands:
The National Park located in Southern California with remote islands, such as Anacapa Island, offers a diverse coastal landscape with reefs and rock formations.
- Death Valley:
One of the most extraordinary national parks – not only in California but also in the United States – is Death Valley National Park. One of the sheer unique attractions is probably the vastness of the desert landscape. Death Valley National Park is also record-breaking, as it has both the lowest point in all of North America and the highest point in the USA: Badwater and Mount Whitney.
- Joshua Tree:
The Joshua Tree National Park is similar to the Death Valley National Park, a desert park is who has a huge amount of natural rock formations. Joshua Tree National Park has been a magnet for climbers from California for decades,and not without reason: There are both easy beginner routes and challenging routes for experienced climbers. Even away from the climbing routes, adventurous students can marvel at a lot: above all, of course, the unique Joshua Trees, from which the park owes its name, or the cholla ” jumping ” cacti.
- Kings Canyon and Sequoia:
The Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park impresses with its huge trees, among which two of the largest trees in the world. International students can marvel at the rivers, hiking trails and waterfalls as well as one of the most impressive caves in California while studying abroad.
- Lassen Volcanic:
The northernmost national park in California is Lassen Volcanic National Park. There is a huge selection of mountains and volcanoes, some of which are still active. Summiteers can climb the 3000 meter high summit in Lassen Volcanic National Park, from where they have a panoramic view of the National Park. Students shouldn’t miss the Bumpass Hell Path, which leads past the volcanoes.
The Pinnacles National Park is not as famous as the other national parks, which is why it is the best place for students to hike away from the tourist bustle andmarvel atthe Pinnacles National Monument, the caves such as the Balconies Cave, and the mountains.
Northwest California is not only home to a variety of beautiful groves and vast forests, but it is also home to the famous redwoods. The Avenue of the Giants is just one of the many attractions in Redwoods National Park.
The Yosemite National Park is world famous for its natural beauty. Accordingly, students studying in California shoulddefinitely plana visit to this national park. Yosemite is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts around four million visitors annually. In the national park, visitors marvel at the steep walls of the Yosemite Valley, rushing waterfalls and the alpine beauty of the Tuolumne Meadows.