If you’ve decided to study abroad in the United States, one of the first steps is choosing which TOEFL® English-proficiency exam is right for you. Between the TOEFL iBT® test and the TOEFL® Essentials™ test, you have two great options. That’s the easy decision; the next one can be both exciting and overwhelming: where to study.
Location, location, location
If you’re not set on a specific school or degree program, your choices are wide open. Are you looking for a city or country? Mountains or beach? All four seasons or weather that’s warm year-round? The U.S. has all this and more. Plus, there are thousands of parks, beaches, nature preserves, and historical places to visit and explore.
Let’s look into the diversity of the U.S. a little more…
In a city setting, you’ll likely never be bored. Think streets lined with diverse restaurants, great shopping, exciting social events, and endless arts and cultural pursuits. Cities also mean easier access to public transportation — which is an important factor for international students to keep in mind. Something else to consider is what size city you want to live in — cities in the U.S. range from large (like New York City and Los Angeles) to small or medium (like Charleston, South Carolina and Seattle, Washington).
But if you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, perhaps a school in a rural setting is for you. You’ll still find plenty to do — farm-to-table dining, outdoor activities like hiking and botanical gardens, and plenty of arts and culture.
You can also opt for a school in a suburban setting. Often home to smaller schools, these areas tend to offer easy access to nearby cities, but aren’t quite out in the country either — in a way, they offer the best of both worlds.
If your ideal location includes sun and sand, then you’ll want to pick a school located on either the East or West Coast. Looking to sunbathe year-round? We recommend a school on the West Coast (Southern California, perhaps?) or one in the Southeast, like Florida. But if you want to experience all four seasons, focus on schools in the Northeast. (For seasonal variety AND beaches, look to states like New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut.)
For more mountainous terrain and nature-focused pursuits, look at states like Colorado, Utah, and Montana. These areas are prime for winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding. And in the other seasons, you can explore parks, forests, and hiking trails.
Arts, culture, and history abound
For arts, culture, and history buffs, the U.S. has you covered in every corner of the country — discover museums, concert venues, theater companies, outdoor art galleries, and more.
If you love history, cities like Boston and Philadelphia, as well as states like New Jersey and Delaware, are rife with historical landmarks dating back to the origins of the United States — visit locations like the Liberty Bell (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Washington Crossing State Park (New Jersey/Pennsylvania), and the site of the Boston Tea Party, among many others.
To start your study-abroad journey, visit the TOEFL® website to get more information about your English-proficiency test options.
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