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Study in Louisiana

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Despite being situated at the heart of the ‘Deep South’ region of the US, Louisiana stands apart from its neighboring states – largely due to the unique cultural mixture created by its combined European, Caribbean and African heritages.

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Louisiana is a former Spanish and French colony, and was the site of large-scale immigration from West Africa during the 19th century. The state as a whole has become known for its cultural variety and vibrancy, but this is especially true of its largest city, the legendary multi-cultural melting-pot of New Orleans.

Known to the world as the birthplace of jazz music, New Orleans is one of the most culturally unique places in the US, and indeed the world. To visitors it can appear chaotic, but those who stay will discover a lively, rough-and-ready metropolis full of joie de vivre – an experience you’ll never forget.

New Orleans may somewhat steal the spotlight, but of course there’s much more to explore in Louisiana.

Outdoors, nature enthusiasts will find a mixture of coastal wetlands, rolling farmland, forests, swamps, lakes and rivers, with popular pastimes including camping, hiking, canoeing, hunting, fishing, bird-watching and golf.

Meanwhile, New Orleans by no means has a monopoly on cultural delights. There’s also find plenty to discover and enjoy in state capital Baton Rouge, and smaller cities such as Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Shreveport.

Louisiana: Fast facts

• Located in the southern part of the US; borders with Arkansas to the north, Texas to the east, Mississippi to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south

• Capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans

• Famous people from Louisiana include jazz musician Louis Armstrong, author Truman Capote, and rapper ‘Lil Wayne’

• Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) is set in New Orleans

• The state’s unofficial motto is laissez les bons temps rouler – a Cajun-French expression meaning ‘let the good times roll’

• The Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, home of the Louisiana State University football team, is one of the top 20 largest stadiums worldwide

• Among the state’s many festivals is the Contraband Days Festival, which involves dressing up as a pirate and saying ‘Arrrgh!’ lots

Top universities in Louisiana

Louisiana’s highest-ranked institution, Tulane University (TU), is ranked 284 in the 2011/12 QS World University Rankings.

Based in New Orleans, TU is a private university, and a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of 61 leading research-intensive universities in the US and Canada. It offers degrees in architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, social work, sciences and engineering.

As you’d expect, arts and culture play a major role in student life at TU. The university supports and promotes dramatic, musical, artistic and cinematic projects, and students can of course also participate in the major events that take place in the city each year – including Mardi Gras, the Jazz Festival, and the French Quarter Festival.

The state’s flagship public university is Louisiana State University (LSU), which is based in state capital Baton Rouge. This is Louisiana’s largest higher education institution in terms of student numbers, and is well-respected in a range of different subjects.

More states in the Deep South:

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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