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Study in South Carolina

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If you’re looking for a true taste of the US South, then South Carolina could be the study destination for you. Old world manners and social conservatism, hot sticky weather and the resulting relaxed pace of life, and untouched patches of wilderness - you'll find them all in this Deep South state. 

While agriculture still plays a large part in the state’s economy, the service sector is now South Carolina’s biggest. Tourism plays a large part in this, with visitors flocking to the pearly white beaches of the Atlantic coastline, the lush Table Rock and Caesars Head State Parks, and the dramatic Chattooga River, as well as just for a taste for a bit of southern charm.

Many of the state’s universities are concentrated in the two largest urban centers, Charleston and Columbia. The former is a popular tourist destination, renowned for being picturesque and romantic. It was voted the ‘Top City in the United States’ in the 2011 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards. It is situated on the Atlantic coastline.

Columbia, the state capital, is nicknamed the ‘The Capital of Southern Hospitality’. As you might be able to tell from this, its distinctly southern character is an integral part of its identity, and indeed, the Confederate flag still flies (somewhat controversially) outside the State Capitol. The city is loaded with history, and prides itself on its relaxed pace of life.

Fast facts about South Carolina

•    Around 4.7 million people live in South Carolina

•    South Carolina was one of the original 13 states that made up the US, represented by the 13 stripes on the US flag

•    The Charleston dance was popularized in the city in the 1920s

•    South Carolina is named after King Charles I of Britain, executed after the English Civil War

•    Since 1933, there have been reported sightings of a water monster in Lake Murray, South Carolina, similar to the UK’s Loch Ness Monster

•    The National Collegiate Athletic Association will not allow the state to host athletic events due to the continued flying of the Confederate flag in Columbia

•    Famous South Carolinians include singer and actress Eartha Kitt, comedians Stephen Colbert and Chris Rock, and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson

•    No other state boasts as high a ratio of golf holes to people

Top universities in South Carolina

The University of South Carolina, the flagship university of the South Carolina public university system is the only South Carolinian university in the 2011 QS World University Rankings (ranked 501-550). The main campus of the two century old university, at which over 30,000 students are enrolled, is in state capital Columbia. The ‘Horseshoe’ – the oldest part of the campus, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One of 63 public universities listed by the Carnegie Foundation as being in the highest tier of research institutions in the US, the university is renowned for its international business programs. It is a Sea Grant university, conducting much research into coastal areas, lakes and other marine areas.

Other notable universities in the state include South Carolina State University, a Land and Space Grant university in Orangeburg, and the College of Charleston, a Space and Sea Grant college located in Charleston. The latter, a former liberal arts college, is the 13th oldest institution of higher education in the country, and is known for its marine biology programs. Charleston is also the location of the Medical University of South Carolina – one of the country’s oldest continually running medical schools.

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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