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Study in Wyoming

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This sparsely populated state is full of outdoor adventures - perfect if you prefer mountains and wide open spaces to overcrowded cities and packed shopping malls.

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Located towards the midwestern side of the western region of the United States, Wyoming is a large state dominated by mountainous terrain. Resultantly, it has the smallest population of any of the 50 states, and is only less sparsely populated than Alaska.

It is home to the famous Yellowstone Park. Thought to be the first ever national park, Yellowstone is the location of Old Faithful, probably the world’s most famous geyser.

But there’s more to it than a reliable water feature. This vast park, around the same size as Cyprus, is a nature lover’s paradise, containing forests, canyons, mountains, lakes, hot springs, meadows and, of course, the abundance of flora and fauna which comes with such rich natural surroundings.

It is largely untouched by man, so offers a rare opportunity to experience nature in its purest form in one of the world’s most developed countries.

Wyoming has a rich Native American history. Evidence suggests that it was populated in prehistoric times, and it is home to the mysterious ‘Medicine Wheel’ – a stone shrine of unknown origin with a diameter of 24 metres.

In more recent history, it was peopled by nomadic Plains Indians, with the tribes living there including the Sioux and the Cheyenne, for whom the state capital is named.

This heritage is celebrated in the state, as is the cowboy culture which followed (one of the state’s nicknames is ‘the Cowboy State’). If riding across the open prairie appeals, there are few better places to do so than Wyoming.

Wyoming: Fast facts

•    Population of 586,107 

•    Capital and most populous city is Cheyenne

•    Tenth biggest state in the US – around the same size as Ecuador

•    One of only three states with borders made up exclusively of straight lines

•    The first state to give the vote to women, hence the nickname ‘the Equality State’

•    The term ‘dude’ originated in Wyoming, meaning someone who was unfamiliar with life outside the city - think 'dude ranch'

•    Devil’s Tower (pictured), a 386 metre tall rock formation was the first ever United States National Monument

•    Famous Wyomingites include Jackson Pollock, Buffalo Bill (William Cody, for whom the city of Cody is named) and Annie Proulx, writer of Brokeback Mountain

Top universities in Wyoming

Unsurprisingly for a state whose entire population is around the same size as smallish city, study options are relatively limited in Wyoming.

The state’s public university, the University of Wyoming, based in the town of Laramie, is the main provider of degrees.

UW – or ‘U-dub’ (say it out loud) as the locals call it, was founded before the state joined the US, and is such a significant part of Wyoming’s identity that its location is specified in the state’s constitution. Its seven colleges offer 170 programs, 80 of which are at undergraduate level.

It is home to the American Heritage Centre, a huge repository of primary source material related to American history.

Aside from the University of Wyoming, a branch of the for-profit University of Phoenix and Wyoming Catholic College, a small liberal arts college, are the only places you will be able to get a full four year degree. A range of public community colleges offer associate’s degrees.

More states in the west:

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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