Student Exchange USA
From the Atlantic to the Pacific,
from Canada to Mexico, the United States of America is a
vast, sprawling kaleidoscope of a country, with an enormous
diversity of cultures, geography, ethnic groups, and languages.
Technically speaking, the U.S. is a federal republic on
the continent of North America consisting of 48 contiguous
states and the noncontiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii.
Outlying associated areas include Puerto Rico, American
Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. But this description
only hints at the tremendous variety facing a student in
There is a staggering wealth of natural wonders and the
western third of the country—roughly from the Rocky Mountains
to the Pacific Ocean. Spectacular parks such as Yellowstone
and the Grand Canyon National Park are located in this region,
along with uncountable mountain ranges, deserts, lakes,
rivers, forests, and a great variety of wildlife. The Northeast
is also blessed with lovely scenery, particularly in autumn
when the leaves of deciduous trees ignite with color. The
eastern seaboard and the deep South have their own brand
of natural beauty—rolling hills, pasturelands, and idyllic
The major cities of America are centers of culture that
range from theater to opera to literary readings. For innovation
and creativity on the cultural scene, New York on the East
Coast and Los Angeles on the West Coast are two of the most
important cities. But smaller cities such as Minneapolis,
Atlanta, and Seattle are also cultural hot spots where new
voices can be heard.
Students may visit the middle section of the U.S. for a
taste of bedrock values, homespun traditions, and what some
consider the "heart" of America. The landscape of the Midwest
is in many places an endless ocean of grain fields, interspersed
with lakes, hills, and rivers.