Study in Boca Raton, The United States
Study in Boca Raton, The United StatesBoca Raton, Florida (known simply as Boca to the locals) is a low-lying city on the tropical coastline of southern Florida where pleasantly uncrowded beaches come almost to the edge of an enormous wildlife preserve. Young even by American standards, Boca Raton has been shielded from the massive overdevelopment that has swept up and down the balmy south Florida coast in recent decades. There are no glowering concrete buildings or tacky souvenir shops to be found here, despite its considerable size. Boca Raton is decidedly a place of business rather than a pleasure center, and the majority of its 200,000 or so daytime residents are office workers who commute from the nearby suburbs. Still, it would be a mistake to think of Boca Raton as a bland white-collar dystopia – with its quiet atmosphere and pleasant weather, Boca Raton is a welcome respite from the frantic hedonism of other major cities in Florida.
The city of Boca Raton has a personality all its own, one largely influenced by the proximity of the might Everglades. These sprawling marshlands take up much of the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula, and shelter a vast abundance of tropical wildlife. Alligators, tropical birds, and towering old-growth trees all make their homes in the Everglades, and this ostensibly protected wetland is one of the crown jewels of American natural heritage. Threatened with catastrophe brought on by tourist developments and beach resorts in South Florida, the Everglades have become a rallying point for eco-activists and a compelling case-study for environmental researchers.
Fueled in no small measure by the Everglades preservation movement and the growth of environmental science as an academic discipline, Boca Raton has gained a burgeoning higher education community. Shedding its outdated reputation as an intellectual backwater, the city has become the proud home of a growing collection of campuses.
The largest and most well-known of Boca Raton’s colleges and universities is Florida Atlantic University. A member of the State University System of Florida, FAU has grown remarkably quickly since its founding in 1961, and is the main reason for the city of Boca Raton’s growing reputation as a college town. IT offers a number of innovative programs, including an interdisciplinary liberal arts honors program, and also operates the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex – a combination research facility, nature center, and living museum where visitors can learn about the ecosystem of the Everglades while observing various species of wildlife in their natural habitat. The complex is famous for its work on endangered sea turtles, and is one of the few places on Earth where these majestic creatures can be viewed in the wild. Like the campus itself, Gumbo Limbo serves both students and the general public, providing knowledge of the unique ecosystem of southern Florida to any who are curious about it.