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From the sunny beaches of Florida to the bustling international city of Washington, DC, the American South is known for its rich culture, literary renown, agricultural economy and spirited hospitality. Famous for its “Southern charm,” the region is experiencing international growth opportunities in tech, manufacturing, hospitality and healthcare.


Atlanta’s southern roots and vibrant arts scene make it more than Georgia’s capital and largest city. Ranked as one of the best places for business and careers, Atlanta’s job growth and real estate development attracts recent graduates and young professionals.

  • Top 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.—U.S. News & World Report, 2019
  • #11 Best Places for Businesses and Careers—Forbes, 2018
  • #34 Best Cities for Job Growth—Forbes, 2018
  • Home to UPS, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Aflac and CNN
  • #6 Best Cities for Job Seekers—NerdWallet
  • Learn about American history at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park and the World of Coca-Cola.
  • Visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world.
  • Home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world

Learn more about Mercer University

Only one and half hours from Atlanta, this charming college town lies at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is close to 16 national parks. Walking distance from the Auburn University campus, the picturesque downtown has hundreds of restaurants, cafes, shops and galleries.

  • #18 The Best Small Places for Business and Careers—Forbes
  • 4th Most Educated City in the U.S.—, 2015
  • Top 10 College Town –
  • 4 technology and research parks in the area
  • 60+ national and international companies
  • Chewacla State Park, a 696-acre public park, is perfect for hiking and camping.

Learn more about Auburn University

Baton Rouge is set at the cultural crossroads of Southern charm and the Mississippi Delta, drawing heavily from Cajun, Creole and European influences. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is home to Louisiana State University and is a multicultural hotspot steeped in music, history, food and natural beauty.

  • #13 Best City for New College Graduates—Money Magazine, 2017
  • #4 Best Quality of Life—Business Facilities, 2016
  • Enjoy more than 180+ parks close to the Mississippi River
  • 900+ restaurants with a variety of multicultural foods
  • One hour from New Orleans

Learn more about Louisiana State University

As the capital of South Carolina, Columbia offers big-city opportunities with a touch of small-town Southern charm. Home to the University of South Carolina, this mid-size city is known for its rich heritage, natural beauty, trendy cuisine and industrial growth.

  • Top 100 Places for Business and Careers–Forbes
  • Shop outdoors in the Congaree Vista, a popular area for shopping, dining and entertainment.
  • Home to companies like Citibank, Bose and Honeywell
  • 1.5-hour drive to Charlotte and Charleston, NC; 3 hours to Atlanta

Learn more about the University of South Carolina

Located an hour south of Atlanta and less than three hours from the coast, Macon is a historic town with a legendary music heritage and lively arts scene. Home to Mercer University, this architecturally rich town, known for its hospitality, was named by Forbes as one of the top small places for business and careers.

  • Home to many famous soul musicians like Otis Redding and Little Richard
  • Take in the 350,000 Japanese cherry blossom trees or head to Ocmulgee Mounds National Park, a prehistoric American Indian site.
  • Visit the Mercer Innovation Center.
  • One hour south of Atlanta, home to UPS, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, Aflac and CNN

Learn more about Mercer University

The biggest metropolitan area in Florida, Miami is an international hub known for its community spirit, lively hospitality, food, beaches and Latin-American culture. With sunny, warm weather year-round, Miami’s famous beaches and natural parks are popular with tourists, international business travelers and young professionals in the growing tech, hospitality and healthcare sectors.

  • America’s 20 Coolest Cities –Forbes, 2017
  • 1,100+ multinational companies are based in Miami, including Marriott Hotels, Royal Caribbean International and American Airlines.
  • Take in the Art Deco architecture along South Beach.
  • Visit Everglades National Park, Biscayne Bay or more than 800 area parks.
  • Head to Little Havana for food, dancing and a day of Latin-American culture.
  • Explore the Design District and hundreds of art museums and galleries.

Learn more about Florida International University

A melting pot of cultures, flavors, architecture and sounds, the historic city of New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz music and home of Mardi Gras. Nicknamed “The Big Easy,” this Southern city is a major tourist destination thanks to its energetic nightlife, music scene and food culture. The area’s top industries include hospitality, education, government, healthcare, agriculture and tech.

  • #1 City to Visit in the World—The New York Times, 2017
  • One of the World’s Best Cities—Travel + Leisure
  • Best Food City in North or South America—TripAdvisor
  • Explore the historic French Quarter and snack on beignets and Creole staples.
  • Find your rhythm at the iconic Jazz Fest.
  • Celebrate Mardi Gras with colorful crowds.
  • Get cultured at the New Orleans Museum of Art and a history lesson at the National World War II Museum.
  • Stroll the Audubon Nature Institute, City Park, or one of the many famed cemeteries

Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and nearly 100 other theme parks, Orlando is known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World.” And more than that, this sprawling city in the Sunshine State is a hub for technology, life sciences, medical innovation, hospitality and tourism.

  • Visit world-famous theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
  • Visit international neighborhoods like Little Saigon and Little Brazil.
  • Get the full NASA experience at Kennedy Space Center.
  • Explore the Orlando Museum of Art and the Orlando Science Center.
  • Averages 236 days of sunshine a year
  • Home to major corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin

Learn more about University of Central Florida

A global city at the heart of American history, Washington, DC, is one of the most visited cities in the world. This culturally-minded, diverse city is steeped in American and international politics and is home to 177 foreign embassies and the headquarters of World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund and American Red Cross.

  • #1 Best City for Jobs—Forbes, 2016
  • Visit national landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Capitol and the White House.
  • Explore the Smithsonian Institution museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of American History and more.
  • Enjoy the National Cherry Blossom Festival in April.

Learn more about American University


Miami is the #2 tourism destination in the U.S. for international visitors.


Atlanta is #11 Best Place for Business & Careers (Forbes, 2018).

Did you know?

The headquarters of World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund and the American Red Cross are in Washington, DC.


Top National Universities: #97
Location: Auburn, Alabama
Enrollment: 30,440
Type: Public, Co-Ed
Academic Calendar: Semester
Top National Universities: #187
Location: Miami, Florida
Enrollment: 58,046
Type: Public, Co-Ed
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Top National Universities: #160
Location: Orlando, Florida
Enrollment: 68,571
Type: Public, Co-Ed
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Top National Universities: #153
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Enrollment: 30,985
Type: Public, Co-Ed
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Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Enrollment: 34,795
Type: Public, Co-Ed
Academic Calendar: Semester
Top National Universities: #76
Location: Washington, DC
Enrollment: 14,311
Type: Private, Co-Ed
Academic Calendar: Semester