Located in the heart of Columbia, USC delights many students with the mix of Southern charm on campus and the fast pace of the urban setting. The campus grounds are scattered with gorgeous greenery, secluded gardens, and beautiful buildings. USC also harbors a vast array of historical treasures. On campus, students are able to visit McKissick Museum, which features rotating exhibits highlighting Southern culture. Additionally, many of the buildings on central campus pre-date the Civil War and are now used as upperclassman apartments, faculty office buildings, and even classrooms. Being in the South and smack in the middle of the “Bible Belt,” there is a lot of conservative thinking in the city of Columbia; however, USC’s campus is moderate in its views, with both extremes present. Many are involved in the political scene, and students make their voices heard on issues such as budget cuts, educational funding, the war in Iraq, and state and national elections.
A short drive from the University of South Carolina rewards students with Columbia's recreational staples such as the Riverbanks Zoo, the State Museum, and Lake Murray, all favorites among students. If you’re willing to travel a bit, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Asheville, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are all within a few hours. The Southern atmosphere, the urban setting, and the variety of activities in the area combine to make the atmosphere at USC ideal for many students.