Tue, Apr 27, 2010
The Straits Times
Campus city

By Nicholas Yong

Undergraduate Ivan Gerald Lee, 24, says his stay in Columbia, Missouri, has been the road less travelled for foreign students in the United States.

'A lot of Singaporeans who come to the States choose to go to either the east coast or the west coast. Not many have actually been in the mid-west,' says Mr Lee, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in respiratory therapy at University of Missouri. He is on a scholarship from the Singapore General Hospital.

Colleges on the east and west coasts are popular for their business and economics courses, he says.

Columbia, a city of more than 100,000 people, has a rich history dating back to 1678, when French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France. Before that, it was populated by Native American tribes.

Today, Columbia is renowned as a college town and is highly ranked as one of the best places to live in in the US. It is also known as the 'Athens of Missouri', as more than half of Columbians possess a bachelor's degree.

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