The Mississippi River is the heart of Minnesota. Minneapolis and Saint Paul, both founded along the river, thrived due to the success of companies using St. Anthony Falls to power their factories. As the companies grew, so did the cities and soon they were the epicenter of the state with, Saint Paul becoming the state capital. The Minneapolis-St. Paul region is now home to over twenty Fortune 500 companies and plays a large role in national politics. However, Minnesota is truly known for two things: being the land of 10,000 lakes – about 90,000 miles of shoreline – and being the home of Mall of America, the country’s largest mall. The downtown Minneapolis area provides sports venues and a plethora of restaurants and department stores. Surrounding the city are many unique suburbs that each contain their own distinctive charm. The greater Minneapolis area is also a great place for outdoor activities; it is known for fishing, hiking, and canoeing among many others.
The Twin Cities are all encompassing, as is the University of Minnesota. With campuses in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the university boasts the fourth largest student population and is one of the top 25 research universities in the nation. The U of M also contains top dental, medical and journalism schools. Studying in such a center of culture certainly has its benefits. Between the Twin Cities there are many opportunities to experience the arts and theater, to enjoy both professional and collegiate sports and of course, to escape to the great outdoors. With so many opportunities present, the U of M is a bridge to the greater world.