Study in Colorado

The Western Slope of Colorado offers unparalleled opportunities to international students, both academically and in outdoor recreation.

Mesa State College located in Grand Junction, Colorado provides the academic opportunities while thousands of miles of unspoiled natural wonders provide the world-class outdoor pursuits.

Study in Colorado

The state of Colorado is known for its sharp contrasts, but the area around Grand Junction is dramatic like no other. Within close proximity are high alpine lakes in lush forests of pine, spruce, and aspen.

Farther east runs the "backbone of America" - the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide with peaks rising above 14,000 feet. To the west lies breathtaking red-rock desert filled with canyons, natural rock arches, cliffs, and rivers.

More diverse outdoor recreation is possible within a hundred-mile radius of Grand Junction than any other city in the western United States! Possibilities include skiing (Alpine and Nordic), whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, rock-climbing, wildlife photography, fossil hunting, golf, and swimming.

Much of western Colorado is publicly owned land filled with Wilderness Areas, National Parks, National Forests, and Bureau of Land Management land offering access to everyone. Western Colorado is characteristically "The West," wild and otherwise.

The history of Western Colorado does not begin in the 'wild-west' days of the 1880's, though. More than 140 million years ago, a warm and humid flood plain covered the area.

The largest dinosaurs that ever lived on North America thrived here. The remains of these creatures were trapped and buried. The sediments eventually turned to rock and the bones were fossilized.

Today, the area has become internationally known for its wealth of dinosaur excavation sites, museums, exhibits, fossil trails and hands-on activities.

Dozens of dinosaur species have been found here including the largest Apatosaurus ever discovered, and the Utahraptor, called the "ultimate killing machine." Hikes can take you through dinosaur quarries where some of the oldest fossils ever found were recovered.

Rising directly above Grand Junction is the 10,000 feet (3,300m) "Island in the Sky," called the Grand Mesa. Grand Mesa, the world's largest and highest flattop mountain, is home to over 200 lakes.

These stream-fed lakes contain rainbow, native cutthroat, and brook trout. Bear, deer, and elk are plentiful in this secluded paradise.

Bordering Grand Junction to the west is the Colorado National Monument - a smaller scaled version of the Grand Canyon. These 23,000 acres of raw geology provide a stunning backdrop to all other activities in the Grand Valley.

Red sandstone formations range from huge monoliths to rock spires to arched windows to sheer cliffs. The 23-mile Rim Rock Drive snakes through the Monument providing access to the many long and short hiking trails that allow visitors to become intimately connected with this area of geologic artistry.

More than 1,000 miles of single-track mountain bike trails make this area a mountain bike heaven.

For decades, the business of tourism has been in the "top two" of the largest industries in the state of Colorado. Only agriculture comes close, but now total travel-related revenues and total employment put tourism on top. Projections indicate that the number of jobs related to travel will double within the next decade.

Colorado is home to thirty-five world-class ski areas and served is by every major hotel chain. Direct flights from across the United States and many countries connect millions of people around the world to the high country. For the foreseeable future, tourism will be the fuel that drives the economy of western Colorado. The business of recreation is serious business here.

International students can gain access to this outdoor wonderland through Mesa State College. Mesa State is located within the city limits of Grand Junction, the largest city in western Colorado with an area population of 115,000 who enjoy one of the mildest climates within the state.

Mesa State College has enrollment of approximately 5,000 students. The primary focus of Mesa State College is on teaching, but scholars who publish national and international works provide most of the instruction.

 Students may earn degrees ranging from two-year Associate degrees, through a wide variety of four-year Baccalaureate degrees, to a graduate-level Master of Business Administration.

For more information on Colorado's Western Slope or Mesa State College visit or

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