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Why Utah?

Utah Highlights

  • Multiple ski and snowboard resortsjust a short drive from the U of U campus.
  • Year-round outdoor activities, including rock climbing, hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and camping.
  • Five world-famous national parks, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park. Utah has more national parks than any other state in the country!
  • Covering more than 30,000 acres along the Utah-Nevada state border, the Bonneville Salt Flats are extremely smooth, making them the best place in the world for race car driving and speed testing. Several movies have been filmed at the Salt Flats, including Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
  • Silicon Slopes is Utah’s version of Silicon Valley, supporting more than 6,500 startup and big tech companies, such as Adobe, Pluralsight, DOMO, and Lucid.
  • The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States, and it takes place each January in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Resort.


Salt Lake City

How big is Salt Lake City?

About 200,000 people live in Salt Lake City proper. In the surrounding towns, which merge together into the Salt Lake Valley, there are over one million people. Compared to Salt Lake City, the rest of Utah is not as densely populated.

What is the weather like?

Salt Lake City has four distinct seasons, ranging from hot and dry summers to cold and snowy winters. You should be prepared for all types of weather and take advantage of the many enjoyable outdoor activities during each season. Utah has a desert climate and is very dry. If you are used to humid weather, this may be difficult for you to adjust to. Salt Lake City also sits at an altitude of 4300 feet, so drinking lots of water is an excellent way to combat altitude sickness as well as the dry air. You can also try using a humidifier in your bedroom or home to help your body feel less dry.

What is Salt Lake City culture like?

Salt Lake City is similar to other mid-sized cities in the western United States, with a mix of big-city amenities and small-town friendliness. People here are typically casual, relaxed, and willing to help strangers. You will encounter people who smile as they pass you on the street or say “thank you” to bus drivers. This may be different than where you are from, but these are just a few examples of how people here show that they are friendly.

Salt Lake City has many of the amenities of a large city, including concerts, plays and musical theater, ballets, symphonies, operas, and professional sports (basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer). Also, like any major city, there are plenty of good places to shop, eat, and relax. Check out the links below for some ideas!

Find out more

Last Updated: 5/9/23