Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is a mountainous country of particular geopolitical significance owing to its location in three spheres of Asia. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. Known as a developing country, Iran is a regional power, and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Iran has the largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, and the fourth largest proven petroleum reserves.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country of beauty, diversity, and a long, rich history. The official language of Iran is Persian though it's quite common to hear spoken languages that include Persian, Arabic, Turkmen, Gilaki, Kurdish, Armenian, and more. Iran is the 18th largest country in the world with a population of nearly 77 million. It is one of the oldest civilizations in the world dating back to 2800 BC.

Iran is located in West Asia, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Caspian Sea, and the Persian Gulf. Northern neighbors of Iran include Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Iraq is located west of Iran and to the east are Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Iranian Culture
Richard Nelson Frye wrote, "Iran's prize possession has been its culture." With nearly 5000 years to percolate, it's no wonder that culture is such as important part of Iran today. Art, literature, religion, tradition, music, architecture, and ceremony come together to create a culture that is steeped in the past while trying to embrace the future without losing anything vital in the process. It's a lesson in contradictions for some people, and a complete and total wonder to others who are peering in from the outside. For a student of life, it's a wonderland.

Cost of Living
Another reason students consider studying in Iran is the significantly reduced cost of living -- particularly when compared to countries such as the U.S. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment inside a major city in the U.S. is typically around $900 per month while it is around $500 a month in Iran. Students willing to live further out can rent for around $300. The same holds true with lower prices for utilities, food, public transportation, and entertainment. Students interested in partying, however, may not be interested in attending college in Iran where the median price on a single bottle of beer is more than double the price in the U.S.