Local Adventures

As we approach the mid-point of the semester, Global UGRADs across the United States have become acquainted with their new homes and settled into campus life. Now comfortable at their host universities, many have set off to explore their local communities. Global UGRADs are discovering every part of the United States; from Maine to Georgia, New Hampshire to California, their adventures have been as varied as their new homes. Below are a few highlights of what students have been up to.

Sahadatou Hassane Seydou explores Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama with fellow students

“On Sunday, January 28th, I participated in a hiking trip to Oak Mountain State Park with many fellow students from Troy University. I decided to join this activity because it involved traveling for about two hours, which is an opportunity for me to see the beautiful state of Alabama, spend time with friends, and meet new friends along the way. I was also motivated to join because I enjoy spending time in nature. This trip allowed me to make friends, see beautiful places, and enjoy nature. I took pictures in places that I had never been before and saw many animals and spaces that I had only ever seen on television.”

– Sahadatou Hassane Seydou, Niger, Troy University


Maftuna Uraimshikova posing with other international students before a hike

Every week, I get a chance to get out of my comfort zone to explore and reinvent myself in every possible way. During the week, I attend different meetings called Cats Connect on Mondays, Chai Chat on Wednesdays, and Conversation I on Thursdays. Besides that, we have different fairs on an almost weekly basis! Last week, I went hiking with my fellow UGRADs. This helped us to relax and recharge for the upcoming week. The week before that Saturday we had been to a drag show! Additionally, I gave a presentation on Uzbek dance in my Public Speaking class. All of my coursemates were super engaging, supportive, and even better dancers than me! This week started with great news as I found out that I was selected as a site leader for an Alternative Spring Break volunteering trip to Dallas, Texas, organized by the Staley School of Leadership Studies! To me, not only every week but every single day here is a new gift that I can’t wait to discover! I think that is what ‘living in the moment’ means!”

Maftuna Uraimshikova hiking in the Kansas prairie

– Maftuna Uraimshikova, Uzbekistan, Kansas State University



Abdulaziz Isomov at a market in San Francisco

“Whether I am in the Office of Humanities or the Cesar Chavez Student Center, the Paul Leonard Library, or the Student Recreation Center, I feel so welcomed by our diverse community every day. Here at San Francisco State University, we can comfortably make friends, share our books, or talk with each other to ask questions and give tips about exploring San Francisco and connecting with local communities.  

Along with some other international students, I visited Salesforce Park in San Francisco, as well as the coastal town of Pacifica. We also went to the local market and grocery store where we purchased fruit that we do not have in our home countries such as raspberries, blueberries, pineapples, and avocados. 

Abdulaziz Isomov in San Francisco’s Chinatown

A big part of February at SFSU was celebrating Black History Month. At numerous events, the achievements and challenges of African Americans were recognized at my university. In addition to attending the events, I visited the San Francisco Museum and learned more about the local community.”

– Abdulaziz Isomov, Uzbekistan, San Francisco State University