Local Adventures

As Global UGRAD students arrive at their universities across the United States, they are not only introduced to a new campus and other students, but also to the local community that surrounds them. Beyond the lecture halls and textbooks, Global UGRADs are discovering the beauty of their new homes, one local adventure at a time. From hiking the trails of the beautiful mountains of Wyoming to trying all the food and rides at the state fair in Vermont, Global UGRADs are immersing themselves in the rich tapestry of American life. Below are a few highlights of what students have been up to in their local communities.

Barbare Janjalashvili at the
Georgia Aquarium (left) and Coca-Cola Museum (right)

Barbare Janjalashvili, originally from Georgia and attending Georgia College & State University, spent a weekend visiting the sites of Atlanta, including the Georgia Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum. “What can be better than watching an apex predator a few feet away while getting your eardrums blown out by the excited screams of children? The answer might be seeing your own country’s themed bottle at the Coca-Cola Museum more than 10,000km away from home. Since arriving in the United States, visiting Atlanta is one of my most memorable moments so far. I have met so many wonderful international and local students at Georgia College & State University, and I am excited to see what the future months will bring.” 

Mouad Bouchhra enjoying the outdoors on the Boise River (left) and a hot air balloon festival (right)

Mouad Bouchhra, who hails from Morocco and is studying at Boise State University, enjoyed several outdoor adventures during his first month in the United States. “Boise is known for its natural views and sensational mountains. One of the most popular things you can do here is float down the Boise River, which I did alongside friends that I met in my first days on campus.” Mouad also attended a hot air balloon festival, “where they inflated the balloons and made them fly all the way up. Especially with the lights and colors, it was an incredible sight.” His adventures were not exclusive to outdoor activities. “I had the privilege, along with other international students, to be invited by an American guy to his house where we had dinner, got to know to other international students, and exchanged culture.” 

Ikri Sa’diah’s camping site near Lake Leatherwood in Arkansas

Ikri Sa’diah, from Indonesia and attending Missouri State University, shared that on a weekend adventure, “My friends and I took part in a camping trip organized by the Missouri State University Recreation Center. We went to Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and camped for three days. Some of the activities we did while camping were hiking, swimming in the lake, having a campfire and making smores, and strolling around downtown Eureka Springs. I am so glad that I registered myself for this camping trip because in addition to gaining new experiences, I also got to know new people.”