America is such a huge country it can be difficult to know where to visit first, for any international or Asian student travelling there. From rafting down the Grand Canyon to eating soul food in the south. Here are my tips on 20 things to do when you are studying abroad in America.
1. Visit the Grand Canyon
As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a must-see for any Asian student travelling to America. Take in the natural beauty and breathtaking views whether that is by helicopter, by driving up to its edges or by rafting deep within its core on the river. However if you’re up to the challenge and you are feeling brave, then hiking across the Grand Canyon is a once in a lifetime experience.
2. Walk on the national mall in Washington
There are so many things to know about American culture and politics. Where better to start than Washington DC’s National Mall? Learn all about America’s history and culture from memorials and monuments to Museums. This is a great place to visit if you are interested in American History.
3. Soak up the vibrant las vegas strip
Whether you are a high roller or not, Las Vegas isn’t all about gambling. It has some of the best dining spots, hosts incredible star-studded shows, has great shopping destinations and offers some of the best nightlife you can imagine, from bars and clubs to late night wedding venues. Las Vegas is a must-see for any international students in America. This spectacular nighttime playground is filled with non-stop entertainment!
4. Go to a NASCAR race
Enjoy one of America’s most popular sports and go and watch a NASCAR race. Watch cars travel around a circular track at 200mph, whilst drinking a cold American beer and eating hot dogs. Expect large enthusiastic crowds, loud thunderous noises from racing cars and the occasional crash.
5. Eat a proper New York slice of pizza
When visiting a thriving, busy city like New York it’s hard to know where to start, especially when it comes to making a decision on what to eat. One of the top food choices on my list would be a proper slice of New York pizza. It’s no secret that New Yorkers love their pizza, and you will understand their reason why when you try a slice for yourself. Traditionally, pizza’s are served in huge slices, covered in a tomato sauce (most places will have their own secret recipe) and topped with full-fat mozzarella cheese. If you need some inspiration finding the best slice of pizza in New York City follow the link below…
6. Cycle over the golden gate bridge
Instead of looking at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge from afar why not rent a bike and cycle over it? That way you can admire the beautiful design of the bridge and take in the spectacular views all the way across. Plus it’s a great way to burn off all the delicious American food you have been eating.
7. Eat soul food in the south
If you want to immerse yourself into American lifestyles and habits then head to the south where you will discover a food lovers paradise. Pack your stretchy pants and show up hungry because when travelling to the deep south, feeding your soul with delicious comfort food is a must. Expect the best fried chicken you have ever tasted in your life, along with exceptional BBQ and other southern specialities.
8. Drive California’s Pacific coast
Enjoy the bright blue ocean on one side and that ever-changing beautiful landscape on the other side as you take one of the most breathtaking road trips along California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Expect incredible views, countless vineyards and picturesque towns to explore along the way.
9. Channel your inner child and visit the theme parks in Florida
Ever wonder what is it like studying abroad in America? Just like anywhere it can be hard work. If you are an international or Asian student it can be even more challenging because you may not be studying in your first language. That is why it is important to take breaks and reward yourself every so often. What better way to reward yourself than visiting some of the worlds best theme parks in Florida? Don’t be fooled, these theme parks aren’t just for children. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
10. Go to an American sports event
One of my tips for studying abroad in America is to go to an American Sports event but to watch a sport that isn’t popular in your country. Perhaps American football, or baseball? Embrace American habits, sing along to the National Anthem, cheer on their mascot and say yes to that chilli dog.
11. Take a classic American Road Trip
Whether you’re a blogger, a history buff, or a thrill seeker, road trips are a wonderful way to explore America’s vast landscapes and will ensure you don’t miss a thing. A road trip around America will be unlike any other road trip you have been on. There are countless routes to take, but why not start with the famous Route 66 from Chicago to L.A.
12. Go to Burning Man Festival in Nevada
If you are a fan of festivals then burning man festival is probably already on your bucket list. If you have never been to a festival Burning Man will give you a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. This weird and wonderful festival happens once a year, and a temporary wonderland is built in the middle of the desert. Expect art installations, very affectionate strangers, lots of fancy dress and a giant burning man.
13. See a show on Broadway in New York
If you are a fan of musicals and theatre, nothing will quite compare to an authentic Broadway show in New York. For those of you who have never been to a musical or theatre production, this is your perfect opportunity to see one. You will be transported into the world of whatever show you are seeing as the theatre will be decorated to match the theme of the musical. If you are an international or Asian student and you are still perfecting your English, this could be a good way to test your listening skills. Currently, some of the most popular Broadway shows to see are; The Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Dear Evan Hansen. Be prepared to book far in advance because some of these shows have a very long waiting list.
14. Visit Yellowstone in spring
Yellowstone is known for its stunning geological features, numerous geysers and springs, to it’s abundant and diverse wildlife. Spring is the perfect time to visit as everything starts turning the most beautiful colours, from bright oranges to electric blue shades. Yellowstone is one of the most visually stunning national parks in the world and is definitely worth a visit for international students in America.
15. Take a walk in Central Park
If you find yourself in New York City and need a break from the fast-paced lifestyle, take some time out and explore the 840 acres of land surrounding Central Park. There is something for everyone whether it’s walking around beautiful gardens and fountains, to attempting a bit of ice skating in the winter.
16. See the world’s tallest trees at Redwood National Park
Have you ever seen a tree taller than a skyscraper? Well, the good news is you can in Redwood National Park. The tallest tree currently growing there was measured at 115.85m in 2009. So it is no wonder why this is such a popular destination for international students in America.
17. See Mount Rushmore
Where else can you go and see four presidents carved into the side of a mountain? It took 400 workers 14 years to carve this colossal work of art. So whether you are an art lover or historian, Mount Rushmore is an experience you shouldn’t miss.
18. Party in New Orleans
If you are looking for a city that never sleeps and knows how to party, it’s New Orleans. It’s a city renowned for its live music scene and is the birthplace of jazz. So if you are a music lover you will be spoilt for choice with the never-ending variety of music bars, and the party doesn’t have to end there, as bars in New Orleans aren’t required to close.
19. Visit a Grocery Store
Be amazed at the huge variety of food products you have never seen or heard of before. One of the best ways to experience any culture is through their food, and the best way to experience this is by visiting an American grocery store. From their weird and wonderful potato chip flavours (from bacon Mac and cheese to biscuits and gravy) to marshmallow creme that you put on top of your apple pie, or anything else that takes your fancy.
20. See the cherry blossoms in Washington DC
Every year between April and March the many trees surrounding the tidal basin in Washington DC burst into a beautiful pink bloom. It is the perfect time of year to see the city of Washington’s celebrated landmarks.