Experiencing the natural beauty of a new country is an amazing benefit of studying abroad. One of my favorite memories from my year in Lebanon is the day I visited the Baatara Gorge Waterfall. The U.S. is a geographically massive and diverse country, and no matter where in America you are studying, there are sure to be lovely natural areas near you to explore!
One resource you can use to find places to go hiking or sightseeing in the U.S. is the National Parks website. National Parks in America are outdoor areas that have been protected by the national government. They have hiking trails, camping areas, and public facilities like bathrooms for tourists to use. There is usually a fee to enter a National Park, but it is affordable. Most charge around $25 per vehicle for entry, so bring a carload of friends with you and split the cost!
Check out this interactive map to find National Parks near your university.
In addition to nationally run parks, each state in the U.S. has its own park system. State Parks tend to be smaller than National Parks, but have similar amenities and are just as beautiful!
Use this map to find State Parks near you.
Plan a trip with friends
Some parks will be close enough to visit just for the day, and others you will need to travel to and spend the night. Bridges International campus groups plan day trips and overnight camping trips specifically designed for international students to get to experience the beauty of America! Connect with Bridges International on your campus and ask when their next outdoor adventure will be! Be sure to check online for any Covid-19 restrictions before you travel to a national or state park.
You can use this map to find a Bridges International group near you.