When studying abroad, one of the most important things you can do, both for the intellect and the spirit, is to visit the cultural sites: the museums, the historical landmarks, the art galleries, the theaters, the libraries, the churches, and so on and so forth. Especially if you’re in a city or near a city. If you’re not close to a city at all, you may need to search for a place and take a day trip to see the sites (what better way to have an adventure!).
A lot can be learned from the architecture of a place, its buildings, its landscape design or natural terrain. The character of a country and region can be ascertained through local artwork. Libraries offer an array of books and knowledge and a diverse population of people. Museums teach history. Theaters portray culture through spectacle and entertainment, everything from plays to operas to dance recitals and performances. The list goes on and on.
If you’re thinking you don’t have the funds to be active in the arts and history, you are in luck: more often than not your school ID will get you into a few museums (libraries are free). If your school is not connected to the local culture, you can look into donation-based nights when you’ll have the option to pay what you wish. Trust me, life as a college student can be very poor, financially speaking, but in so many ways, the knowledge available to you makes you very rich.
Your school may even have a few galleries and museums of its own. Make sure you check out the school map and get to know your campus. Some colleges offer group trips too, as well as a free shuttle service to nearby sites. Keep your eyes peeled, always be on the lookout for something fun AND educational. When your college days are over, you’ll appreciate the time you dedicated to being a nerd.
Remember, it is important to take advantage of all your opportunities when studying abroad in the USA. Be sure to drink up the surrounding culture. It will contribute to your academic life. It will help you become a more versatile person, both in the arena of school work and afterwards, when you enter the work field.