Michi-gama. Those Native American words might sound foreign or strange, but they are the foundation of another word more often heard, Michigan. Michi-gama means large lake. The state is rightly named so. Michigan has more fresh water coastline than any other state, 3,126 miles to be exact. So if you’re someone who enjoys splashing around in the water, you should study in Michigan.
Wherever you are in the state you are never more than six miles away from it’s more than 11,000 inland lakes and over 36,000 miles of stream. Michigan is also the only state that touches four of the five great lakes.
Drive a buggy over the massive sand dunes of Silver Lake Sand Dunes, nestled between Lake Michigan and Silver Lake. Pull up a lounge chair and soak up some rays on 180 miles of sugar-sand beaches at Traverse City. Let the lake breeze gently blow your hair on a ferry to Mackinac Island. Outdoor adventure beckons. Just don’t let it take away from your studies!
With over 1,300 public boat accesses sprinkled throughout the shoreline, Michigan is home to nearly one million registered boats. Before the snow hits in the fall semester, or after it thaws in the spring semester, there are many opportunities for international students studying in Michigan to take a step back from their academic routines and learn how to sail.
Numerous colleges around the state have sailing clubs and collegiate teams including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University, Western Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University.
When winter break rolls around, students who study in Michigan might want to try ice fishing. A popular place for ice fishing is Houghton Lake, the largest inland lake in Michigan, covering 20,044 acres. It is home of the Tip-Up Town USA winter festival, which is Michigan’s largest winter festival, taking place in January.
Temperatures can easily drop below freezing in the winter, but that doesn’t mean students can’t enjoy the “Water Wonderland,” another one of Michigan’s nicknames. Besides ice fishing, ice skating and snowmobiling are popular sports in the winter.