As the leaves turn from green to bright orange, red, and yellow, students like you start pouring into colleges. Although fall in the US always directly correlates with a new school year, getting ready for classes isn’t the only focus students have during this time. The fall semester brings with it a variety of activities that international students should experience while being in the United States. Some of these events can be found in many different cities around the US while others are unique to certain regions of the country. Here are a few popular festivals and activities to seek out and enjoy this fall between classes.
Personally, this was one of my favorite festivals to go to when I lived in Kansas. The Renaissance Festival opens its doors on Labor Day weekend and goes on until mid-October. This festival displays kings, pirates, gypsies, knights, wizards and more. Artists from the surrounding areas participate to bring a medieval ambiance to your day. They have themed weekends and plenty of entertaining events like jousting, hula hoop competitions, and costumes contests. They also have similar festivals in Minnesota, Florida, Michigan and Missouri. If you want to enjoy a day surrounded by royalty or share a meal with a couple of buccaneers, you will not want to miss this festival.
5K Color Run
If you like to exercise, the Color Run will be a fun activity to attend. The organizers suggest that you wear white clothing because as you make the 5 kilometer run, they will throw colored chalk at you. This of course results in you being covered in different colors and having a great time while being physically active. This 5K can be found in many cities in the US as well as different countries around the world! The 5K Color Run is a family friendly and pet friendly event. Put on your tennis shoes, throw on a white shirt and you will be ready to participate in this 5K!
The Lantern Fest
If you are a fan of Disney movies, this festival is a must. In the movie Tangled, every year during Rapunzel’s birthday, the king, queen, and townspeople release hundreds of lanterns into the air to honor the princess and guide her home. This is what you will see at the Lantern Fest. With your ticket, you will receive a lighter, a flashlight, a lantern and supplies to make s’mores. Once the night has fallen, everyone lights up their lanterns and lets them fly away at the same time. The have live music and food while you wait for the evening and it usually takes place during the fall and winter months in many cities around the US.
The United States produces around 13 million acres of corn. Once the corn has been harvested, it leaves a trail of corn stalks behind. Farmers who host corn mazes carefully plant their corn to create artistic designs that grow into corn mazes or labyrinths. Corn mazes have become popular as it’s a way to support local farmers and it provides a natural tourist attraction for families and friends. This is great fall activity as the corn harvest commences in October and ends late November. Many of these same farmers also plant pumpkin patches nearby so visitors can choose their own Halloween pumpkin directly from the patch. International students throughout the US can enjoy this activity during a weekend while studying in the US.
Costumes, candy, trick-or-treating, and bonfires… Enough said! Halloween is a holiday celebrated in many countries around the world. However, in the United States Halloween is the second most popular holiday of the year. The festivities during Halloween are endless. Many colleges and universities will have activities and groups around campus that host Halloween costume parties. If you are an international student in the US, mark your calendar! October 31st is great day to go out and immerse yourself in the cultural festivities of this holiday.
With all of these festivals and activities, international students can distract themselves from their studies for a little while. There are many more festivals and activities that take place during the fall. Don’t forget to get out of your comfort zone, invite some of your new friends to go with you, and make memories during your study abroad experience in the US.