The Grand Canyon, a new subject, and American football

One benefit of studying in Arizona is the amazing landscape, and nowhere is more famous than the Grand Canyon. The International Student’s Club at ASU ran a trip there at the end of August and this was the perfect chance to get to this once in a lifetime site. The trip included a tour of the South Rim, including a hike down the Bright Angel Trail, as well as an IMAX film exploring the history of the canyon. One thing I didn’t realize until I watched the film was that the Grand Canyon has been inhabited for thousands of years by Pueblo Indians, and a town in the center is the only place in the lower 48 states that mail is still delivered by pack mule.

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Studying abroad is not just about the different places that you get to visit but also the actual studying. Because of this, I took the opportunity to learn a completely new subject; Anthropology. Coming from a Geography background, the study of past and present human societies was a new one for me, albeit very interesting. The classes in this field I am studying are ‘Human Origins’, exploring the evolution of modern humans and ‘Hunter-Gatherers’, which examines different hunting and gathering societies across the world.

 

On the 31st of August I went to my first American football game against New Mexico State. We won the game 37-31, and the atmosphere throughout was incredible; the party feel continued in the Sun Devil Stadium long after the referee blew the final whistle. There was a carnival with live music and entertainment before the game, and the stadium was packed full; largely because every student at ASU gets a free ticket to every home game. An American football game consist of four quarters of 15 minutes each, and the eventual aim of each team is to carry the ball into the end zone which is a touch down and worth six points. After a touchdown is completed the scoring team is then awarded a field goal, which is when the team can kick the ball between the goal posts and is worth an additional 3 points. As you can probably tell it is a lot different to ‘normal’ football, and I was very grateful I went with some of my American classmates otherwise I wouldn’t have known what was going on!

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