Why you should do your student exchange at the University of Montana in Missoula

Photo: Kayak

Do you like a variety of outdoor activities and breathtaking views?

Well, it can’t get much better than this. Firstly Missoula is located close to the beautiful Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, which are a must see. Secondly there’s a great variety of close by destinations, such as Lolo Peak, Bison Range, Pattee Canyon etc. If you’re up to exploring other states, Olympic National Park isn’t too far away either. When you travel, you will most likely get to know some locals too, such as bisons, deer and black bears. Remember to bring your camera.

Always wanted to be a part of the sports hype but couldn’t find the right team?

Search no more! Our very own Griz family is open to every single person from a toddler to grandparents. Whatever game (football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey) you see, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Looking for the best academics?

Speaking from experience: Here in Missoula you’ll have teachers who inspire and encourage you. They will help you to succeed in work life after school. They do care for you. (Coming from people who study Communications, Politics, Philosophy, English & Arabics, Pharmacy, Physics and Space Science).

The campus environment for studies is pretty neat too. Where else do you have trees growing inside your study building?

I promise you one thing: If you do come here, you will have the best time of your life.

Delivered to you by one happy exchange student who totally lost her heart to Montana.

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Top 5 things to do in Missoula

Missoula is a vibrant and super friendly place filled with great activities. As an exchange student basically everything you do is new and exciting, but I wanted to highlight these five things. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

1. Hike the M. This is the number one thing to do whilst you are here. The views are spectacular and if you enjoy doing this, you’ll be tempted to try out the other hiking places in Missoula too.


2. Go watch a Griz game! American sports culture is something else and this is an experience you don’t get anywhere else. The atmosphere is amazing and the Grizz community is hilarious. And the best thing is that you have a variety of sports to choose from: football, soccer, volleyball, basketball…


3. Water sports. Rent a tube from rec center (uni students) or buy one, and then go float the Clark Fork river. If you are into different kind of water activities there’s plenty of rafting, canoeing and paddle opportunities. On a warm summer day there’s probably nothing better to do than this.


4. Build a bike! You can do this at the http://www.freecycles.org/ and I guarantee that that you’ll love it. You volunteer for 4 hours and then you get to make your own bike with the help of oh-so-wonderful volunteers. This place truly is a community.


5. Downtown events. Missoula has different kind of festivals, music events, brewery tours etc. You can find more about them here: https://www.missoulaevents.net/. Check at least Caras Park and Roots Festival. You will be able to access all these with you brand new bike too!

By: Eleonora Schirmer

Camping Without the Crowds

By: Breanna Harmer

Choosing the correct time of year is crucial.

Think a little outside of peak season when camping.

I’m personally a fan of mid-May and September.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park in September

Consider backpacking. Yes, it is a bit more work but it is also 100% worth it.

Waking up to a backcountry sunrise is an unbeatable feeling.

I would highly recommend the Grand Tetons in August, especially if you’re a fan of wildflowers. It is still chilly so pack your warm gear!

Get your backcountry permit early! It is surprising how quickly these go and there are limited sites. If you’re unlucky and don’t get a permit you might be forced to find a different hike or abandon your backcountry plans altogether.

Check out apps like AllTrails

We went backpacking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on the 4th of July and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had. There weren’t many people, the weather was perfect, and we were away from the National Park chaos.

Holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are major camping holidays. Opt-out of the beer and think whiskey and backpacking. Look for trails that are more under the radar. There might be some like-minded people like you on the trail but far less then if you were to try to claim your stake on Seeley Lake or Flathead.

Be flexible! If a site seems too busy, don’t be afraid to look for a different one. Some of my favorite camping sites have been found after leaving a less exciting one behind.

Checking a map for a water source is a good way of finding a good site. Chances are that if it’s near a river or lake that it’ll come with a view as well.

Avoid geotagging on social media. If you like a site because there weren’t many people there, don’t expose it.

This might be controversial but I really do believe every little bit helps in preserving the things we love. It’s one thing to tell a few friends but if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you could possibly be telling around 1,000 people about this newfound gem. Mum’s the word

Don’t worry, he wasn’t caught. Just an expert fence climber!

I also think part of the joy of camping comes from discovering new spots on your own. It has become too easy to look everything up, it’ll mean more to you if you find it yourself.