I come from South Brazil. A gorgeous place with a lot of nature, beaches and a typical Brazilian humid weather. I never had classes during the summer vacation in my life. Also, I've never been far away from home. Hence, my summer was a lot different when I came to Nevada.
When I arrived in the U.S., I saw how hard it is to be far away from home and the challenges you have to deal with (new language, culture, food, solve problems by yourself, etc.) I came to study English in my first six months here, and that's what I did! At the University of Nevada, Reno Intensive English Language Center (IELC), I started my Low Advanced English course. The university gave me all the support I needed, from housing and meals to classes and psychological assistance. I really could see that they care for their students and want to make their passage easier here.
When the summer semester started I was taking English classes at the IELC. We had classes during the morning, so in the afternoon we could do whatever we wanted to, not forgetting to study and prepare for the TOEFL and Bridge Tests by the end of the semester. Once a week the IELC promoted fun activities for the students, such as ice cream socials, barbecues, small trips to Lake Tahoe and other places nearby. By the end of the English Course, we had the IELC Olympics, with all students of the course.
Another fun part of the summer at UNR was the movie night outside with free popcorn and soda. Also, every week at The Quad we had concerts and food where all families went there with the kids and just relaxed below the trees. The gym was open as well, where you could swim, have fun classes of Zumba, Pilates and others, workout and play sports. There was one dormitory open for the students, they organized some fun events and also the University took us for one day of the Reno Rodeo. At the Downtown, several festivals were happening during the weekends, for free.
I feel that Reno is a very good place to study and have your academic life. I feel safe here; the University's environment is very welcoming. There are several extra activities for the students on campus: the location of the city is very close to California, and the city is not so big and crowded. The weather here also is very good. Although the humidity can be very low during the whole year, compared to Brazil the weather here is more stable, so you can plan anything because the weather will cooperate. Also, the nature here is so different and curious from back home that everything you see will call your attention.
Just to summarize all the things that an American university can bring to you: come to the U.S. to study English is an amazing opportunity and a life experience! Everyone that has the opportunity to come to this amazing country to study will be a lot more successful in life and will have forever good memories of it.