International Student Finds: a Love for the Outdoors at SUU

Growing up in New Delhi, India, Devi Sharma, a junior information systems major, knew very little of deserts and wished to explore Southern Utah’s landscape.

“[Utah] is so different than from where I am from. [New Delhi] is at sea level so it’s really green and humid and hot,” she said.

In 2015, her first year at SUU, Sharma was excited to begin exploring and signed up for several SUU Outdoor trips to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks. Now, as an International student ambassador, she helps organize outdoor adventures. Since moving to Cedar City, she has visited almost every national park or recreation area near SUU.

“It’s not fair [to pick favorites] because I’m in love with everywhere I’ve been,” she said. “Bryce Canyon is so pretty and the Grand Canyon … is breathtaking.”

Raised far from the coast or any body of water, Sharma never learned to swim properly. Her fear of water was discovered during her most recent trip to Sand Hollow. Sharma said this did not stop her from having a good time.

“[The trip] was very fun … Everyone around me was diving off of the cliffs and I decided this semester I am going to learn how to swim and I am going to dive off that cliff,” Sharma said.

As her course load has increased, trips in the outdoors have lessened more than Sharma would like, but she strives to get out as much as possible.

“It’s kind of hard not to [go outside] when living in Utah. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to,” she said.

During the semester the International Student Ambassadors (ISA) plan several trips around Utah for international students like Sharma to experience the outdoors. However, all students are welcome to sign up. Anyone who is interested can reserve a spot by visiting the ISA Facebook page.

Story for Print By
Ansleigh Mikesell