Local Happenings

Lake Murray Fireworks Celebration


In continuation of Independence Day festivities, during the month of July, our USC International Accelerator Program students took a special field trip to Lake Murray. For those who don’t know, Lake Murray is one of the major recreation destinations for central South Carolina residents, and it’s only a 30-minute drive from campus! At 41 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest point, Lake Murray has 649 miles of shoreline. Whether you’re looking to enjoy swimming off the shore at the beaches, parks or recreation areas, or looking to take a relaxing boat ride or possibly ready for a water skiing adventure, Lake Murray has something for everyone! Each year, residents enjoy a beautiful fireworks show in honor of Independence Day. This summer, our students got to experience it for themselves!

Lake Murray at sunset

Don’t forget to take a look at the pictures below and read Student Services Advisor, Joanna Zietara’s recap of the adventure!


Student Services Advisors Angi Wang and Joanna Zietara ventured onto the calm waters of Lake Murray with 17 USC IAP students for a night of boating, delicious food and fireworks! We boarded the beautiful Spirit of Lake Murray boat at 7:30pm ready for some relaxation and fun and a needed break from summer classes! Other guests on the boat were curious about our group and began to intermingle with our students. Many conversations revolved around culture and our students’ experience in the United States thus far. One group of students even met the President of the Lake Murray Chamber of Commerce, Richard Peterson, who expressed how delighted he was to have so many international students on the boat.

Dinner was served at 8:30 p.m., which included a southern-classic of shrimp and grits, pulled pork and a hearty cheese dip. Our boating adventure came to an end with a fireworks show on the water watched not only by us, but also by many other South Carolinians represented by hundreds of small flickering lights, each light being a boat.

As we boarded our 45-minute bus ride back to campus at 11:00 p.m., smiling faces quickly turned into sleeping faces and we safely returned to campus after a fun and relaxing night.


It wouldn’t be a USC IAP trip without a group picture! As you can see, it was a perfect day for boating!


And now just the guys!


Evan Guan (left) and Tam Bui (right) waiting to board the boat!

Three of our lovely USC IAP ladies, (from left to right) Anh Hoang, CiCi Xiyao, Melody Wan.

Did it even happen if you didn’t take a selfie?

USC IAP students enjoying the view from the boat!


We can’t wait to take another boat ride on Lake Murray’s “Catch the Spirit”!

Want to see what other events and outings our USC International Accelerator Program students participate in? Check out our other blog postings!

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