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Morehead & The Bluegrass State
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Morehead and The Bluegrass State with Gregory Kaap

So which of the 50 states is the Bluegrass State?

The first clue is in its name – the home of bluegrass music.

Not really into musical trivia?

That’s okay, there’s more this state is popular for. 

The Bluegrass State is also known internationally for its fried chicken, horse races, and bourbon.

Did you guess…

…Kentucky?

These 4 fun facts are enough to make us want to visit Kentucky. But we wanted to learn more. 

So we talked with Epro 360 alum Gregory Kaap to find out more about Kentucky and to find out why he chose to leave big-city life in Germany to experience small-town life at Morehead State University.

Close-up of Kentucky on Map

 

Why Gregory Chose Morehead State

“Location wasn’t my primary choice. I didn’t care where I would go. [I wanted] to experience something new.”

When Gregory came to Epro his number one priority was finding a school with a great astrophysics program. And because of his love of hunting his second priority was a school with a rifle team. Finding a university that could offer both his major and his hobby wasn’t guaranteed. But then there was Morehead State. 

Budget. Major. Hobby. Morehead had it all.

What helped Gregory most in finding this perfect fit was his flexibility on location and his openness to consider universities all over the U.S.

He was already happy choosing Morehead as his number one university. But when he got to campus he felt 110% satisfied. He immediately fell in love with the lakes, the forests, and the locals.

“The campus felt so homey.”

 

  • The official bat of Major League Baseball, the Louisville Slugger, was created in 1884 by a 17-year-old boy in Louisville.
  • Boxer Muhammad Ali and actor Johnny Depp are fellow Kentuckians.
  • Kentucky is not technically a state, it is considered a commonwealth.

Gregory was interested in studying astrophysics with his end goal being to work at NASA or a private space agency. Not only is he studying his major at Morehead State but he also has access to the university’s Space Science Center. The space center also makes Morehead State the perfect option if you are interested in Space Systems Engineering

Not interested in space?

Morehead offers 142 different undergraduate programs and 69 graduate programs to choose from. Click here to find out if your major is one of them.

Morehead State Football Game
Source: Morehead State University (Instagram: @moreheadstate)

 

What to do On Campus

Just because Morehead is a small town (technically in a forest) does not mean that you’ll miss out on a “typical U.S. college experience”.

Want to experience college football? You will at Morehead 

Want great networking opportunities? There’s a career fair every year. 

Want to learn more about Greek life (fraternities and sororities) in the U.S.? There are plenty for you to choose from. 

Student activities are important at Morehead and Gregory has definitely taken advantage of them.  Not only is he on the rifle team but he is also an active member of the International Student Community and has joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (TKE) as their treasurer. 

Did you know that fraternities had treasurers? Someone has to create budgets for events and collect membership fees. But there are plenty of other roles too. Joining a fraternity is more than just meeting new people. You can put your skills to use like Gregory, plan community service events, and go to networking events.

What about Morehead’s international community? 

Gregory has met students from Greece, Japan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and loves attending the international student events.

“The international office is handling everything amazing….We meet 1 or 2 times a month to talk about things in the local coffee shops. [The diverse international community] was a pleasant surprise.”

 

Living in Morehead

If you love nature and outdoor activities, you’ll fall in love with the town of Morehead.

Gregory told us that there were beautiful lakes. But we couldn’t believe how close they actually are.

“There’s a lake about 2 minutes [from] campus. You can go kayaking. It’s beautiful. There’s so many hiking trails or you can make your own trail.”

When you want to go further off campus, you can explore #more2morehead by visiting Cave Run Lake, the largest lake in Eastern Kentucky. 

Cave Run Lake is about a 1-hour drive from campus and is the perfect place to spend the day boating, fishing, or tubing. 

Even if you don’t like fishing, it’s worth people watching here. 

Why? 

Because the lake has more than 150 species of fish and is known as the Musky Capital of the South. So you’ll get to watch some fishing pros at work.

Man showing off big fish caught in lake

 

Living in Morehead will also give you a taste of U.S. small town life. 

Compared to the fast-paced lifestyle of bigger cities, walking around in Morehead strangers will say hello and even smile at you. It’s what many people consider the nice thing to do. Of course everyone is different but be prepared to experience some real Southern hospitality in Morehead. 

When you walk into a small shop to buy your groceries and someone asks you how your day is going…they really want to know. You’ll be shocked how genuine it is.

“Because you’re an international student the professors [and] everyone comes up to talk to you to know why you’re here. People are always open to help you. One of my professors showed me around on my [first] visits. We’re good friends. We go hunting together.”

 

Exploring Kentucky

Being the state of bourbon, blues, and everything from rivers to swampland – a Kentucky road-trip is a great idea. 

About 3 hours away you have Mammoth Cave, considered the “longest cave system in the world”. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, you can also find lots of underground animals including an endangered cave shrimp that is blind and albino. The cave tour is definitely worth a reservation, but you can also go camping, canoeing, and horseback riding. 

If you want to make a shorter trip, you can visit the  “Niagara of the South”. About 2.5 hours from Morehed, Cumberland Falls is 125 feet wide and seven stories tall (39 meters wide and 23 meters tall). This waterfall is a stunning sight during the day, but people also visit for the night view.

Why? 

Because Cumberland Falls is one of the few places in the world where you can see a moonbow on a regular basis. 

Never heard of a moonbow? 

It’s exactly what it sounds like –  a “rainbow” caused by the moon. 

You may also hear people call it a white rainbow or a lunar rainbow.

A moonbow can appear 2 days before up to 2 days after a full moon. Because this white rainbow needs a full moon, it can potentially happen every month. But the weather, water, and astronomical conditions have to be just right. So if you’re going to be in Morehead for your bachelor’s or master’s degree, we’d say you have plenty of months to try and catch this rare natural phenomena. 

Curious about some non-outdoorsy activities to add to your trip. 

Well, we wouldn’t be doing the state of Kentucky justice if we didn’t mention the world-famous Kentucky Derby. At its core the Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race in the city of Louisville. But in reality it is so much more.

The first Kentucky Derby race happened in 1875 and now attracts more than 150,000 people a year. The Derby is called “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, but people don’t just go for the horses. 

If you enjoy people watching, the Kentucky Derby considers itself one of the “greatest people-watching events in the world”. Because the extravagant hats are as important as the horses.

Black and pink hat from Kentucky Derby

 

With more than 100 years of history, make sure you plan ahead if you want to get tickets. There are tickets at all prices, from general admission (which means no seat) to the Derby Experience Package (that costs thousands of dollars).  

Don’t feel like heading into the race track?

Being in the city to experience the Kentucky Derby weekend is just as fun. You can explore Louisville and enjoy Thunder Over Louisville – the world’s largest fireworks display. 

If Kentucky was not on your to-visit list, we hope it is now.

 

And if you’d like to have your own personalized listing with great universities like Morehead State, get your free consultation today.  

You can also follow us on Instagram to learn more about our Epro 360 students and the universities they choose. 

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