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Far from home, a group of University of Wyoming students from Nepal enjoys the cool summer evening playing soccer on the recreation fields on the east end of campus.
The 20 or so Nepali students join a few locals and other international students in spirited games. About 50 students from Nepal remain in Laramie during the summer.
“Laramie has one of the most beautiful summers anywhere, and playing soccer is a great outdoor activity,” says Basant Giri, a Ph.D. student in chemistry. He says students can play in the evening and still have time to do research and class assignments.
Soccer is one of the major games played in Nepal, and Giri says the Nepali football team is one of the best in south Asia.
“We play outdoor soccer during the summer and indoor volleyball during winter,” says Loknath Adhikari, a Ph.D. student in atmospheric science.
Team leader Pradeep Neupane adds that these group games enhance friendship among the community members. Additionally, the students sometimes organize outdoor picnic and potluck events around Laramie.
When they aren’t playing, the Nepali students watch soccer on TV, and got together to view EuroCup 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.
“I believe every Nepali loves soccer,” says one of the team leaders, Sankar Tamang, former president of FNUW (Friends of Nepal at University of Wyoming).
He says FUNW organizes talk programs, offers welcome and farewell events for its members, celebrates their new year in April and sponsors big festivals during September and October.
Recently, UW has started a collaboration with Nepali universities and research centers to exchange knowledge and train students and faculty members.