Thursday, March 31, 2016

Summer at USU - What this means for International Students

Summer is probably one of the best times because it offers a variety of options for students. Firstly, Summer is basically a 'go have fun' time. You are not required to take classes in the summer so you  can use this time to travel home or travel around the US. If you decide to take classes, like what I did, courses are usually shorter but each class period is longer; for example, you can finish a regular semester course (about 4 months) in just one month in the summer, but you will be required to attend 2 hour lectures x 4 days a week instead of 50min lectures x 3 days a week. So basically, it's an expedited way to finish your classes however it's a lot more intense because you still have to cover most or all of the material. Summer tuition and housing costs are really really cheap - like dirt cheap compared to what you pay in the regular semester so it's a great opportunity for students to take advantage of. Tentative summer tuition rates can be found here.

As an international student, Summer is also a good time to pursue your internships. Last summer, I was an engineering intern at Autoliv - a car safety production company. As a junior mechanical engineering student I wanted to discover what real word engineers do, so I applied, got my interview, got accepted, and WOW, what an eye opening experience. I got to work with a team of engineers who are confident and experts at what they do. At my internship, the company put me through a series of training and taught me skills such as professionalism and team collaboration that I would never have learned in academia. I would definitely recommend international students to seek out internships because this will give you a competitive edge after you graduate and seeking for employment. (I have attached a picture of my intern work space)

Alternatively, Summer could be an opportunity to travel around Utah (renowned for it's outdoors) to discover the national parks, step out of your comfort zone and try the outdoor sports and experiences such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and so much more.... Travel to different cities and top destinations around the US or even go beyond the borders and explore the countries and islands nearby. (See pictures for my outdoor experience with some friends in summer)

There's a lot to do over the summer, but as international students, you will want to plan your time wisely between academics, personal, and pleasure. Find what fits you best and just give it your best but no matter what, Summer is always a good time!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Programs at USU

Find a Degree

Are you wondering if Utah State has the right program for you? Are you still in high school trying to decide what do you want to study? or are you and undeclared major student trying to find out what you want to do in life?

If any of this applies to you, then you are reading the right blog.

Utah State University has about 203 undergraduate degrees from eight different colleges:
  • Caine College of the Arts  
  • College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science
  • Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
  • Jon M. Huntsman School of Business  
  • Quinney College of Natural Resources 
To look up any degree from any of this colleges you just need to click on this link and here you will find a browse where you can narrow down you search by choosing undergraduate, college and program.

Our University also offers 102 different minors, 97 Master degrees, and 43 doctoral degrees. Don't be afraid to explore,and email the advisors with any questions that you have. Once you select a degree this will have all the information and contact persons for it.


Religious life on USU campus

Whether you are a religious person or not, I feel like its important to know the religious/spiritual environment of the USU campus and Logan.

For some of us religion is a huge part of our life. As a religious person I would like to share few things about the religious life in Logan. Coming from a place with predominately christian ( Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Protestant, Catholic) and Islam faith, I had little to no information about the Mormon religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints commonly called the Mormon church is the dominant religion in Utah. LDS religion is a huge part of  the majority of people in Logan and Utah in general.

With that said, below are the different religious churches in Logan Utah. Click on the links to explore and learn more about them.

Logan Islamic Center

Saint Thomas Aquinas & St. Jerome Catholic Church

Logan Lighthouse Ministry Non denominational Christian Church

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

New Life Fellowship/ Assembly of God Church- Christian Church

First Presbyterian Church

St. John's Episcopal Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA)

Alpine Church Logan- Christian Church

Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple (1:30hrs from Logan)

St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City 
My first time visiting an LDS Temple, at the Salt Lake City Center Temple Open House 

went to visit the Cathedral of Madeleine in Salt Lake City
A beautiful Roman Catholic church. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Programs at Utah State University

Utah State University offers large variety of academic programs. In this blog post I will be talking about some of our Academic Programs.

*Note: the list does not represent the full list of programs, but rather focuses on a few

Biological Engineering (BS)

Besides being a profession that has increasingly become highly demanded in the job market, this degree is special mix of engineering and science disciplines. It provides students with numerous reserach opportunities and allows them to choose a focus areas such as Biomedical Engineering, Bioprocess Engineering, Synthetic Biological Engineering, and many more.

Aviation Technology - Professional Pilot (BS)

Have you even wanted to become a professional pilot? In Utah State University you can!
This program gives you the factual and practical knowledge to further pursue career as a professional pilot flying commercial airlines and even operate you own personal plane. There are two different emphases to choose from: Fixed Wing and Rotorcraft.

International Business (BS,BA)

This one of a kind academic program gives not only knowledge about how to do business, deal with customers and products, but also understand the social, political, and cultural dimensions of business in an international environment.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in their major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

Political Science (BS,BA)

Political science program will help you learn more about government, public policies, political processes, and political behavior. This program as well creates great learning environment and helps student to gain experience through internships and international trips.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in their major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

After Graduation - OPT (Optional Practical Training)

It's come to that time of the year where seniors will be graduating (May 2016). Unbelievable to recall that four years has passed by in a blink of an eye. This is a time where graduating students are a little nervous and perhaps a little confused and uncertain about what to do after they have obtained their degree - like myself. As international students, we have a few options:
1. Continue your studies, which means apply to graduate school (anywhere you prefer) and maintain your student status in the US.
2. Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) so that you are given the legal right to work in the US for a limited amount of time (depending on your major, usually at least 1 year)
3. Let's be real and honest, if the US is not your best fit, pack your bags, say farewell to your friends in the US and pursue your career elsewhere.

The focus today is on OPT and I will share my experience as I am currently going through this process. To summarize the importance of OPT, this is basicall
y a document that allows you to work in the US as an international student, similar to having a driver's license that allows you drive a car. OPT is a great opportunity to get work experience in the US as you progress through your career. I mean, why study all those text books, grind through homework assignments, and stress over exams if there is no practical use or further use of that knowledge? Did you come all this way to get a good grade on your transcript or are you building your foundation to your career? You probably want both.
OPT will help you build that foundation by offering you the opportunity to be engaged professionally in the real world. OPT is a privilege given to international students and I definitely recommend it.

The application process for OPT is very simple. It took me under an hour to get all documents ready and submitted.  It does take time (about a month or two or three) to process the application so make sure you apply in advance (don't worry, the school will send you reminders regarding OPT).

You've come all this way, why not take an extra step and live your educational experience in the US to the fullest?

International Banquet ~ Embracing Diversity at USU

Definitely the biggest international event on campus! The International Banquet is an event organized and delivered by the International Student Council (ISC). The purpose of the banquet is to have a good time while celebrating and recognizing the international cultures that are represented on campus. At this event, outstanding international students and international clubs are also recognized for their accomplishments throughout the year. The audience were in for a treat; stunning decorations, performances from over twenty different countries, delicious food, and of course, end off with an after party. As the President of the ISC, I am proud of my team for delivering a stunning banquet, truly a night worthy of praise and memory. No more words, needed, see the pictures for yourselves. Congratulations to the ISC and international community for a successful banquet. Go International! Go Aggies!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Apply to USU

Apply to Utah State University! It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life. To make sure you send in your application on time, read the guidelines below. It is very important to stay in touch with admissions staff and send follow-up emails.


Fall Semester - May 1
Spring Semester - October 1
Summer Semester - February 1

1. Submit Application and Pay the Application Fee 

 - Go to the website below and submit your application

2. Send Official Transcripts

- Make sure to send in your official transcripts to USU Office of Global Engagement

International Admissions

Office of Global Engagement
Utah State University
9545 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-9545 U.S.A.

3. English Language Proficiency

- There are several ways to show your level of English proficiency
- Other testing formats about which you can find out more in the link below)

4. Funding Requirements

- Go ahead and look at tuition and fees. As part of your application, you will be asked to show financial proof to be able to attend USU.

5. Send Your Application Materials Electronically

- To submit your application electronically. go to the link below:

6. Send Your Passport Copy

- You will need to upload a copy of your passport to the link below