Thursday, April 21, 2016

Luau - A Celebration of Polynesian Heritage

Last night, we join the Polynesian students to celebrate their 20th Anniversary Luau. Luau is a tradition hosted by the Polynesian Student Union (PSU) - a student group that is part of Access and Diversity at USU. Polynesian like to describe themselves as "Eat a lot, Loud, and Obnoxious". As entertained guests, we  witnessed and experienced what it's like to be a part of Polynesian culture as we meander to the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Tonga. As the stage was filled with blossoming ladies and buff men, we couldn't help ourselves but stare with amazement and excitement. Once again, PSU does not cease to impress. Cheeeeee Huuuuuu!




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Global Picnic - A Diversity Tradition at USU

Yesterday, the multicultural clubs and international clubs along with many other clubs put together an event - Global Picnic. This event encourages different cultural groups to sell foods that are similar back home. It's an opportunity for them to fund raise some money and also an excuse to get away from work and socialize a little. To top the experience, clubs were also invited to perform purely for the pleasure of entertainment. As you can see in the pictures, it was a beautiful sunny day, students had a tonne of fun, and the food selection was diverse. Just one of those little fun things that USU does to acknowledge diversity :)






Leadership Opportunities at USU

If coming to study in the US is to obtain a degree and only a degree, then you might want to reconsider. As we embark on our education career, we learn and grow with everything and everyone around us. You can only learn so much by observing but you will learn a lot more if you do it. This is to encourage everyone to look beyond their majors, textbooks, and projects and engage in other opportunities around USU that will certainly be valuable experiences.

For example: I am a mechanical engineering major - ideally, I should have no life and study all day. That's not the case for me. Mechanical Engineering was my main focus, but I wanted more than just a degree from USU. I was passionate about people, activities, entertainment, culture, and learning so I started by joining different clubs on campus. Trust me, there's hundreds of clubs on campus varying from tennis clubs, to language clubs, multicultural clubs, and even gaming clubs. As for me, I started with multicultural clubs where I met my first batch of friends in a foreign country. These were some of the best moments during my college years and till this day, I remember them vividly. From the club, my social network only got bigger and bigger. Soon I was involved with international students and was advised to run for executive council (leadership positions). I won the elections and was part of a team of leaders. Soon after I became involved with the Ambassador program - another leadership opportunity. As you can see, the network and level of involvement just extends. When I graduate from USU, these leadership experiences and skills are more meaningful to me than a marketable piece of paper - a degree.

After all, college is just a point in time where we expose ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable to an academic environment. As young men and women, there's always something new to learn, improve, and perfect on. College offers an ocean of opportunities for you to craft and refine yourselves into a more educated, sophisticated, and appreciated individuals.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Graduation!

GRADUATION !! Yes! It is that time of the year that every senior have been waiting for. This word comes with mix emotions, and I say mix emotion because this day it is so important not only for those who are graduating, but also for families and friends.

I want to dedicate this post to my international friends who I love dearly and are graduating this spring. I want to say how much I appreciate all of you, my experience wouldn't have been the same without you by my side. To my dear Henon Salomon, I want you to know how much I look up after you, you are a great friend and student. I admired how dedicated and caring you are. I always feel comfortable around you and I'm going to miss having you around . I know that I have only known you for a year, but to me you are like a sister. To my amazing friend Yuzhen Luo, you are the smartest and the funniest guy I know. I will miss picking on you, having you around and how easy is for you to forget where you park your car or where you left your phone. I will miss our rehearsal time and watching you dance better than me "like a girl" (Bryden's words).  To my awesome friend Bryden Yow, I will miss how great we got along, how you where always at the office because you had nothing else to do, how easy it was for me to talk to you and just talk about pretty much anything. To my Armenian friend Areg Haytayan, you are an amazing musician. It just melt my heart when I see you playing the violin, you are incredibly talented. 

To all of you, I wish you the best out there in this world of predators. Go and be the best version of you self, never give up on your dreams, and remember that this is only the beginning of your journey. Enjoy the path along because these are the memories that will stick with us for the long ride. It is great getting there, but I think that what make the ride more enjoyable are the friends that we make on the way and the adventures that we live.  I love you guys and I wish you the best of luck! 

Go Aggies!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

International Students - Useful Knowledge About Logan Utah

If you consider USU, be sure to be well equipped on knowledge and facts about the state of Utah. Indeed, you may be just here to pursue your degree but while you are here, you will live here; meaning what you eat, see, hear, and do will matters to your personal welfare and experience abroad. What I am about to share is solely based on my personal experience. Although it may not fully portray the lives of other international students in Utah, it does share a lot in common with other students.

USU is located in Logan - a small college town in northern Utah. By all means, Google or search "Logan Utah" on the internet and you'll get a better idea. If you grew up in a big city, Logan may be a shock to you at first glance. Do not expect skyscrapers, wide complex roads, flashing billboards, and congested traffic - there's only a main street and a beautiful USU campus.

Food wise, the local stores in Logan provide the basics but if you are looking for specific ingredients or foods native to your country, it can be challenging. However, Salt Lake City, the biggest city in Utah, is only 1h30m drive away. This is where you are more likely to find traditional and cultural related food, fashion, accessories, etc...

Utah is known for its outdoors. In warmer seasons, national parks are always a getaway destination. Camping and hiking among many others are also popular activities. In winter, skiing and snowboarding is definitely a sport that you should try. Utah hosted the winter Olympics in 2002, leaving some of the worlds top skiing resorts for the people to enjoy.

Religiously, Utah is heavily populated with the Latter Day Saints (LDS) or Mormons. To find out more about this religion, click here. The community is very welcoming, polite, and kind. Families are large; a married couple having ten children is no surprise. In general, Mormons are committed and live strictly by their religious codes.

Academic wise, Logan is probably one of the top and safest places to pursue an education. The crime rates are extremely low and your lifestyle can be as simple or as perplex as you prefer. It's yours to discover.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opportunities around campus

Here at Utah State University we have a lot of opportunities for all of you to get involve. some of this opportunities are:
  1. USU sports club: this ones are under campus recreation.  http://www.usu.edu/campusrec/club_sports/club_sports here you will be able to  find intramural sports, club sports, outdoor programs, fitness programs, and aquatic programs. We have 14 club sports as if right now including baseball, men's soccer, swimming, hockey, rodeo, cycling and others.
  2. clubs and organization : Most of them can be found at http://www.usu.edu/ususa/clubsandorgs/  Here you will be able to find the departmental clubs, and after selecting the college of you preference you can view all the club under it. In this page you will be able to pre-view the club or sing up for it.
  3. International Student Council: International Student Council is a student organization that is made up of    student representatives from different countries at Utah State University.  The main purpose of ISC is to unite all the international students at USU,  provide services for them, and promote cultural diversity, interests and  welfare of International Students. In this link http://www.usu.edu/isc/ you can find more about this organization.
  4. International Ambassador: To me this is one of the greatest opportunity that an international student can be offer, it will help develop your leadership skills and communication skills.
  5. Service center: https://www.usu.edu/servicecenter/htm/calendar FOR THE ONES THAT LOVE TO VOLUNTEER LIKE ME HERE IS OUR SERVICE CENTER PAGE FOR MORE INFO ON WHAT THEI DO.
  6. A-team:A-Team members are the facilitators of campus orientation programs, including SOAR and University Connections. They continue a Peer Mentor relationship with a small amount of students throughout their entire freshman year. http://www.usu.edu/soar/join/
  7. USUSA: Student body officers represent the student voice in the discussions and decisions that shape all aspects of Aggie life, both academically and socially. Members of the executive council and college senate not only get great experience and a killer line on a resume, but major stipends as well.
                    
 International Student council                                              







                    Ambassadors