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Still Feel Like Summer

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While I put my thought to write this week blog, I could feel this is about to make me feel homesick. In anyhow, this week I am sharing everyone about my experience during the past winter break in my hometown Bangkok, Thailand. This is gonna be very random blog with lots of photographs, by the way. :D

Here were my checklist that I made from my trip:


-visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia and attend a Cambodian friend (of my family) wedding.

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sightseeing at S-21 Genocide camp in Phnom penh

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group dancing in the wedding I attended


-visited Northern Thailand including four provinces Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae, and Lumphang to meet my old roommate family (and she just delivered her baby!) Also visited my uncle and my aunt. Visited my parents' hometown.


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sightseeing at Baan Si Dum (Black House), Chiang Rai

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Meet a craftman while he was working

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The craftman's work will become at part of this sculpture

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Inside the main gallery of Baan Si Dum


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Four-people shot: My friend, my ex-roommate, Maple (in her belly at that time), and me

-visited the border of Thailand-Myanmar called "the golden triangle."

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The golden triangle gate to Myanmar

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Crowded market at the golden triangle


-visited two music colleges in Bangkok as a guest-lecturer

-visited temple to have the Buddhist ceremony for 100-year anniversary the pass-away of my great grand-mother (she was 102, by the way.)

-visited my grand-mother and other familty members(my father's side)

-spent time with my BIG FAT thai-chinese family(my mother's side) on Pre-chinese new year day.


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my BIG FAT thai-chinese family (I try to imitate the "Big Fat Greet Family" movie :D)


-attended my best friend wedding. It was a triple-language wedding: thai, chinese, and english!

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My friend and I and her new husband, her Bostonian college sweetheart <3


-attended my friend's vocal recital

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congratulated my friend a baritone Ghittinant Chins after the recital


-meet my good old pals! (and lots of friends!)

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A dinner party with good old friends at one of their place


-visited the hospital multiple time to have the health checked up and a surgery (I am ok now.)


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Myself resting before the surgery

-had a dental checked

-had my haircut and permed

-thai massages

-watched thai movie

-more temples and palaces!

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The contrast between old and new building at the Suan Pakkard Palace, Bangkok

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Peacefulness inside the group of building in the Suan Pakkard Palace

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The Lacquer Pavilion where the interior is all painted in gold on black lacquer.

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I found a funny thai-culinary section in the painted wall


-shopping shopping and shopping!

-food food food!


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O-Sushi!: great japanese food, one of my favorite food, can be found every where around town, Bangkok

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Noodle is everywhere: noodle bowl ready to be served during busy lunchtime, Lumphang.

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Here is what facinating: the authentic thai-tea making station!, Phrae

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And the store-owner allowed me to finish making my own thai tea


-and fresh air!


Now, can you imagine that there were so many things to do, soooo many places to visit, and Soooooooo many people, friends and family to meet? I still cannot believe that it has been over! as I still can feel the summer vibes followed me back here to Minneapolis. To speak of, who would have thought that Minnesotans are having such a mild winter this year; What a nice way welcoming me back (fingers crossed...)

40 days hometrip it was such wonderful break! Beside that it gave me such a strong jet lack(con), not only it recharged my energy so much(pro) but also it made me realized how much more appreciation I gained in having my family, my friends, my culture, not to mention the sun, hot air, and the food!


Now the fact that I am expecting another year before graduate(finger crossed again), I imagine how much I will learn and will change in this last year being away from home?


Still feel homesick, yet still feel like summer;
::Banchinda::

Can I survive the winter? Yes U can!

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Today is October 7th, 2011.

The weather, rather pleasant in its 80's (or 27 degrees Celsius as I still have a hard time figuring out Fahrenheit and Celsius).

I have nothing to complain until I realize, it is October 7th...We have been one month in school, and we are technically 2 months away from the dreadful (suspense music) WINTER!

To tell you the truth, my experiences with Minnesota Winter have not been awful. See picture below:

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Ok, ok, I can see from the look on your faces, this is not what you expected! I did not either. But don't worry about it! MN also has 3 more seasons:

Fall (Autumn):

Considered the beginning of the academic semester, or August to December, it is also the season when leaves change their colors and the scenery is beautiful. spring.jpg


Spring:

Considered the second part of the academic calendar, or also a season when everything comes back to life! Some students have Commencement or their May Graduation at the end of the Spring Semester, but many other students also have different times of the year when they graduate! Here is my undergraduate commencement picture with my mom and my undergraduate international advisor: spring 1.jpg

And my favorite season...

Summer: This summer, I started working for the International Student and Scholar Services. It is also called in Minnesota as "Construction Season", because of all the construction that is going on. Hey! Want to see what construction looks like at the University of Minnesota? Check Banchinda's second picture on her blog!

Summer is also the season that when it comes back every year, makes me feel it was worth waiting through the winter for that moment of warm sunshine...Whatever weather you enjoy, MN sure has them all. And there is always SOMETHING to do for every weather.

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As for my title question, yes, I do believe you can survive the winter; I have survived it at least 6 times already as I have been in MN since 2005. The University of Minnesota, as well as the state of MN offers plenty of activities for all seasons and taste! See you next time!

U of M through my view

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First of all, this is not only my first post but also the first ever post of our International Student Ambassador (ISA)'11-12 team! As I asked myself, what would I first and most curious about as a prospective student of University of Minnesota?

The first thing came up to my mind was the campus atmosphere as from a student's view from daily life. Somethings that are not in the official school website, as you all would think that the best pictures from the best spots on the perfect weather day would be picked. Therefore, today I open my mini gallery exhibiting "U of M through my view" some of my own photos over the past three semesters.

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::1:: Do you bike in your country? (I don't..) Twin cities is one of the bike friendliest places in the US. Bike lane is everywhere in the U of M as well as around the Twin cities. We also have some skateboarders and rollerbladers using the bike lane as well.

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In addition, we also have Nice Ride Minnesota, a non-profit who bring to public a bike sharing project to the Twin Cities. Around the U of M there are multiple Nice Ride stations. Isn't this an interesting way to share?

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::2:: Do you like working out? (I am in and out of it...) In this picture, as I was walking home, many joggers passed me by around campus. Whenever I work out, I jog outside when the weather is nice; I visit the U of M's recreational center and use the elliptical machine when the weather is less friendly.

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::3:: U of M has multiple campuses. Here is the East bank, the main part of the Twin cities campus; and it is huge! I took this picture in the summer. ..Wanna see how it looks currently?


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::4:: This picture was taken yesterday. Now you can see that the Eastbank does not look its best currently. As there is the "center corridor light rail" project construction along this street. Oh... the huge building on the right is the Coffman student union where we can hangout, watch movie, buy books, dine, listen to the music, and tons of stuff more!

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::5:: Now, I turned 180 degree to take the opposite view. You will see a strange, unique building on the left --what do you think it is?--, the Science Teaching & Student Services building on the right, and a bridge linked to the west bank campus in the center.


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::6:: the strange building I mentioned is Weisman Art Museum, designed by a famous architect Frank O Gehry.


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::7:: Yesterday was the museum's re-openning night after a year-long expansion project. (Do you see there is a acrobatic show going on at the openning party???) As I love visiting museum; and I can not wait to visit this place!

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::8:: Here is the bridge connecting the Eastbank and the Westbank. Usually there are tons of people pass by. But I took this picture in the summer and there were not many people... (Notice that my pictures tend to avoid including people in there; I try to be aware not to be impolite while photographing in public.) In addition, please enjoy Minneapolis's downtown view on the right across the Mississippi river.


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::9:: What a beautiful sky in the spring/summer! Now, let's cross the bridge to the Westbank.

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::10:: Now we have arrived in the westbank. It is less crowded place..(especially I took this in the summer..) This is the front of Social Science building.

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::11:: Look how the snow turned the ground into white. Now we have entered the winter photo collection. Winter in Minnesota usually starts in November and last until April. And I took this picture while I was in the school of music building which you are seeing its partial on the left; on the right is the Rarig center.


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::12:: I took this picture when the Twin cities got hit by a blizzard storm. The storm brought a gigantic pile of snow everywhere.

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::13:: This is how a walkway looks like in the winter, which I walk to the bus stop daily.

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::14:: Last winter when it was really really cold, my apartment's windows had an ice grown from the inside. I had to take this picture because I would never seen this in my country.


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::15:: Wintergear = warm overcoat + gloves + scarf + hat.
Additional advice: be colorful!

Speaking of photographing, it has been always a hobby that many international students turn to when away from home and wonder about new place as well as to keep as souvenirs.

To me, the dynamic seasons fascinate me to most. They say coconut juice is so exotic (it is not exotic to me...); I would say fall's color and winter's snow work the same way for me (these are not exotic to them!) The total of four -- one hard-core and three unbelievably beautiful - portray Minnesota's weather!


See you soon!
::Banchinda::

Why U?

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I will not lie.When I told my dad I am joining University of Minnesota,he was a little apprehensive.I got admission offers from some other universities where I could have been closer to some family and the weather would have been less challenging.However my experience here has proven all his fears and some of my own wrong.I am glad I took the decision to join the campus of one of the biggest public research university,and I have been happy ever since.The campus is full of resources for graduate students both in terms of academics and life.The program allowed flexibility for choosing the minor and courses I wanted to take.The international student office offered many programs which allowed me to get more involved in campus life and make new friends.The city is beautiful and the people are nice.The best thing about Minnesota however is its weather..yes no kidding!I am from a part of the world where it is summer for the most part of the year,I experienced spring,fall and winter for the first time in my life and the experience was great.I was surprised to see how people enjoyed every season including winter.Indeed I am looking forward to the next winter because I want to enjoy the winter sports and festivals which I missed last year.Yes,just wear your winter gear,grab your hot chocolate and enjoy winter!:)
In the end I just have to say that I LOVE myU!!

Most beautiful snow

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Norwegians say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes."

As we prepare for another bout of the white material, what can you do to make the most out of a snow-heavy February?

Happy New Semester, readers!

Spring semester 2011 is here! I'm happy to come back to this blog.

Actually, this is the busiest semester for me ever, but I'm doing pretty good. A lot of study, work, but many fun events as well. Are you wondering how come that I enjoy the winter in "Minnesota Cold"?

Here is what's going on here... :)

Hi there!


Do you like winter? Do you like snow? If the answer is "Yes!", then I'm sure that the state of Minnesota (or Minne-snow-da) won't disappoint you!

If the answer is "No!", and your biggest concern is afraid of the extra coldness in Minnesota, then you are just on the right webpage!

We won't let the coldness be a hinder towards your selection of the University of Minnesota, since we are going to provide you some useful and practical tips to better ease you into the Minnesota winter life!

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