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Graduation... Is it happening?

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I just got notification from the Graduate School that...

I am graduating from the School of Social Work!!!!

I will have to make sure that I send in all of my forms (just one paper), and buy my graduation gown and tassel.

I am quite excited about this - I will be graduating with a MSW degree (a master's in social work).

What are my plans?
Right now, I am trying to get all of my social work licensure figured out. Once I graduate, I will be able to apply for a LGSW or a LISW , which usually requires for one to have received a master's degree in social work.

How am I feeling? I am not quite sure how to describe it. I feel like I want to go on more schooling! Which has made me realize, maybe I want to do another degree? I will find out in a couple of months whether I got in this program I want to get in....

Wish me luck!

In the meantime, as we all become stressed over mid-terms, I want to send you some Elmo-love

Road trip to...BOYNTON!

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The advantages of attending a bigger University, such as the University of Minnesota, is that its health services are also bigger and more comprehensive. Being an International Student, having had the Boynton Health Insurance was really convenient.

As an international student, we are usually used to the Health Care in our countries - or health practices (such as drinking sprite when you have a cold, or taking a cold shower when you have a fever!). We are usually lucky to have our friends and family to take care of us - but when we are in the United States as international students, we sometimes don't have that support. Having an effective student health service center is essential when one is sick or needs additional support.

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I recently had to visit the Boynton Services, and I got all of these services covered or mostly covered by our Student Health Insurance
-Eye exam (plus contact lens fitting)
-Left ankle X-ray
-Sore Throat check-up
-Right wrist pain check up
-Medications

I was also able to make appointment to see a Primary Care Physician (the doctor who will be your main/primary doctor), which is usually recommended to have (most of our Primary Care Physicians are back home, so having one in the US can be important!)

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Just a reminder, the University of Minnesota now requires all international students, visiting scholars, and accompanying dependents to purchase the university's insurance - the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

It is flu season, so dress up, be warm, take care of yourself! Or you might have to take a trip to...Boynton!

See you next time!

Managing your budget!

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Hello Everybody!

I hope all of you are doing great?How are you coping with the changing weather?Some people say,the winters are here to stay,while others believe it is just a random spell!I hope it is a random spell because I haven't had enough of fall yet!:)

I was really busy last week.My sponsors invited me to UT Austin,where they organized a gateway orientation for the incoming Fulbrighters from Pakistan.They wanted me to talk about my experience and pass on any tips that I had from my experience to make their transition and survival easy.I guess I can talk about a lot of that in my blog too.The question that i got asked the most was to manage budget.Being a student,you sometimes have to live the bohemian way!This is not a compromise,this is the fun of being a student.Anyways,since most of us come with limited budget,here is what I suggest to all of you:

1."Live like a student"

2.Eat at home.Food cooked at home is healthy,economical and delicious.To tell you a secret,cooking is my stress buster.

3.Take advantage of free entertainment opportunities,like free fairs and festivals(we had a whole bunch of them in summer),free concerts and movies(in parks and in the coffman movie theater).

4.Minnesotans take pride in outdoor activities and unlike many other things to do,a hike across the state park in summer would not cost you anything.

5.Instead of having cars and worrying about insurance,maintenance,gas and parking bill,use Public transit.Minneapolis is one of the transit-ally blessed city.With the new light rail in place,the situation will even get better.The bus pass is really cheap and saves you a a lot of money.The cabs here are not very expensive and I sometimes share them with my friends when we go grocery shopping.

6.Buying in bulk is the best strategy to save money.I buy all the non-perishables in bulk and in the value packs.I dont have to buy them every month plus I get a good value of my money.

7.However,watch out for the consumer coupons.They are good if you are buying for a family of four,but if you are just shopping for yourself,you don't have to shop BOGO style,and at least I ended up over spending on stuff I didn't really need.

8.Dont compromise your quality of life.The place where you are living should be clean,well lit and ventilated.It is important for your physical and emotional well being.your rent should take most of your monthly budget,everything else can be managed.I recommend living close to campus so you spend less time commuting and stressing out.

9.To buy clothes and shoes,I would recommend waiting for sales and big events like the black Friday(I cant wait for the next:D).Stores like Marshalls and Nordstrom rack offers branded stuff from last season at affordable prices.

Did I miss anything?Please feel free to ask any questions that you might have regarding budgeting and I will try my best to help you.

Until the next blog,take care:)
best

Calling all students! We want to tell you about an exciting opportunity to explore more of Minnesota. Do camping, canoeing, campfires under the stars, making great new friends, and going to see new places sound fun to you? If so, ISSS invites you to join our Wilderness Week program to northern Minnesota.

Dates are August 18-22, 2011. This will be a great chance to meet students from all over the world. All international and US students (new and returning) are eligible. This is your chance to try (or try again) canoeing, hiking and camping in Minnesota! Enjoy campfires, stories, and time to meet new friends before the semester begins.

The cost of the trip is $395.00 per person. This price includes transportation, meals, group equipment, and guides.

For information email isssww@umn.edu, visit http://isss.umn.edu/programs/wildernessweek/ or call 612-626-7100.

Don't delay and miss your chance! When we talk with graduating students about what they wish they had done while at the U, exploring other areas of Minnesota and especially nature are top on the list.

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Homesick? No, I have USsick!

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Spring has come here in Minnesota!

I am happy and excited but simultaneously have complicated feeling, because Spring means it's almost the time to leave here for me. I will miss my life in the University of Minnesota...

1 year and 8 months passed unbelievably quickly, and I have only several months to stay here. I had not thought that, but actually I feel, "I don't want to go back to Japan yet!"

Wait, I still love Japan. But I have too many reasons that try not to let me go .


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Crisis of Home Country

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As most of you already know, my country, Japan is facing several crisis.

Who did forecast this situation? I had never even imagined it, and I am having feeling that i had never had before. I still feel like all of my heart, attention, and mind is not in the US but in Japan.

What do you think you do if your country has crisis during your study abroad...?


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It's Spring Break!

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Hi all,
Thanks for coming back to my blog this week:-) It's spring break and I am enjoying it in New York! I am very excited to take a break from classes and my busy work schedule. That does not mean I am not using the time to also catch up on school projects. However, I am spending the most of my spring break catching on sleep and having fun. At the U of M a number of graduate students take time off from school during breaks and holidays such as this to rejuvenate after the busy first half of the semester.
I go back to Minnesota next week to start the last half of my spring semester. I am sure I will be rejuvenated and ready for it! I am sure you are also getting ready to make your final decision on the graduate programs to attend next Fall. Choose the University of Minnesota for a fulfilling and exciting graduate school experience and remember to have fun while you are at it like I am! Spring Break NY 2011 036.JPG

A fall into the pit, a gain in your wit!

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Hello Everybody!

Welcome to the spring semester of 2011 at the U of M!

Have you had a great winter vacation? Mine was awesome--I went back home and visited my families and friends. We kept talking, eating and playing. I guess this is how it should be looked like once you are away from home for a long time, isn't it?

I would say everything went on pretty well during my stay at home except one thing, which is I got my stuff stolen two days in a row--one is my ipod touch, the other is my digital camera. This is the thing I would like to emphasize for all international students once they go back home either just for vacation or post-graduation career--please be very very mindful about your surroundings since it changed greatly.

I am happy to be back

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Hi everyone!
Happy New Year 2011 and welcome back to my blog!
I have some exciting news for you. Over the winter break (or summer considering I was in Africa) I got married! I was very happy to see all my friends and relatives back home in Tanzania and to meet my new family in Swaziland. The weather was perfect and my wedding day was the best day of my life. I was and I still am very very happy! It was hard planning a wedding while studying last fall but it was all worth it in the end and more proof that there is life in graduate school! I am happy to be back in Minnesota (despite the chilling weather) to start my spring semester and my last year of graduate school!
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"Whip it"--Skater girl!

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If you ask me what is one important thing in my life that has shaped me? I would say...SPORT for sure! It is a significant part of who I am, and the thing I would not function well if I miss out!

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