Recently in Support/Resources on campus Category

Are you on the right track?

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Hey hey fellow blog readers! It's been a while since my last blog so I hope the things I'm going to share will be more helpful. So for today's blog I would just like to share my story. Something I experienced a couple of weeks ago and in a way changed the direction I want to go with my life.

From past conversations I've had with my friends and colleagues, some of them were not sure with the path they are taking. Meaning that they are not so sure if their major is what they want to actually be working in in the future. This is a common problem that some of us experience.

For me architecture is an interest that developed because of my love for drawing. After graduating high school, going into architecture was actually my plan B. However, now that I look back I would have not enjoyed my life if I went with my plan A. I chose architecture because it was the only field where I can channel my passion for drawing and have my parent's approval. But since I was a kid I loved to draw monsters and fantasy creatures. This was probably influenced by my love for RPG games like Final Fantasy.

A few weeks ago I went to Glendale to compete in Walt Disney Imaginations 2013 as a finalist. It was the best thing that happened to me this year. One of the highlights for me was to talk with the Imagineers and hearing their stories. I also met with other finalists and was inspired by their stories as well. They all had one thing in common: they were pursuing what they love. This got me thinking. Now I'm starting to polish my skill of drawing fantasy creatures and monsters and if architecture doesn't work for me then I would pursue my dream of becoming a creature designer.

It is not too late to change your career path. If you love it then you should put your best effort to achieve it. Sometime in the future you will come to that crossroad and before that day comes you should be well prepared for it. If changing career paths is too drastic for you or you do not have your parent's approval, then having a minor in what you love can be another way. The University Catalog can help you find your minor and whether the university offers it. Another way would be to join student groups that are related to your true passion. The Student Unions & Activities can help you find a student group you are looking for and the Groups at U of M facebook page can also help you out.

Again, if you really love it you should try your best to pursue it. And hey, wouldn't it be awesome to work in a field that you truly love and are passionate about? See you guys soon!

Useful resources to consider before applying for internships or jobs

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For some of you it may be the time of the year that you are looking for internship opportunities or are preparing for job interviews. You may have already gotten some work done on your cover letter or resume. Some of you may be doing these things for the first time which is why it can always be beneficial to get a second opinion to better prepare yourselves. Last year I did an internship at an employment service of a non-profit agency and thus learned a lot about the benefits of having a marketable resume, cover letter and good interviewing skills; all of which you can obtain through job counseling.

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Luckily, the university has many useful resources to help prepare students for the job market once they graduate or if they look for some work experiences while still in school. For international students in particular, the International Student Scholar Service offers useful resources. Appointments can be made with a counselor where students can learn how to write a resume, receive feedback on their resumes, learn how to prepare for an interview or schedule a mock interview in order to prepare for the actual one and much more. In addition, special career services for the students' college departments are also available that provide the same type of services and help prepare them for starting careers in their field of interest.
But even before you access these services you can prepare a lot on your own as well, such as by accessing resume and cover letter writing tips, reviewing interviewing strategies and looking through suggestions on how to prepare for interviews; all of which can be found online. What's more is that the university also hosts a job and internship fair where students can meet employers of interest for job or internship opportunities. For more information on the fair, potential employers that will attend, or how you can prepare yourself for the fair itself, please consult the following link.

Other useful lessons that I learned from my internship is that it never hurts to look for opportunities to expand your resume and working experience. As you are well aware by now, the university and the Twin Cities offer numerous opportunities for students to be involved. Never hesitate to join a student organization or get some volunteer experience that can later benefit the outline of your resume. These can provide you with new skills and experiences that you can later bring into a position you are applying for. In addition, finding out what makes you unique and what your strengths are never hurts to know when you think about how you are going to present yourself in the actual job interview.

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Good luck with the applications, interviews and make sure you use some of the resources available here for you. Until next time, my friends and have a happy Thanksgiving.

Need a Place to Study outside Home?

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Hello every one! How's your semester going? Isn't this semester went by soooooo quick? It is midterm time already. I cannot believe it!!! All papers deadlines and midterm exams are approaching. Are you ready yet? Do you need to find a place to study?

Hmmm....regarding to the pie chart I posted above, I have to admit that my routine of working from home would look not that much different. After thousands attempts, I finally gave up studying at home and started to seek study spaces on campus. Here is what I have came up with!

+++++they are all great on campus locations, which mean, free wireless internet, easy access to computer labs and printers, friendly staff members on site who might be able to give you a hand any time during your stay, and etc+++++

1.Deep quiet study areas in Wilson Library: they are my all time favorites!!!
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2.Coffee shops in Walter Library (basement) and Wilson Library (basement): Sadly they do not open on weekends but it would be great choice for those who need food and beverage refreshment close by on weekdays.

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3.Group study rooms with whiteboards in Walter, Wilson, Bio-Med, etc: great place for study groups and team projects!!!
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4. TechStop in 90 Blegan Hall on westbank: super close to Blegan connivence store and lunch place.
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5. Small breakout room in Jones Hall: you will need to check out keys from CLA language Center in the same building. Here is the small room calendar
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Happy Midterms & Studying everyone!!!

How To Keep Healthy And Calm At The U of M

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Being calm and healthy while living Grad Student's life can be really tough just to think about it. If I see myself I can tell you that I haven't been at the Gym three months ago. But I think I found the formula to be healthy and calm at the U of M. There is no magical theory. For me there are just three different activities and actions that you can follow and your life would be more enjoyable. Of course if you feel that you don't need any of this advices just keep siting in your desk, writing, reading and calculating. For those how forgot about these fours things, just keep reading:

1. Schedule time, weekly, being active: you can go to the Rec Center at the U of M. It is FREE, unless you want to pay for classes such as Yoga and personal training and so on. Here's the link http://www.recsports.umn.edu/. Don't make excuses; you can go at least once per week.

2. Eat well and not too much junk: There are so many temptations to eat food that we find delicious. I know we have McDonalds close to Minneapolis campus and we also have Starbucks at Coffman. However, I can give you some tips. Have you thought of bringing or getting fruits, yogurt and oatmeal, at these places? Turn your eyes and you'll be able to see other options in the same menu. Do you know there is a website where you can get a lot of information on healthy food at the U of M? You should use it sometimes; it might help you to find interesting resources http://www.hfhl.umn.edu/

And now... how to keep calm. You might think I'm crazy and probably you don't see the link between being healthy and calm at the same time. However, whenever you have an extra time, try to use it smartly:

3. Balance your studies and social life: You definitely need time for your body. It also has to do with the happiness of your mind/body. I will recommend you to go to dance with your friends, (I can tell for the aspect of my colleagues friends if they go to dance or not); get some friends if you don't have any, I wont tell you how (that would be cover in another 'entretenido' blog). Try to communicate with people outside of your department because your mind and body will get a remarkable rest by talking about different aspects that are not related you're your academic field.

Here's a video that somebody special made for you:



Credits: Danny Dietl and http://advice.lovedetour.com

College is not always about attending lectures, sitting in class, doing your homework or assignments and getting good grades. College is the time when you can do other neat and cool stuff like join student groups, participate in projects and join competitions which is what I am doing now. At the end of last spring my classmate asked if I wanted to join a student group called Tesla Works and without hesitation I said yes.

Tesla Works is a project based student group and is a diverse group of people from different educational backgrounds: physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, architecture, aerospace engineering, design, chemical engineering and a lot more. This group of diverse students work on different projects that stimulates creativity and innovation.

I am currently working on a project called the Barbershop Quartet, which is a four animatronic bust figure of President Kaler that sings like a quartet. I chose to join this project because I would like to learn more about how animatronics work and get involved in sculpting the busts (which is fun for me since I am into arts and craft). Projects such as this, where interactions and convergence of different disciplines is what I am interested in and is always a good place to learn more about other things aside from you major and get hands on experience.

Personally, I think getting involved in activities such as this is really important if you are an international student. One of my purpose of studying here is to get to know more American students and learn how to socialize with them. If you are studying in abroad you might as well dive in to the culture and mingle with the locals. This way it will broaden your mind and will definitely change your perspective of the American stereotype. So for you new international students out there, I encourage you to get involved in student groups and other form of campus organizations as soon as possible! Arya out!

Social Media and Homesickness

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What has Social Media done to us!

We obviously cannot live without it. To name a few, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (I just learnt about it today: Check this article!: Pinterest in Academia!)

We are all intricately connected: People from back home get a chance to see what we are doing one click away. So what does that mean for you as a college student? As an international student it means that you get to see what is happening at home faster (remember those days when you had to write a letter and mail it?) - and it also means that it may be easier to get homesick [click here for an interesting article on homesickness]

"[Homesickness] stems from our instinctive need for love, protection and security -- feelings and qualities usually associated with home, said Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama's School of Public Health. When these qualities aren't present in a new environment, we begin to long for them -- and hence home."

So how to we try to connect with others more? This is where the wonders of social media has allowed me to get more connected with those loved ones...

It means sharing memories like this :...


It means being able to share this with those who are far away...


So stay connected with the University, UMN site for social media!

Hopefully you will be able to connect with others through the various social media resources - and if you do get homesick you can always get help whether it is from your friends and family or from other University of Minnesota resources.

:)

My favorite place

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Boynton health service at the U of M east bank, or "East Bank Clinic" becomes one favorite place these days! My good friend/colleague and I just recently discover this gem on campus. Not only Boynton is the place where we have an access to improve our health but also it is almost free of cost for anyone who carries some kind of Student Health Benefits!

As a Graduate Assistant, the U of M provides a Graduate Assistant health plan that covers the primary clinic, eye exam, and dental check. For me, working as a school's pianist involves with a long period of piano playing and sitting at the piano bench---how long I play the piano a day?; about five to eight hours a day. This routine easily leads to repetitive use of muscle. I later realized I got a serious health issue regarding a muscle tension and body alignment which easily effects my mood when coaching or losing focus when playing piano.

It started with making an appointment with the Primary Care to see a doctor to examine your health situation. The doctor has prescribed me a weekly consultation with a physical therapy. I am happy and more optimistic now that I have the access to consult about how to improve the using my body. Until my physical therapists see a sign that my health is improved.

The other thing I recently took advantage from this health plan is the eye clinic for an eye examination. I recently had an eye exam which they cover 100% for the glasses exam. Though there is a cost for the contact lens fitting. In addition, I also have a schedule with the dental clinic after the spring break. Let's see how much I will collect the cavity!


The Boynton Health Service
is located on the east bank near the Coffman student union with many health facilities in one building.

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Massage Therapy
Mental Health Services
Nicotine Dependence Counseling
Nursing Mothers' Room
Nutrition Services
Pharmacy
Physical Therapy
Primary Care
Urgent Care
Women's Clinic
Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates
Alcohol Services
Biometric Health Screening
CPR and First Aid Classes
Dental Clinic
Eye Clinic
Financial Counseling
Face-to-Face Health Coaching
Gopher Quick Clinic
HIV Testing and Counseling
Immunization Clinic
International Travel Clinic
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Whenever you do not feel well while studying at the U of M, I really encourage you not to hesitate ---not like me before--- but to start making an appointment with the Boynton. Let's start getting healthy at the U of M!


By the way, no picture today...

See you soon,
::Banchinda::

The recipe to succeed...at the U!

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Many students have asked what are some of the secrets to succeed at the University. And although there are some general recipes our there, this is my own personal one that I will share with you. I have used it for my undergraduate studies and have found that it has worked very well!


In order to concoct a recipe to succeed at the UofM, you will need:

1 cup of "Study Hard" mixed with "Pick a Major you Love" and "Be and Active Part of Your Education"
1 cup of "Rest" and "Take care of yourself" (blend well)
1 cup of "Be Proud of Who You Are"
2 cups of "Academic" and "Personal" growth - let rise at room temperature
Don't forget to add some "Healthy Eating (you can include your favorite foods from home here!)" and "Healthy Exercise"

Mix all of these together and add:
1/2 cup of "Be Nice to everybody even if you have a bad day", "But if you have a very bad day, talk to someone" and "If you don't feel like talking to someone, surround yourself with things you love"
1 tbsp of "Humility", "Leadership" and "Stand up for yourself"
3/4 tbsp of "Don't be afraid to ask for help" and "Get involved (sometimes outside your comfort zone" and "Make some new Friends"
A dash of "Organizational Skills" and "Effective use of resources on campus"

Sprinkle some "Fun" on it, and don't forget to add some "Don't be afraid to try new things" and "Go make your own adventures"

Let sit for 24 hours and cover with a whole pack of assorted flavor "Friends" and voila!
You have concocted my own special recipe to succeed at the University of Minnesota. Don't forget to add "Being part of an Awesome Group just like the International Student Ambassadors"

Don't be afraid to try it many times, and try new recipes as well! Why don't you share some of your tips?

This Fall semester is ending, so take care of yourself and hope you all do well in your finals! Winter break is almost here!

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!

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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