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My supporting systems & its event 'ThaiNight'

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One of the new things that I have found out while studying in the US is that people like to build their own New Year resolution. And according to my resolution this year, not only that I has joined the International Student Ambassador group (ISA) but has also joined the staff of the Thai Student Association (ThaiSA.) As each country has its own supporting system available, at the university of Minnesota ThaiSA is the group I has discovered this year. Apart from that ,Thai Association of Minnesota (ThaiAM) is also available for me. Their collaboration has brought an event called "ThaiNight." It was happened on the last Saturday November 10 to gather good wills from people in the Minnesota to people of Thailand who are victims by the current flood disaster.

ThaiSA, ThaiAM, and ThaiNight: these are what I would like to share with you today:


-1- ThaiSA: Thai Student Association of Minnesota

Active webboard: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThaiSAofMN/
ThaiSA is a student group that envisions bonding a stronger networking among Thai students of university of Minnesota, alumnus, and people who comes to work around the Twin Cities. ThaiSA also focus its activities that aim to help new Thai international students settling their study life.

Each year the activities include
- Welcome night event in the Fall
- ThaiSA talk throughout the year
- Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year gathering and potluck
- ThaiNight, an biggest annual event in collaboration with ThaiAM

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ThaiSA staff meeting, always paired with the great cooking of our ThaiSA president Ponnawat Otwong, a U of M engineering student.

-2- ThaiAM: Thai Association of Minnesota
Website: http://www.thaiofmn.org
Active webboard: https://www.facebook.com/groups/242150902471766/

ThaiAM is broader in term of its members, which are mainly Thais who have relocated permanently in Minnesota. Their main events include:
- Thai picnic, an annual event in August
- ThaiNight, an annual event in collaboration with ThaiSA


-3- ThaiNight
As I have mentioned, ThaiNight is the biggest annual event in collaboration between ThaiSA and ThaiAM. This year is actually different since its goal is not only to have a good time but also to raise the donation to send back to help the victims of the current flood in Thailand. They have sold out their tickets; along with the tickets sales, there are additional activities including the silent auction and additional donation. At the end of the night they have raised about $17,500 in this fund-raising event.

Please check out the news about this event the the Star Tribune local newspaper: http://www.startribune.com/local/133403223.html


And here is the scene of the event:

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at the ThaiNight event's entrance


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The line of Thai Food!!! sponsored by over 20 thai restaurants around the Twin Cities


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Entertaining: Thai Dancing


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Off course, I am a part of the event by giving some piano performance of thai songs with ThaiSA president joining me by singing


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More performance by ThaiAM and lots of kids

-4- Becoming the supporting system

You know what, it feel great! when you are a part of something, especially a part of the community. Therefore and lastly, if you are becoming part of the U of M, do not forget to include these in your coursework:

-Join a student group
-Learn to be a part of your community
-Give the community what you have
-Do good deed to others
-Make new friends
-Expanding your networking

And at the end of the day, you might feel the tiredness BUT you also will be able to reflect back about yourself what you have grown for yourself.. each day.

See you soon, Sawaddee ka (greeting in Thai)
::Banchinda::

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Photos by
Borwornsom Leerapan
Parichart Wallen
Ani Chen

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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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Goodbye and stay in touch!

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Hi all,
Today I am very sad that I write my last entry of the year as a Graduate International Student Ambassador! It has been a pleasure to share with you my experience as a graduate student at the U of M. I hope my blog has been helpful and resourceful as you make your own transition to graduate school or as you are thinking about it! I am more than happy to answer any further questions you may have about life as a graduate student in the United States or graduate programs at the School of Public Health. Next week is a busy one for me as I wrap up the spring semester. I have papers to hand in and final exams to prepare for. I am looking forward to the graduation ceremony in about two weeks, where together with fellow graduate students, I will celebrate the completion of my graduate studies at the U. I am confident you are well on your way to a bright graduate study career and a very successful adjustment in the United States!
xoxo

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 .


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

...this moment is your life.

Spring is in the air - and so is exam week. With mounting pressure from impending exams, with essays to write and projects to polish, with analyses to run and talks to present, how do we stay happy?

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

The magic word is...

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Salam everyone,
I've missed you guys!! It's been a while since I last blogged. We had a little over a month off of school for winter break, and I decided to go back home to visit my family and friends. I haven't had a chance to travel back to Bahrain since I moved to the States to pursue my masters degree, that was about a year and a half ago. It was a wonderful trip and it was SO good to see my parents, my siblings, my cousins and some of my childhood friends again.

Multidimensionality

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Hi everyone!
Last Saturday we had the first snowfall in Minnesota! We had about 7 inches (17.8 centimeters!) of snow where I live. Despite the snowstorm, I ventured out to the mall with my nephew and my cousin who I had promised to take to the mall last Saturday! Fun times:)
Today I want to talk about the multidimensionality of my experience as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I hope some of this helps you to get a glimpse of my opinion about the cultural diversity of the graduate student body at the U of M.
As an international student who has lived in the United States for six years, there are many ways that I define myself, and some of these may seem contradictory. However, If I had to choose one way to define myself I would say I am an African student. I think African student defines not only who I am physically but also my values, my lifestyle, and my academic interests. For example, I believe in the importance of humility and gratitude, I shop in both American and African grocery stores, and my academic interests are infectious disease prevention and health behavior in developing countries. There are a plethora of academic courses, presentations, and community activities that address these topics at the U and especially at the School of Public Health.

Imagine...
What do you answer when someone ask you, "who are you?"

When I was in Japan, I've never answered, "I'm Japanese" because all people around me were Japanese! haha

Now, I often say "I'm Japanese" or "I'm an M.Ed. student in HRD" to introduce myself.


Being an international student changed my answer.
But I realized that some characteristics of mine haven't changed, and these may be fundamental elements that consist of Kyoko Yamada.

It depends on how you budget your time!
Hi everyone,
Thanks for coming back to my blog again this week! Yesterday I wrote my first exam of the semester and it actually went pretty well! A lot of my friends are also writing their midterm exams this and next week. One can usually sense when midterms are here. There is a feeling that days are too short, lots of coffee consumption, no dinners out with friends, NO FREE TIME! But is it always that way? Not really! There is this myth that graduate students do not have free time to do anything else besides studying. It is true that graduate students work hard, but I found out this semester that graduate students CAN have free time. A little lesson in time management and prioritizing my tasks helped me figure that out. For all the other times that I do not feel like following these rules I use another trick, I CREATE FREE TIME:-) Don't believe me that graduate students do have a social life? Well here is the evidence they do...

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