Recently in US Culture Category


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Hi Everyone!

How's everything so far? We're only two weeks away from the Spring Break :-) isn't that so exciting?! I guess it's time to start planning for something fun.

Yesterday, the Ambassadors were holding a contact table at Coffman Union, which is basically like an information desk for the current international students. As we were talking with Michelle and Ricardo, I learned something interesting that I want to share with you today.


As you might know, in the U.S and mostly Western culture it is usual for the children to leave their families at the age of 18, when they go to college and university. As a result, they should work and earn money. They start working even before they go to college; perhaps as early as age 15. Thus, I always find Americans with so many years of job experience.
This is very different from Iranian culture. We don't leave our families, as long as we go to a college that is in the same city as our parents; and we do not work as long as we live with our families. Therefore, we are not as independent and experienced as Americans with our age.

This is a significant difference between Iranian and American culture. I always pay attention to these differences, and they are all interesting to me. But, I was even more interested yesterday, when Michelle and Ricardo told me that this is true in their countries as well. I was so fascinated, as I always thought even two neighbor countries do not have the same culture, but yesterday I learned that even three countries far apart from each other and from three different parts of the world may have some similarities in their cultures. I wonder how cultural practices could travel through time and space. That is true about food, art, and architecture of countries as well. So now, I try to look for similarities more than the differences between cultures.
And I wish you all a happy weekend!

Awesome places where I visited.

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Hi all!
We survived the long winter break, and I am back to Minneapolis from a long trip.
I went to Las Vegas, Los Angeles , and San Francisco.
I had a great time with my dear friend, Meng, and her parents.
I somehow missed here in Minneapolis very much. Now I am back, I am so busy with
my new semester schedule. However, time to time when I am tired I'd like to re-visit
places that I went before. Those places were so awesome, I'd like to share three places today.

1. During the short autumn, we have a gorgeous weather and outside feels so nice.
Even though now it is too cold to go there, time to time during nice weather day I'd like to go 'wilde roast cafe' at riverplace to enjoy their gelato (Italian ver. Ice Cream) . Their gelato are really good to rid of your too-much-help stresses, and they have happy hour Mon-Fri 3:3-6:30 for half-priced tap beer, wine by the glass, and all appetizers! YUM!

2. Also, have you been to 'big bowl' restaurant?
It is located in Rosedale shopping center in Roseville. If you like spicy foods or fusion Asian foods, you will LOVE there! Also, after you finish your dinner with your friends, you can walk around the shopping center. It is definitely smaller than MOA , but they have various good shopping stores, including A&F, Apple, American Eagles, Hollister, etc...

3. Now you all heard about places where you can eat, I am introducing 'Walker art museum' and 'Minneapolis Sculpture Garden'. The garden is located next to museum. It is part of Walker art museum. They have cherry spoon!!! (actually the artwork name is Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-1988). Anyway, this is a place where I'd love to go once a while when I have too many thoughts to process. During spring, summer, and autumn, it is awesome to walk around the garden. Museum itself also have many artworks including special exhibitions. They have a conservatory too. Check out these places~! The garden admission is free, and they open daily, 6 am-12 midnight. Cowles Conservatory admission is also free. And they open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm; closed Monday. You can review Walker art museum visit info by visiting their website. These places are worthwhile to visit.

Today is really cold!!! Take care all!
And see you next time~ > <

My digital story

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Hello My friends!

Since this is new year, I was looking back of my study abroad experiences at the University of Minnesota.
If you are an international student, sooner or later, you may go through transition period during your study abroad.
It doesn't necessarily imply anything good or bad, but this is time you need to overcome and adjust yourself with the new culture that you faced.
So, I made a short digital story about myself!
Hope it will help you to understand my transition at the University of Minnesota

Wait, what is a digital story?

Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music

In short, this is a new way of sharing one's own story by using the digital technologies :)

Actually, I made this for one of my class project assignments.
It may look like something requires a lot of difficult technical skills.
Well.. yes it kinda does. BUT ! Don't be scared!
University of Minnesota has great resources and the staffs who can help you.
By the way, If you confront any difficulties, it is always helpful to check which resources University can offer!

First, I made an appointment with one of the staff who can give me technical helps at Walter library. Every libraries of U of M have media consultant.
The Walter/Wilson SMART Learning Commons does have iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, and Screenflow on the Macs and Adobe Premier Elements and an older version of Windows Movie Maker for the PC.

Also, as a class, we (me, my classmates, and the professor) planned every step by step, together and the end of the class we presented own digital stories' in front of the class.
It was one of the greatest moments of my university life!
We shared a big part of each other's lives through this project.

I hope you can enjoy mine too!

Please Click to Watch Michelle's Digital Story


• The Writing Center
• Free Camera Rentals
• Examples of Digital Stories (These show you what a digital media story is but the content is different that you have to include in your story.)

Favorite Places

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안녕하세요, Hello, 你們好,こんばんは。

WOW! I cannot believe this is almost the end of year. I once again realized how fast the time goes by. As I've been living on big campus several years, I realized that finding my own favorite places are important during school year. Around the campus, there are many places I love, but for tonight hopefully I can share some, at least.

1. For Study.
Yes, I have to read a LOT for psychology major and sometimes when I am so tired after all the night classes I don't want to go back to my room because I know I will fall asleep.
So then, I look for places for study. We have many libraries.
1) Walter library at East bank,
2) Wilson library at West bank,
3) and Magrath library at St.Paul campus).
Today, I am introducing bio-medical library at moos tower.
What make unique about this place?

  • Library itself opens until 3 A.M and the tower opens 24 hours! (enter b/f 10 P.M)

  • During final week, the library opens 24/7! (It's already started)

  • Have printer, copy machines, and even quiet room for group study.


Another place is starbucks. We have two starbucks on campus, but the Coffman union starbucks closes early (7 P.M) and the building itself closes early too. For whom who wants to study at the place where they also can have some delicious coffee, go to starbucks on Washington Ave! It's next to radisson hotel. This starbucks location open until12 AM, and they just finished their renovation so there should be a plenty of spaces where you can sit! ;) The picture I attached only shows 2/3 of the place.
Check out this place!
2. Where do I go to hang out with my friends?
I go to ...
1) Starbucks
2) chilly billy's
(frozen yogurt place. This place now has happy hour during Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Fri between 3-6.)
3) Pagoda Chinese restaurant (中國餐館~).
This place is my FAV Chinese restaurant on campus! They have karaoke place too~
4) MOA (Mall of America).
5) For musical or opera, go to orpheum theatre at downtown Minneapolis or
6) Gutherie theatre. They have great selection of musical/ opera.

Finding places while you study at U and in America is very important. You want to make sure you feel home-like comfortable and you would feel happier if you know where to go to make yourself feel better. Good luck during final weeks, and hopefully my little information helped all of you!

다음에 또 만나요, bye bye, 再見, さよなら~。

P.S If you are already in Minnesota, have you gone to holidazzle in downtown Minneapolis? This year is their 20th season, and as always they are doing amazing parade at Nicollet Mall area from 12th street to 4th street. It was started this year on Nov. 25th, and they are ending it on 18th of this month! It is very fun. So if you get tired during studying it may be a good idea to visit.
You can visit this website and see last year parade video! :-)

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Hi everyone!
Do you know what day it is today?
In the U.S., today, November 24th, is Thanksgiving Day.
You may know, but Thanksgiving is America's traditional holiday.
Usually, family members get together and enjoy feast together.
The main dish of Thanksgiving feast is, of course, turkey!!


I stayed in my friend's house on my first Thanksgiving and helped cooking, but it took us almost entire day to roast a turkey.


We prepared lots of food and kept eating. Then, we watched movies on TV. Yes, this day is not to be very productive...


On Thanksgiving, shops and restaurants are closed, so you just stay at home and spend time with your friends and family. They might discuss a plan for Black Friday (This is a big sale day in malls and stores.)
I hope you got an idea of Thanksgiving in the U.S.!

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, visit 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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