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An International Perspective

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Hi guys!

How's everything? The semester came to an end...for those of you who know the drill finals must be stressing, but if you keep your head up and running you will do just fine.
I hope this year has been a great experience for those of you who are gophers and for the prospective students, the U of M is a great place to learn and grow...As part of a project I put together a video with some cool pictures... I hope you enjoyed reading my posts and that you enjoy this short clip...

The "U", An International Perspective


Sincerely thanks!

Ricardo

Time and Stress Management :o

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Hey there guys!!

Stress?......I know that as a college student, time management becomes a big concern, homework, projects and work can completely consume your time and Where does my social life go?. This does not have to be the case! All you need is to learn how to synchronize school with fun by balancing your schoolwork for the schooldays and try and get as much done as possible so you can enjoy your weekends... Personally at first I had no clue how to do this (and not so much now) but I always try to stick with this plan and enjoy the good days of a college life. Because once you are done you have to face REAL LIFE! And in my case it can be scary: 0. Anyway, whenever I can find some time to relax and enjoy , I like to go out with friends, try new places, go to concerts and try NEW FOOD! Minneapolis is a very Multicultural place and has a little of everything for everyone....They even have Mexican food (not the best) but it gets a little close =). My point is, don't get to overwhelmed with what school can appear to be, there is always a way to take advantage of both lives and situations....so LEARN TO BALANCE and you will have both fun and good grades!!!

In case you are having a panic attack because of this school mess try out some of the meditation classes offered at the University....you can be the chillest person ever!!

Have a good one

Ricardo

Siempre haz más! (always do more)

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Que pasa my firends!

One of the most concerning things when you arrive to the U.S. is towards a more social aspect. How to make friends?, How do I meet people? And this is completely understandable, since part of the whole college experience is to meet people, make friends and succeed in both the classroom and social environment. When I first arrived to Minnesota I figured out that the best way to meet people and make friends is to join extra-curricular activities. By joining a club or a team of some sort you can start a more developed career and collegiate experience. In my experience I had some friends when I arrived to college since I was an exchange student in high school in the beautiful and neighbor city of Saint Paul. So it was a little bit of an advantage to already know people and have acquaintances through them. But in the end I figured out that for a complete scholar experience I had to get involved in school activities. So first I tried joining the Minnesota soccer club. There I met some of my best friends now even though in the end I realized I did not have time for practices because of the demanding course load in my major. But I still kept in touch with some of the players there.

Here's a link for a list of all the clubs you can join SUA

Then I found out I wanted to become more involved with something that had to do more with my major, to gain a more enriched technical experience and to meet people interested in engineering as well. So I found and joined an engineering student group called "Innovative Engineers", group which main focus is the creation and research of renewable energy. There are several projects involved in the group, projects like: The 1 kW wind turbine, hydro power and wave energy.... And these projects are directed towards communities without resources; the first wind turbine was placed in the community of "La Hermita" close to Managua, Nicaragua (and is working!!!). These types of projects can come as extremely appealing if you are interested in the actual application of science and engineering.


Currently I am working outside classes in a renewable energy project: An electric vehicle conversion!!! Which I got involved into with a friend from my classes and it is going amazing so far!! Check out some pics! (to be posted)


So my advice is to never be too shy to do anything, GET OUT THERE! YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO TALKATIVE (at least in my opinion haha)...I know it can come as a challenge to talk to new people especially not in your native language!!!! In my experience it took me some time to do so, but in the end I came to overcome it and just be social. If you find yourself either at a classroom or a social gathering just try to be confident and get involved you have nothing to lose by trying, Minnesnowwwtans are fairly nice, jk, super nice and always try to be helpful!

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OPENING DOORS FOR EVERYONE

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Hey there!!!!!!!!!
I know that college life as an international student can be CRAZY expensive! Having to pay out of state tuition, housing, books and food is at all times hard. And these issues can raise the question Can I have a job in the United States? And the answer is YES! As an international student you can apply for all kinds of on-campus jobs that vary in salary and in activities done. It is harder to get jobs off-campus since you would need a sponsorship from the company who wants to hire you, but as a student on-campus jobs come easy.

When I first arrived to Minnesota I had no idea of where to start looking but luckily I was advised to look online and applied for several jobs including working at the bookstore, printing services etcetera and it turned out to be a little harder than I thought!!! Spots fill out quicker than you would expect since everybody wants a job! But after a year I could lock down one of the best jobs on-campus (in my personal rating =))!

I work at DISABILITY SERVICES, which is part of the office for equity and diversity. When I first started I did not know what to expect from it but after a year of working there I can certainly say that it is the most humanitarian things I have done. My job position is called "Access assistant" and what the job entitles is helping with the accessibility for students and staff with disabilities on campus. This kind of assistance involves document conversion (conversion of books and documents to audio or Braille) so students can listen to the books or read them in Braille. It also involves class and staff assistance, activity that includes taking notes for a student with visual impairments or assisting staff at their offices along with their daily activities. I applied to the job position in the first place because it got my attention that the University of Minnesota cared so much about accessibility and accommodations for the students and staff who have disabilities. This kind of help and attention is incredibly unusual in my home country and it is seen that people with disabilities cannot have a proper education. So I wanted to be part of this!!!

And now at my job I have made a LOT of friends and made connections with incredible people. In my opinion it is not only about the money, having a job is a way to get involved and get to know great people. I accept that sometimes my job can be challenging but in my opinion it pays off. It is a satisfaction to know that I am making a difference in the student's education experience by easing up the impairment with accessibility.

So what I can say is that in order to find a good job you have to start looking early and not only apply to job positions that have a good pay. Apply to a job position that would satisfy you in every way possible! As it is said: motivated and happy people achieve better! Here is a link for on campus jobs so you can start looking!!

Peace,

The mexicano Ricardo

COLLEGE LIFE!!!

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When I first got to Minnesota it was in the Spring of 2009, being an odd semester to start and in the middle of knowing NOTHING about the U.S. college life, It was incredibly confusing for me!!! I did not know there were dorms since we do not have accommodations like that in my home country.... so I sort of couch surfed for like a month until I found a place to live, It was not the best place or location but it was the middle of the winter and I NEEDED a place! so I just locked down the first place I saw. But after the first semester I actually looked for a place to live with my roommates and college life turned out to be a lot of fun!! Cooking for yourself, paying bills and maybe starting an on-campus job can be challenging but after a while it is really easy to get used to! Currently I live in a house with 4 other guys and I love it! even though I would have liked to live in the dorms an get to know more people that are starting college as me. I loved the experience of not having a regular first year!! It is all part of learning! My suggestions on housing and college living would be to live at the dorms, It is a great way to know people and connect with future roommates (next year). photo.jpg


But if the dorms are not appealing to you I suggest you try looking for a place at least a month before your first semester starts!! A good website to find rooms for rent on-campus (not creepy) could be:

Housing and residential life look for places in DINKYTOWN
Dinkytown at night.jpg

but if you like the adventurous side of looking for a place you can always go to craigslist and look for housing/shared, it is an open website but you can find bunches of cheaper stuff there!! Always be cautious about scam though!!!!! I tell you this by experience! I found my actual housing through here but It can be a little tricky CAREFUL!!
GOOD LUCK!!

Favorite part of my major/department

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Hey everyone!!

I know it can be challenging to choose a major at the University, especially out of the WIDE variety there is and also since it is what will mostly define your professional career and your life after school. When I chose my major all I knew is that I wanted to do something that involved science in a practical manner and what I found it was the best fit was an engineering discipline. Then it was all a question of what I saw myself doing in the long run and what best fullfilled my interests which were and still are the different ways that the mechanical world works and moves. I know it ALL SOUNDS PRETTY NERDY but I am sure some of you guys like nerdy ;) .... And now about more than halfway into the Mechanical Engineering bachelor's degree I know I would not change it for any other discipline. It fit me incredibly well, involving all sorts of technical aspects with a hands-on experience that boosts out the creativity and ingenuity in you! In the department there are all sorts of paths that can be followed and if you have the interest in I am sure you can find the right road that includes your interests.
In the engineering department there are several INCREDIBLE research projects that take place.... Involving scientific and technologic skills for a better world and life. Here I am posting a couple of links of some projects that take place at the University of Minnesota from the campaign "Driven to Discover". I hope you enjoy them =)

IS MIND CONTROL POSSIBLE?


LIFE SAVING TECHNOLOGY? ROBOTS!

Thanks for reading again!! and I'll be posting again soon!

Later laterrr,

Ricardo

Hey all!

When I fisrt arrived to Minnesota as a college student it was probably when the most extreme weather conditions were taking place. It was REALLy cold out since it was January but It all seemed so exciting and new that I did not mind it for one second. It was my first time seeing snow!!! You know being from a place where its 70 degrees (F) and about 20 (C) all year round it was a DIFFERENT experience. And that just memory of getting off the plane on a cold cold night with NO IDEA of what was there to come is what I will never forget. It always brings me the thrill and thought of a new adventure.

Three years later here I am loving my major and the twin cities overall. Having adapted to any kind of change school and social wise is what I will always be proud of. And to all upcoming students who are concerned about not knowing what to expect of a new place. I can tell you that THAT is the best part of it! exploring, travelling, knowing new and completely different people is what is best of the experience. I can tell you this because I have lived it and I enjoy everday of it.
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Thanks for reading and I will be more than happy to answer any concerns you want to ask about!.

Sincerely,

Ricardo

Hola amigos!

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Hey everyone!

My name is Ricardo Juarez and I am an international student at the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. I am junior in the Mechanical Engineering department and have been living in MN for three and a half years overall. I could say that my favorite hobbies are watching movies, play soccer or FÚTBOL, I love to eat (probably not much of a hobbie more like a necesity lol) and go out and have a good time with friends.

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