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Hey there! Lately, I have been receiving queries from my international friends about various employment options available at the U. So, I thought that this would be an awesome platform to discuss about few of these opportunities offered by the International Student and Scholar Services, exclusively for the international students.

Culture Corps: This program lets students develop a project (e.g. language teaching, dancing, music or culture sharing) to share their culture and tradition with the campus community. The amount of stipend you receive depends upon the depth of the project. To get more info about application process and project ideas, you can visit this link!

Small World Coffee Hour: This program lets students, staff and faculty enjoy cultures and traditions from around the world. If you are passionate about planning and organizing events, then you are a good fit for this position. As a member, you'll primarily be involved in planning, shopping, publicity and hosting culturally-based events. In return for your hard work and participation, you get a stipend of $1000 for every semester.

International Buddy Program:
This is the most time- and energy-consuming program out of all three. This program pairs up a current student mentor with a new international student mentee, in which the mentor assists their new buddy to smoothen their transition to the US. The mentors and mentees stay in regular contact with each other throughout the year and participate in various events and activities. For more information about application and stipend, you can contact ISSS.

Again, if you have queries about any of these programs, feel free to contact ISSS or me. I hope that these opportunities help you ease up your financial burden. :)


Bharat- The Indians!!

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Hey!!! I hope that busy school work isn't taking a toll on your social life. And if it is, take a deep breath.. everything will be alright! After all, hard work always pays off. :)

This blog post is for all of you who are passionate about celebrating India's rich culture. Bharat- The Indians is a student organization at University of Minnesota that fosters awareness about India, and its culture and tradition. Being a member of this group myself, we have organized several events that feature traditional dance and singing performances, activities, games and FREE INDIAN FOOD!

Here are some pictures from our events.

Republic Day Celebration:

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Holi Celebration:

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Jashn-e-Diwali:

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India's Culture Day with MISA:

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To keep yourself updated about our upcoming events you can either join us at Bharat's facebook page, send us an email on bharat.umn@gmail.com or contact me!

I hope you join us in our celebration of India's culture. :)

College of Biological Sciences

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Are you fascinated by the existence of micro-organisms? Do you aspire to pursue medical profession some day? Do you wish to work in open fields and explore the beauty of nature? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then College of Biological Sciences (CBS) is the one for you.


CBS is one of the very few colleges nationwide that is solely devoted to biological sciences. It offers you with amazing majors that include neuroscience, genetics and plant biology. The journey of a typical CBS student begins with the Nature of Life (NOL) program. It is a 3 days camp, in which students get to take intensive seminars at Lake Itasca, the headwaters of Mississippi. I have so many beautiful memories from this camp, which in include living in cabins in the middle of a forest, doing research in a natural environment and spending time with my peers and the amazing CBS faculty. Below are a few pictures from my trip to Lake Itasca.


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CBS also offers its students the opportunity to work in research labs under the guidance of world-class professors. It was immediately after my freshman year, that I got an amazing opportunity to work in a genetics lab. I have gained so many laboratory skills that I wouldn't have learned if I wasn't involved in this research lab. Therefore, I recommend that one should get involved in research labs because there's so much more that you can learn by doing things practically. One can either earn credits by doing directed research in a lab or earn money by participating in Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.


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CBS has a number of leadership programs that let its students build leadership skills. I am involved in one such program named the Deans' Scholars program. This program offered me with opportunities to do community volunteer work, attend leadership seminars and reflect on my leadership philosophy. It's an amazing opportunity for any student who is keen to polish their leadership skills by getting involved in the community.

A poster that I made along with my fellow Deans' Scholars highlighting our volunteer experience.
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College of Biological Sciences is a heaven for anyone who is truly interested in exploring the world of biological sciences.

Stress-bustersss

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I hope you guys are not over-stressing yourself with school work. But if you are, then I've got to share some great ideas that can help you give some break from busy school life.

Student organizations- Get involved in these organizations!! There are a lot of student groups on-campus, such as academic oriented, culture themed or leadership based. You can browse the Student Unions and Activities website to search for the organization of interest.

On-campus events- Alright, you are busy with studies and have no time to devote to these organizations. But you still want to have fun :( Don't worry! You can go to Gophers After Dark, which plans free or low-cost events every Friday and Saturday night. You get to see movies, concerts, play games and taste free snacks!
You can also go to events organized by student organizations, like the one that I am involved with,the Indian student organization- Bharat. These events present dance performances and skits, and traditional food. They offer a great way to socialize!
Below are pictures from the event that was recently organized by my student organization, Bharat.

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On-campus jobs- If you are one of those kinds who believe in socializing and earning money side by side, then on-campus job is for you. Being international students we are restricted to work on-campus only, but don't worry there are loads of places on-campus where you can work. The best place to start with is the University Dining Service- , which I consider as the most enjoyable place to work. Other potential places to work are- libraries, recreation center or labs. You can search for on-campus jobs at the Employment Opportunity website.

Gamerooms- There are two game-rooms with bowling alleys, pool tables and video games. There is Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Memorial Union and Gopher Spot in St Paul Student Center, both of which offer exciting deals for U of M students.

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- You can even rejuvenate your body by exercising a bit. You can go to Recreation Center on East bank or St Paul gym on St Paul campus. Both facilities have fitness centers, handball, racquet and squash ball courts and swimming pool. The services are free to the U of M students!

Don't forget that college life doesn't repeat itself. So enjoy as much as possible :)

4 Ways to Keep in Touch with Loved Ones :)

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Hey Everybody! I hope all of you guys are enjoying the festive season. Winter is already round the corner, which means that we get less time to spend outdoors. This is also the time when we start missing our families and friends, and seek alternative ways to keep in touch with them. In this blog I have shared some of the resources that could help you keep in contact with your loved ones.

Skype: It can make your living so easy as it lets you chat and video conference with your family and pals. These features are FREE as long as both the parties have access to the internet. In addition to that, skype also lets you make national and international calls at a fairly cheap rate.

Social networking websites: Websites like Facebook, MySpace and Orkut, have become more like a household name today. These websites let you share pictures, videos and messages with your friends and relatives. In addition to that you can even customize your privacy settings, and make your posts and pictures visible to only selected friends.

Emails: Very useful to keep in touch with those friends who don't own an account on any of the social networking websites. Emails are the best way to transfer large-sized files and folders to other people.

Phone: It is the most expensive option out of all. However, it can be really useful at times of emergency or when we don't have access to the internet. Companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Vonage offer international calling options from the United States.

Technology has truly made our lives simpler and easier by revolutionizing long-distance communication. I hope that you make full use of these resources to stay in touch with your loved ones :)

Hey all!! I'm pretty sure many of you must have come across circumstances when certain concepts in class make no sense and drive you nuts. These situations can be really tedious and de-motivating for any student. But don't worry, U of Minnesota has got a lot of FREE resources to help you overcome problems in academics. Some of these resources are the Smart Learning Commons, Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE), University Counseling & Consulting Services and Center for Writing.

I would first start off with the Smart Learning Commons(SLC). I really like SLC because it provides tutoring in a vast variety of subjects, ranging from physics and chemistry to math and humanities. They are located in libraries on all three campuses- Wilson Library, Walter Library and Magrath Library. They even have test banks from selected courses- isn't that just AMAZING??! On the other hand, if you need information on other resources in addition to course help, then you can seek Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence (MCAE). MCAE not only provides help with different subjects, but it also provides advising on internship opportunities, campus resources, scholarships and mentoring programs. However, sometimes college life can become so hectic that it might inflict mental imbalances in a student's life. In such situations, students can seek counseling from University Counseling & Consulting Services (UCCS). UCCS provides useful counseling to students about a variety of learning and success skill topics.

Last but not the least is my favorite resource, the Center for Writing (CW)!! Located in 10 Nicholson Hall, I have visited this place like infinite number of times. Every semester one can come across a class that requires writing essays. Now that nobody is a genius, we can need help with brainstorming ideas, writing an outline or even proofreading the final draft. CW provides individualized writing instructions, both face-to-face and online to students. I highly recommend you to check out this place if you ever need help with writing essays for a class or even for graduate/professional school applications!

So, that's all I wanted to share with you today. I hope you found these resources helpful and would make the best use out of them. However, let me know if you want to know more about any of these academic services, I would be more than happy to tell you. Till then take care and good bye. :)

Heyloo everyone!

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SAM_0966.jpg Hey!

I'm Sugandha from New Delhi, the capital city of India. I'm a senior majoring in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development in College of Biological Sciences . I started my college career as a freshman in U of M, in the year 2008. It was an entirely new experience for me because I was starting a new phase of my life away from home. I chose this university because it offers world-class education, research opportunities and multicultural campus community. I have been living here since 3 years and I totally love my university. It's like home away from home!

A little more about myself, I love to DANCE! I haven't received any kind of formal training but whenever I hear music I just can't resist myself from dancing to the rhythm.. heheh! Apart from that I like to spend time in my research lab, hangout with my friends, meet interesting and smart people like you and look through my pictures from childhood (because I think that I was super cute then :D.)

Anyways, if you have any questions about the university, resources it got to offer you, life as an international student, ways to get involved here or even if you need a friend to talk to, feel free to leave a comment. I wish you all the best in life and I hope to see ya soon :)

-Sugandha