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Minnesota winters are no joke! But they can be fun with the appropriate gear. I've met some people who have seen pictures of 5 feet snow falls and think it's fun or crazy, but that's not the part of winter I'm concerned with. The snow is the least of my worries. When you see that the weather reports indicate a temperature of -20 or less that's when things get risky.
It's true last winter was mild, but that's no the norm in Viking's land!
Seriously! it is no light matter, and even if you're on a limited student budget like most of us here don't be cheap and risk getting pneumonia, frostbite or any other number of horrible things. But this is no tetric blog, i mean it to be an invitation to go on a fun and thorough winter shopping trip while on a srudent budget.
I've read and heard people say just bundle up, but allow me to give you some tips on how to bundle up for a Minnesota winter from the point of view of the wisest person in earth according to me, my mom who lived to the U of M 20+ years ago before I was born.
The following list is for the coldest day, which should be what you prepare for, since after that everything should be a joke if you have good clothes. Also don't wait till it's freezing cold to start buying clothes!

1. A good base layer of cotton long underwear.
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Both bottom and top. It sounds unnecessary but there will be at least a couple of weeks each winter when waiting for the bus or walking to school will be like standing outdoors in the North Pole! I got mine for about $20 at Herberger's. There are a couple of locations around town, so just google it and find one near your place.

2. Wool socks!
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Why wool? Because they're extremely warm and if they were to get wet they dry up really fast. However normal wool can be extremely uncomfortable for some people and sometimes to big and if you love hiking like I do you might be familiar with the "smart wool" brand, they are the most comfortable sock fabric ever and they're not overwhelmingly warm! Plus they last forever! Just make sure they are boot length, otherwise there's no point!
You can buy smartwool socks online, or at hiking and outdoor activity stores like REI. I'm lazy so I prefer online: http://www.smartwool.com You can buy a pair for about $12.

3. Good snow boots!
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Even if it doesn't snow your feet will get extremely cold if you're only wearing warm socks. As a matter of fact when it snows it doesn't get as cold as when the skies are clear and the wind is freezing. So... What I mean by good snow boots is that they are labeled to be good for bellow 32 degree temperatures and they are waterproof so that the snow won't freeze your feet and they have good traction on the soles so you want slip when walking on eyes.
They might not be the cheaper ones but as an avid hiker I recommend Columbia boots. They're way cheaper online than at the stores. Try amazon, or sometimes the Columbia site has good deals.

4. Warm scarf!
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On below freezing temperatures dressing well has nothing to do with fashion! You can look good, but stupidly freeze. Make sure whatever you buy is cotton, wool, polar tech or fleece and is a tight fabric. Those cute fluffy scarfs with holes are the worse idea ever! You can find good and cheap scarfs almost anywhere. I personally love kniting so I make my own, but Ragstock is my favorite spot for buying student budget scarfs and base layers. Or clothes in general... Just make sure that they are big enough for you to wrap your neck and face around a couple of times.
Try Ragstock and tell me if you agree with me that it is the coolest clothes store ever! http://ragstock.com/

5. A warm hat that covers your head and ears
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It is so easy to freeze if the only part of your body you don't cover is your head. And if you keep you head warm, everything else will feel great. So make sure again you find a nice warm tight fabric, and make sure you ears are covered. When it gets really cold a few seconds outside without the appropriate gear could cause frostbite which is basically damage to your skin and tissues due to freezing, and your ears and nose are the parts most at risk.

6. Comfy waterproof gloves or mittens!
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Don't be cheap with these cause you will use them everyday! Make sure that their label says they're good for very cold temperatures, once again that they are of a warm fabric, and that they have an outside waterproof layer. When it snows if you hands get wet you're in trouble, but if they're not you can actually enjoy the snow and play around with it. Even as a young adult I still get as excited as a 5 year old when it snows and I can go play outside, make snowmen, snow angels, etc... Why else would we come to Minnesota?
Mine are fleece with an outside layer of leather. The best ever! I bought them at a little boutique in Alexandria MN, but department stores, and places like Columbia and even Amazon.com have equally amazing options. Mine were around $55, and you should plan to spend around that amount for something lasting and warm.

7. Earmuffs!
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I personally think they look ridiculous and cute at the same time, but this January there were a few days when I was extremely happy to have them, because even a good had won't fully cover your ears. And believe me! Ears get cold extremely fast and it's painful and uncomfortable when that happens. Again look for something made of some nice warm fabric and you'll do great.

8. Layers, layers, layer!
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You can still wear your cool t-shirts and blouses during the winter time, but remember always to have at least one nice and warm sweater, over your t-shirt, and a sweatshirt on top of that. Or at least wear a long sleeve shirt and then a sweatshirt, unless you're already wearing long sleeve underwear.. Make sure that at least two of these layers don't leave any skin uncovered in between the them and the gloves because cold air creeps in amazing ways, and that your base layer (long underwear) is cotton. So with this in mind is a good idea to tuck your layers. The logic behind layers is that you will create air pockets in between each layer which is insulated by your body heat.

9. Really good jacket!
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Your outer layer will shield you from rain, hail, snow, crazy freezing winds and the cold. I would certainly not be cheap when buying a jacket. And please don't buy a short one just because you think it looks cool. Make sure it goes below your hips at least a couple of inches, and that it has a hoodie to cover your head. The ideal jacket is definitely a goose feather one cause they're super comfy and warm. You can get anything from the super fluffy ones to really compact ones. They also vary in prices from anything around $80-$500 or more. Just make sure you like it, it's warm, covers your arms well and its good quality cause you'll use it a lot.
I got mine at Herberger's for about $120 and I love it. I personaly love the fluffy ones cause the compact ones make me feel naked. However I do have a lighter one for hiking and other outdoor adventures.

10. Enjoy the crazy Minnesota weather

Buying good clothes will definitely help you enjoy the weather, now make sure to always have them with you and have extra gloves and scarfs in your bag in case you loose them. Personally for me this is drastically different from rainy and humid tropical Guatemala City where I grew up, but it is nevertheless exciting. Make sure the weather doesn't stop you from going and out, hanging out with friends and doing all kinds of fun things outdoors. Staying active is key to a good mental health during the winter months! Once you have the right gear you can enjoy outdoor winter activities like snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, to even snow camping and blaying broom ball with friends for the more adventurous ones.
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You can rent special gear for really good prices from the U of M Center for Outdoor Adventure. http://www.recsports.umn.edu/coa/rental.html
Useful links!
http://www.trusty-travel-tips.com/best-winter-clothing.html

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Seol Video Project: Job Experience

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Hi everyone!
The year is ending really soon.
I finally finished the ISA video project.
My video will talk about the job experience I had.
I hope my video can help many other students who are looking for job information.
Good luck!
Seol

University of Minnesota Job & Internship Fair!

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Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to write about Career Fair that I went last week.

University of Minnesota holds "Job and Internship Fair" every year for the students. It is the biggest student career fair in Minnesota! More than 200 organizations will be there recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. The Job and Internship Fair is open to all U of M undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni.

This is a great opportunity not only to navigate your job options, meet with the employers, ask questions that you prepared, but also to practice your interview skills
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One thing I noticed was this is a place you can actually "interact" with the companies in person. In fact, there are interview rooms were prepared, so if you scheduled an interview session, you can have interview with (possibly) your future employer!

There are few things that you may want to prepare

-Bring your student ID to get in.
-Bring copies of your most updated resume
-Dress professionally
(Actually, I was very surprised how this event expected me to be very professional)
•Women: Professional-looking dress, dress suit, or pantsuit; clean and comfortable shoes
•Men: Suit or jacket; shirt and tie; clean and comfortable shoes

-Check Parking info and directions (And free shuttle will be offed by UofM)
-A free coat check will be available.

First thing, you need to register. This year, I paid 10$ for pre-registered.

Second, Update your resume and take copies with you. For advice about creating a resume, see this Resume Guide, or look for more info on your college career site.

Third, Find out which companies will be at the Fair. Do some preliminary research so you can target a few (3 to 5) companies that truly interest you. This is very important for opening a conversation with the company.

Find out the company's size, general history, product(s), target market(s), and competitors. Good sources of information for that include:

•The company's Web site and annual report (often found online)
•Libraries. Use your public library, or business libraries such as the University of Minnesota Business Reference Library and St. Paul's James J. Hill Reference Library.
•Career Centers: Try your campus career services office or your local community's career center, where available.

These are the common questions you can ask for general information

•What types of career opportunities does your organization offer?
•What majors does your organization typically hire?
•What are the job responsibilities for that type of position?
•What are the most important qualities or characteristics you look for in hiring for that position?
•What are the most important skills necessary to do the job?
•What recommendations would you make for someone who would like to enter that field?
•Are you aware of related occupations that I would be qualified for with the background/major that I have or am planning to pursue?
•How did you get into the organization/career field? What is your background? How does it relate to the position?
•What are typical first-year assignments?
•Could I set up a time to visit you at your workplace to talk more about what you do?
•Do you know someone in your organization who does...?
•Do you have internship or summer job opportunities for someone in my major?
•Do you know of other contacts that might be helpful to me?
•May I contact you if I need more information?

Fourth, prepare a short script (just 2 or 3 lines) to introduce yourself with. Practice it and a firm handshake. In your script, try to include why you're interested in that company and the kind of position you're seeking.
I know, in some culture, having a "firm and confident" hand shaking is not very common, so be prepared :)

Lastly, be sure to follow up with the organization after the Fair

•Keep notes on your conversations and how you said you would follow up.
•If no business card is available, ask if the recruiter can be reached at the telephone number or address on literature. Information at the Fair may be more current than materials found in a library or career center.
•Send thank-you letters immediately - within two days if possible.
•If contacting by letter, refer to the date and location of the Fair, and jog the recruiter's memory of you. Mention any unique points you discussed so the employer will remember you.
•Any important information should be restated and emphasized.
•Reiterate your qualifications and include any information you neglected to mention.
•Proofread your letter and let someone else look it over.
•You may want to include a copy of your resume.


Are you ready to be meeting your future job opportunities? Be confident and Positive, that is the last key!

Good luck!

CLA Career Center

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Hi all!
I thought the winter ended, but I guess not. Outside became colder and snow is coming.

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Today I am talking about CLA Career Center.
Recently, I applied a summer internship to London through learning abroad center. The program tuition is
still high, so I also applied some scholarships too through CAPA. After I applied the program, I realized I have to do some work on cover letter and resume. I never done those before, so I needed some help.
I knew CLA Career Center would help me out. So I visited it and got some help.
They open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and location is very convenient; 411 STSS (Science Teaching and Student Services) building. They helped me with my resume and cover letter.
Now I need to wait for the results! Hope I get scholarships and right internship program.

Anybody who are degree-seeking students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities can get help, and they can help recent CLA alumni up to one year after their graduation. They are also the pre-law advising office for all students who attend the U of M, Twin Cities.

I hope anybody who seeks for help in CLA Career Center would get right help!
See you next time and wish my luck~!

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.


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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!
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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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Campus life 101

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Hi all!
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I have to say, tonight was an awesome night for me.
I am taking campus orchestra class, and tonight we had a concert at Ted mann concert hall. We played Suppe, Berlioz, Wagner, and Holst.
It was a great night. If you are interested in finding out more events on Twin Cities campus, you can visit the website. For tonight concert, pictures are coming up soon!

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But besides the great concert, what do I want to talk about today?
I'd like to go back to campus life 101, and I'd like to talk about health insurance and how to select classes. I am sure that all these topics (and other topics on our AWESOME blog are relevant to you all) are very relevant to all of you.
That is why I am here to help you to figure out.

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So first of all, health insurance.
How to get one, and how much is it ?
Once you arrive in Minneapolis, unless you already purchased insurance, you have to purchase insurance as an International student. All International students are strongly recommended to purchase one from U of M. This program is part of student health benefit plan. You can review whether you need one or not by going through website, and look up the right side. Also you can visit ISSS office website.
How much is it? For each semester, International student has to pay $950 (at least this year it was). Most of the medical bills will be covered by the insurance, and sometimes you will have to pay the very small amount in case if the insurance cannot cover everything. But this is one of good ways to have insurance and use it whenever you need to go to have emergency care or see doctor.

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Finally, how do I know which classes are for me?
I remember that in my freshman year, I had many questions regarding to what kinds of classes I had to take. I wasn't sure what area I wanted to study, so I wasn't sure which classes to take. I went to see my advisers, talk to professors, but I still had some problems. So one way I would recommend to all of you is taking freshman seminars! I know if you are not already admitted to U, you cannot look up some classes through onestop registration. So what you can do to look up for some classes is by visiting OFYP office website. They every year provide brochure for students to look up 2011-2012FreshmanSeminars.pdf. I attached a pdf file for 2011-2012, so you can look up! :-) This way you can learn a bit about the interesting area that you'd like to study, and see whether you'd like to continuously take the courses. If you are already admitted students, but still have some problems, I am sure this brochure can still help you. If you register for certain classes and decide to drop it after take it for several days, you can do that too. There are several registration guidelines that you have to follow, however. If you registered, and need to change regarding to register, you also need to look up here. If you still are looking for what classes to take, you can go visit classes search tool website to see more options that can help you to select classes. Make sure, if you are already admitted, check what to prepare before registration too. Each students have different registration rules to follow and different time.

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Too many information to digest?
Don't worry, you can still ask us some questions if you need some help.
Don't forget that you can visit our ISA blog (undergraduate blog and graduate blog), and either leave comments or e-mail us.

Next time, I will come back with how to get on campus jobs.
If you are already in U.S, please do enjoy your own Halloween~ :-)

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TRICK OR TREAT~!


Need some help for your writing?

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When I introduce my major/minor, people usually surprise and ask me back "English major? But you are not a native speaker!"
(Actually, I really want to say English major is actually really fun if you like reading and writing.)


I was born and raised in Korean until when I was 21 year old. Although my major was English before I came to U.S., I didn't have any confidence in my English.


I still remember how I was frustrated when I couldn't even order my favorite coffee at Starbucks. I wanted to order "caramel macchiato" but the worker couldn't understand my pronunciation. I was shocked and embarrassed.

So, I was very scared when I declared my major as English major. However, I really enjoy my University of Minnesota life as an English major student now.

However, I think, English should not be the reason which lets you down. There are TONS of resources to help you out in University of Minnesota. Today, I want to introduce "writing center" in University of Minnesota. Writing center is one of the helpful resources for your essay assignments.

Are you still afraid of using English? Don't give up!
You can be so much better. (We should admit the fact English is you Second (or third) Language to you. It is natural that you are learning by making mistakes.

If you haven't had chance to visit writing center, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Writing center is always ready to help you.

There are three ways to use writing center

1: Appleby Hall writing center: (room 9)

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You can walk-in without making an appointment. (So, you might need to wait little bit. However if you didn't have time to set an appointment, you can always visit here!)
Recently, they add Nicholson room 15 to have walk-in hours as well. Hooray!


2: Nicholson Hall writing center: (room 15)

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You can make an appointment on line (mySWS) (it is very easy). You can even choose the adviser who has the same (similar) major with you. Because you will let them know what type of paper you will bring, they can jump into your paper right away!


3: on-line writing center:
You will submit your paper and question online. Your adviser will send you back your paper with corrections and answers to your question. The greatest part of on-line writing center is after you got a reply from your adviser, you can have follow-up chatting with them!


Yes, many of us are non-native speaker of English
which means, we can speak more than two languages ! :)

Check it out voices from Minnesota's multilingual writers.


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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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Blog of the Week

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Make sure to check out our Blog of the Week winners :)

Week 1 (October 10 - 16, 2010): Choose UofM and Have the Best of Both Worlds! by Minji Kye

Week 2 (October 24 - 30, 2010): Is This the State of Being Overwhelmed by Questions?! by Sifa Sarica

Week 3 (November 7 - 13, 2010): What an Amazing Program! by ShinHyoung Choi

Week 4 (December 5 - 11, 2010): Build a Better Bridge by Mengyao Luan

ISA Open House 2010

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What is an open house?

I have been in the United States for three years but I did not know what an open house was when Beth Isensee, our program coordinator, mentioned it during one of our meetings. So for a quick answer, I went to wikipedia. According to them, an open house is an event held at an institution whereby its doors are open to the general public so as to allow people to become familiar with that institution and to gain information on it.

Why did we have an open house anyway?

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