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  • Student Blogger: My experience at International Week

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    After a whole week of relaxing spring break, we finally embrace the second half of the spring semester. Finally the snow disappears and sunshine comes out, indicating the arrival of spring. In the meantime, this is a special time on campus. The international week, as well as other cultural events right after the spring break, brought us a brand new experience of the global world.

    From March 31 to April 6, 2014, UIUC celebrates international weeks. First time that I knew about this special week...

  • Student Blogger: Moving Off-campus, Taking on more responsibility

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Finally, at the moment when I signed my contract for the apartment, I was so excited and looking forward to the brank new life of living in apartment with three roommates. After tiring apartment hunting and roommates searching, we got to settle down and moved in.

    Before the life in apartment, I lived in resident hall for a whole year since freshman is required to live in dorm. I spent the first year of my UI life in Busey-Evan, one of the university resident halls. The dorm is comfortable and relaxing place for students to take a rest and it feels like my home, and I met lots of friends (actually most of my friends) there. The dining hall, computer lab and library are also provided in the dorm, which is convenient and easy to use. Doing homework in library is my favorite activity. In the dorm, the resident assistants and multicultural advocates are always there to help. What’s more, I love the grand piano in the lounge. Although I don’t play piano, it is always enjoyable to listen to it when others are playing that.

    In the second semester of my freshman year...

  • Student Blogger: Monday with Ellen DeGeneres

    By Margaret Cheng

    If you were walking on the Quad in the afternoon of Monday, February 25, you would have witnessed thousands of people on the grass, and some of them were even dressed like characters from movies. What made people so crazy on a day full of class? What made so many people wait on the Quad with interesting customs? What made some professors dismiss their lectures early to let students have the opportunity to be on the Quad? The answer is: Ellen Degeneres!

    After Ellen posted several tweets about a big surprise on Monday...

  • Student Blogger: Being Open to New Experiences

    We have a new student blogger at ISSS and we're very excited to introduce her! Qianyu Cheng will be blogging with us this Spring and sharing her experiences as a sophomore at U of I.

    By Qianyu Cheng

    Hi! My name is Qianyu. I am a sophomore major in Actuarial Science at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and I am an international student from China.

    As a student in University of Illinois, it is easy to discover the cultural diversity on campus. When I was in high school, all my classmates are from the same town. We all grow up in the same city and share the similar experience. So when I first found out about the diversity...

  • Welcome back!

    By Afroza Faruque

    Hello again everyone! After a long hiatus, the ISSS Blog is ready to go again. We'd like to welcome all new students to campus and to the U of I family - we're so happy to have you here! If you were at New Student Check-in, you'll realize that we are welcoming a large group of international students from all over the world. If you're curious about how many international students we have here...

  • Student Blogger: Tech-ify your College Experience

    By Bentic Sebastian

    I have benefited greatly from using technology as a student. Technology is essential for success in college. But I only learnt how to use technology effectively by trial and error, and I could not find help from anywhere. I hope that after reading this post, you will learn how to use the powers of technology to your advantage at college!

    Problem: In my first semester, I was really excited about my schedule which I chose completely on my own! In order to find my classes, I used the paper map we were provided during Welcome Week. Regardless of how well made the map was, it still took me time to locate the building I wanted to get to, and find out how to get there. Since it was just a single sheet of paper, I frequently lost my map when I really needed it. I tried to fold it up...

  • Student Blogger: Building Trust and Having Ambition creates Leadership

    By Bentic Sebastian

    Back in high school, I had been involved in many activities, and my friends in school identified me with those activities. I was a member of a high school band, and my friends knew that I was quite good at playing the piano, because they had heard me play and seen me take part in competitions. But at UIUC, up to a certain extent, what I did in high school didn’t matter. I had to prove myself again. Although this seemed difficult and tedious, I took it as an opportunity to be identified as the type of person I wanted to be! I wanted to prove to myself that I could be a leader at my university.

    I started my search for leadership positions...

  • Career Networking: the inside scoop

    Our post this week is from guest blogger Tori Spring, Assistant Director at the Career Center.

    By Tori Spring

    What is the number one secret of finding a job in the US??   Networking!

    Statistics show that over 75% of jobs are found through networking. Why? Because knowing someone helps you stand out! Think about how similar your resume might look to others in your program. How are you actually going to stand out amongst the hundreds of other resumes? If you’ve talked to someone at your dream company, then they know that you communicate well, are interested in the company, and have the skills for the job. All of a sudden, you are a much better candidate for their job. So stop...

  • Unofficial: What's it all about?

    By Amira Al Mutairi and Jennifer Avery

    As you walk down the street this Friday (3/7) through a crowd of partying college students, it may be hard to believe that the roots of their celebration can be found in a Christian holiday to commemorate the life of the best known patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, as well as the arrival of Christianity to Ireland.

    The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the United States dates back to the 18th century. Though the holiday’s origins were religious, celebrations in the USA have, since their inception, been focused primarily on the cultural aspect of the holiday. Many people show their holiday spirit by dressing in green, drinking green beverages, eating green food and watching parades that highlight Irish heritage and culture. In cities where there is a large Irish/Irish-American population, the celebrations are even more elaborate. Chicago, for example...

  • Halloween: what's it all about?

    By Nicole Vernon

    Halloween is quickly approaching! This holiday has a long history with many traditions and you may even notice that Halloween in the U.S. may resemble some of the same traditions you may participate in during this time of year in your home country. The name itself originated from “All Hallows’ Eve,” the day before All Saints’ Day.    

    Today, in the U.S. Halloween has turned into a community event. It is typical for families to celebrate by dressing their children in costumes and going door to door “trick-or-treating”, where children ask for candy by saying “trick-or-treat!” Each community designates hours that trick-or-treating will be held and also whether it is a one or two day event. Often the designated time falls in the evening and lasts for a couple of hours. Not all families and households participate in trick-or-treating, so those who will pass out candy to trick-or-treaters will leave a light on outside their house as a signal that trick-or-treaters are welcomed...

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