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  • Student Blogger: Life as an IOSL

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Hi everyone, welcome to ISSS blog. Today I am glad to talk about my experience as being a international orientation student leader. I have been a IOSL for two years and it is one of the best experiences I have on campus.

    I applied to be a IOSL back when I was a freshman. I was once confused and panic for the unknown college life. Yet so many have helped me in all aspects, both in life and in academic. After a while when I finally settled down and comfortable with everything, the application of IOSL on ISSS newsletter attracted me. Every year there are many international students come to university of Illinois, and they will all experience the same thing I had been through. Since I have been helped by so many people, I want to help the new students back so that they can have the same positive study abroad experience as mine.

    After I applied...

  • Campus Resources: The IOSL Program and La Casa Cultural Latina

    By Liaohan (David) He -- IOSL

    ISSS Blog Administrator’s Note:

    The International Orientation Student Leaders program is a unique leadership and employment training opportunity, made possible through a partnership between International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and New Student Programs (NSP). We are currently recruiting for the 2015-2016 IOSL cohort and we invite all Illinois undergraduate students to apply. The position is not limited to international students as domestic students with a strong understanding of the international student population are invited to apply. For more information, please visit: http://isss.illinois.edu/involved/iosl.html.

    Liaohan (David) He is a currently serving in the 2014-2015 IOSL cohort. The blog post below is edited excerpts from his description of the experience, reprinted here with his permission. The campus resource scavenger hunt he mentions was part of the Spring 2014 IOSL training.

    I have come so far since March. It turns out that I did not know the school that well. There are millions of things to be discovered, fun and educational at the same time! I want to share all this information with all the international students to help them feel warm and at home [at the University of Illinois], just as I felt through the IOSL program.

    This is the best work opportunity I have discovered so far on campus. I had the chance to...

  • Student Blogger: Life Skills - Reading your E-mail

    By Qianyu (Margaret Cheng)

    Hey everyone! Ready for the next post? Today’s post is about the importance of reading your e-mail. Have you ever deleted a super long e-mail without glancing at it? I did it all the time since I did not have the patience to read through all the text. However, even the seemingly most boring e-mail might have hidden treasure, and it is really a life skill for me, a college international student, to find out about resources and events on campus, academic news and opportunities, and much more. 

    Here are several categories of e-mails I have been receiving and found extremely helpful to our everyday life. 

    The first category is...

  • Campus Resources: Office of the Dean of Students

    Lingli (Alyssa) Kong -- International Orientation Student Leader

    Maybe you haven’t heard of the Office of Dean of Students (ODOS). However, ever since you were admitted, New Student Programs, one of the many offices under ODOS, had started to email you. Once you start your student life here at U of I, you would be amazed by how much you would utilize ODOS! You could get your licenses such as passports and academic transcripts certified at the Student Legal Service. You would interact with Fraternity and Sorority Affairs after joining the university’s large Greek community. You would get advice from the Tenant Union while searching for an apartment or house. All these offices are under the Office of Dean of Students.

    Similar as me, you would be frequently directed to the Student Assistant Center, the frontline office of the Dean of Students, after mistakenly calling the other campus resources. At the Center...

  • Campus Resources: Illini Union Board -- It’s Nowhere and Everywhere!

    By Yudong (Dora) Wang -- IOSL

    As a member of UIUC community, you’ve must been to Illini Union – the heart of our campus. Events and programs are held in the Union throughout the year: concerts, comedy shows, movie nights, and lots of other fun activities. However, are you aware that those entertaining events are planned and run by an organized and energetic group called Illini Union Board (http://union.illinois.edu/get-involved/illini-union-board)? IUB, short for Illini Union Board, is dedicated to overlooking and supporting all events and programs taking place in the Illini Union. For me it’s like the air in the union: you can hardly find any clues of advertising about IUB, but each single event relies on IUB to coordinate and facilitate.

    By now IUB might still sound new to you, so let’s go discuss activities within the Illini Union first. Every Fall semester...

  • Student Blogger: Knowing what to say and when to say it

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Hi, it’s Qianyu (Margaret). How’s the semester going for everyone? The first midterm is coming up and I am sure you can do it! Today’s topic is about interpersonal communication and cultural context.

    Back when I first came to U.S., and when I was already a sophomore, I was okay with my grade as I got used to the university system. I also got involved in club activities and events on campus and I had a group of friends. The only concern was: I don’t know how to talk.

    I am okay with formal English usage, because as the time went on I gradually learned how to order food or coffee in dining hall, and how to ask my advisor about my academic progress. The only thing was that I didn’t know how to make small talk.

    When I met people I don’t know...

  • Student Blogger: Thinking in your native language and overcoming communication gaps

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Hey everyone! It's me, Margaret again. It's so nice to see you all. For those who are new here, welcome to the U of I! My name is Qianyu Cheng (but I also go by Margaret). I was born and raised in Hangzhou, China, and I am a junior majoring in Actuarial Science. As an International Student Orientation Leader (IOSL), I greeted freshman and transfer students at the beginning of the semester. I will also be your blogger for International Student and Scholar Services Blog for the rest of year! I am so excited to share my stories and tips with everyone!

    As an international student whose native language is not English, I experienced lots of communication gaps when I first came to U.S. After a 13 hour flight, when I finally got to the Chicago O’Hare Airport and waited for the bus to come to Champaign, I was so tired and hungry. Yet I didn't go to the nearest McDonald to buy anything because I was afraid of talking and making mistakes when I ordered food. 

    As soon as I got to U.S...

  • Student Blogger: Educate yourself about your Immigration Status

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    Hi! Welcome to ISSS blog again J today our topic is about immigration status. It’s fairly important for you to maintain your F-1 status as an international student. Although at first it may seem overwhelming, but later on you will realize that once you have yourself educated, it’s easy and fun.

    You probably all remember that excitement when you were admitted to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However, after that, another challenge had been put on schedule – the visa appointment. It’s different for each country, but in China an interview is needed and I still remember the question...

  • Student Blogger: Homesickness and how to Cope

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Chen

    Hi everyone! Welcome to the ISSS blog again! :) This week I'll be talking about my experience as an international student of going through homesickness. Now I am okay with the balance of school and contact with family, but when I first came to U.S., after a period of excitement, I started to feel a sense of homesick. After some time to adjust, I overcome most of it and I would like to share with you all.

    First of all, it was hard for me to figure out the time differences. There are 13 hours differences from my hometown to United States, so normally when it was afternoon and I wanted to chat with my parents or friends in my high school, they were all sleeping since it was early morning for them. And when my parents got up and was ready to call me, it was time for me to do homework. At first...

  • 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...

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