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  • All About that Slang - Part Four: Abreevs!

    All About that Slang - Part Four: Abreevs!

    This week we're taking a look at American English slang based on abreevs (or abbreviations).......

  • All About that Slang - Part Four: Greetings and Goodbyes!

    All About that Slang - Part Five: Greetings and Goodbyes!

    This week we're taking a look at American English slang for saying hello and goodbye.......

  • All About that Slang - Part Three: Sprots!

    All About that Slang - Part Three: Sprots!

    This week we're taking a look at American English slang from American sports. Don't love sports? Don't worry, these expressions can be used in almost any setting.......

  • Good vs. Bad

    All About that Slang - Part Two: It's All Good

    Slang often develops in the most useful and most commonly used communication situations. We use value judgments all the time, so this is a good place to get our slang on point.

  • All about that slang, y'all

    You're here to study, but you're also here to pick up American culture. Culture is deeply embedded in language, especially slang, colloquialisms, and regionalisms. Make the most of your time at U of I by upping your slang game.

  • Beating the Winter Blues

    By Jessica Young

    Though we don’t get nearly as much snow as some of the more northern states, the months of January and February are still probably my least favorite times of the year in Illinois. The holiday season is over, the school break is over, and it is still cold and dark outside. I strongly dislike scraping ice off my car in the morning and being able to see my breath while I wait for the bus. Not to mention the wind. I hate those cold bursts. Unlike fall, the spring semester really doesn’t do much to welcome you. To counteract these frigid images I decided to take an ISSS poll...

  • 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...

  • 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: 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...

  • 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...

  • Christmas; 'tis the season

    By Adam MacTaggart

    Christmas is celebrated on December 25 around the world as one of the most important Christian holidays. Gifts are exchanged, Christmas music plays in homes and department stores, and people spend time with their families. While the diverse population of the United States means everyone celebrates Christmas a little differently, there are some important features that are widely observed throughout the country...

  • College Football: why we're such huge fans

    By Stephanie Dvorachek

    It’s Football Season! You may be thinking to yourself, “I thought there were only four seasons – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. What IS football season?” Football season is time of year starting in late summer and continuing until winter that people love to watch their favorite football teams in action, whether it is College Football, or professional football, otherwise known as the NFL.

    One of the best parts about football season...

  • College Life Hacks at UIUC

    I’d like to present to you College Life Hacks, where I gather 5 hacks that I wish I would’ve known earlier. Sharing is caring, so feel free to add anything you like to say below and keep this article updated!

  • Did you get the $2 Lattes at Espresso Royale this Wednesday?

  • “Falling” in Love with Champaign-Urbana

  • Fall is here!

    By Afroza Faruque

    Time flies when you’re having fun! And as you finish up the first month of this semester, we hope that you’ve been enjoying yourself. To our new students, we welcome you once again to the U of I and hope that you’re settling into your classes and new home. To our returning students, we hope that you had a wonderful summer – we know it can be hard to come back sometimes! You may have noticed a few major changes to our site that we hope make it easier to find the information you need...

  • Finals: helpful study tips

    By International Orientation Student Leaders

    It's finals time at U of I! This week, our International Orientation Student Leaders share some insights and tips on how to approach studying for finals and keep stress levels at a minimum. Best wishes to everyone!

     

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships? We Have Options!

  • Getting Involved

    By David Zhao

    The number of international students is on the rise and this year we've welcomed close to 3000 new international students to our campus. We have the largest number of international students enrolled amongst all US public institutions, and we've worked hard to address the needs and concerns of the rising international student population. Through our discussions and conversations with students...

  • "Hailstorms" Around the World

  • 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...

  • Hello Fall!

    By Nicole Vernon

    Hello Fall!

    Fall has officially arrived! The weather is cool and the leaves are changing to a beautiful mix of orange, red, and yellow. Food choices also indicate that Fall has arrived– many coffee shops start offering Pumpkin Spice lattes, pumpkin flavored coffees or foods, Apple Cider (hot or cold) is available in stores, and apple orchards are...

  • Homesickness and ways to cope

    ISSS collaborates with many campus units to better serve our student population. This week, we'd like to share a guest post from the Counseling Center.

    By The Counseling Center

    Feeling homesick can be very natural when someone experiences a sudden change in environment or routine. Living and studying in a country and culture other than your own can certainly cause that change and result in significant stress and isolation. Homesickness is a real issue and you are not alone. Many other students are feeling how you are feeling– it just might not be talked about openly and in depth, but that does not mean you are the only one experiencing it. Homesickness can include sadness...

  • How to Avoid Scams That Target International Students

  • How to Cope with Jet Lag

  • How to Keep Life Exciting When Things Are No Longer New

  • International Students' Spotlight Series

  • Iranian Cultural Association: Mohsen Namjoo Concert

    Cultural Event

  • My Pre-Completion OPT Experiences

  • My Road Trip to the House on the Rock

  • My RSO Leadership Experience

  • My Teaching Experiences Through LAS 101

  • My Volunteer Experience with VITA

  • Name An Amino Acid, Get A Candy!

  • Overcoming the “Why Am I Here” Mentality of Freshman Year

  • Planning for After Commencement Weekend

  • Reverse Culture Shock

    Many of us have heard of culture shock and talk about it, but many of us experience reverse culture shock and do not talk about it. But, what is a reverse culture shock? If you have ever gone back to your home country and felt uncomfortable with something that you used to be familiar with, then you are experiencing it, and don’t worry, you’re not alone! And if you have ever wondered how that could be possible, then you’re at the right place!

  • Several Tips for Getting Along with Your Roommate

  • Staying Healthy to Stay Productive

  • Student Blogger: Academic Adventures

    By Bentic Sebastian

    "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." - Marie Curie

    I was a bit frightened about the amount of new material that I would learn about when I came to the University of Illinois, but now I’m enjoying the experiences and learning to make the most of them.

    I feel that my academic life is much better off now than it was last year. I am more organized now. I know how to use office hours properly. And I have some knowledgeable friends who I can discuss concepts and doubts with.

    Last year, I was very confused about how to go about organizing my schedule. In my first semester here...

  • Student Blogger: Alternative Spring (Fall?) Break

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    How was your Thanksgiving break? Just as students came back from Fall break, Thanksgiving becomes a popular small talk topic on campus nowadays. Although after fall break, there will be only two weeks of study and the semester will be over, a week of break is still a good escape from the intense study.

    Thanksgiving is an important holiday in U.S., while on that day family will gather together and have a delicious meal. For international students...

  • Student Blogger: A Truly Global Home

    By Bentic Sebastian

    When I was a freshman, I had a tough time choosing a dorm to live in. I did some research, and I finally decided to stay in PAR(Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Halls). Among many popular reasons (the great food being one of them), I wanted to stay at an LLC, which stands for a Living Learning Community. An LLC is a community of students who share a common interest, a theme of sorts. As a new international student, I found it beneficial to stay in an LLC, because I was able to make some good friends immediately after coming to the university. There are about eight LLCs to choose from in different dorms at the university. I chose to live in Global Crossroads.

    Global Crossroads is a Living Learning community in PAR. We lived on the second and third floor of Saunders Hall (one of the four halls in PAR). Our theme was the culture and customs of the various countries around the world. My LLC was special to me because...

  • Student Blogger: Balancing Work and Play

    By Bentic Sebastian

    Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

    Thomas Merton

    College life has sometimes been tough for me. At times, I frequently spent a large fraction of my time struggling to focus on my assignments and readings. In high school, after a tiring day in class, I would come back home, sit down at my upright piano, and play my favorite songs. Looking back, when I felt frustrated or stuck, I would use that negative energy to create new music at the piano. Things changed in college.

    At college, I couldn’t find a way to to play the piano regularly, because the opportunity to find an unoccupied piano was limited. There was a piano or two in the student halls, but I was always wary of playing so loudly that...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Student Blogger: Dining Halls and special food nights

    By Qianyu (Margaret) Cheng

    The food in dorm is always highlight of my day when I lived in university housing. After a whole tiring day of study, it is a pleasure to just sit down and enjoy the food buffet that university staff proudly present. To tempt our taste buds, there are also several special food nights, and those secret recipes enlighten the study days.

    First thing I want to point out is...

  • 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: First Thanksgiving

    By Bentic Sebastian

    Thanksgiving is a holiday which a college student hopefully waits for! In UIUC, the holiday lasts for about 9 days! That’s more than a week of doing anything you want; no deadlines to meet, and no classes to go to!

    I celebrated my first Thanksgiving last year, at my uncle’s house. It took me about three hours to travel to Skokie, a suburb around Chicago. I arrived at around 2pm on the day of Thanksgiving. The house was alive with the sounds of children walking around hurriedly, chattering away about decorations. They had arrived earlier to help with preparing for the celebrations. The excitement was contagious. I freshened up in a matter of minutes, and eagerly went down-stairs to help out.

    We had a number of tasks to complete. The first task was that we were to make sure that the two turkeys in the oven didn't get overcooked. While two of us stood guard at the oven...

  • Student Blogger: First Year Experiences

    We'd like to introduce you to our student blogger, Bentic Sebastian. Bentic is a sophomore at the Univeristy of Illinois and is an International Orientation Student Leader. He'll be sharing his thoughts, impressions and experiences about being an international student at the University of Illinois.

    Hey everyone! My name is Bentic, and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois, studying Aerospace Engineering. I am an international student from Dubai.

    In my freshman year, I remember being amazed by the size of the U of I campus! As a person from a high school that consisted of just 3 buildings, it was utterly surprising to me that campuses this large existed! Thelecture halls were huge and some could seat up to 600 people!

    In the United States, I feel that there is a clear distinction between being friendly and being a friend. In general, people would exchange smiles with me and ask me how I’m doing, although we did not know each other at all. It is a general act of politeness that Americans follow. Americans feel that good friendships are developed gradually, by finding out about common interests.

    In the beginning of my freshman year, I felt I had nothing in common with the students around me. In order to get more involved...

  • Student Blogger: Freshman 15

    By Bentic Sebastian

    The first time my dad and I went to the PAR dining hall, we were both astounded! I could eat whatever I wanted. My dad was amazed at the stir-fry counter, the burrito corner, and the dessert options. When I asked him what he thought about how frequently I should eat, he replied “As often as you feel like”. I loved the dining halls but I wasn’t prepared for how I would face the idea of a buffet almost every single day. And that was the beginning of my Freshman 15!

    If you haven’t heard of Freshmen 15, this is an important phase that freshmen or other new students go through, especially in the United States. Freshman 15 refers to...