Halloween! One of the coolest months of the year!

Hey guys!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays in the U.S! I am back to share a few tips on Halloween festivities around the city. Actually, let’s start talking about the very initial roots of Halloween! According to the website library point (librarypoint.org) Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays! “It was originally a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in), marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the new year (November 1st).

When the Romans took over the Celtic lands, they adapted the day to honor their own deities. One of these, Pomona, was the goddess of fruit and trees and was represented by an apple. Eventually, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the day as All Saints’, or All Hallows’, Day, to honor saints who did not have a specific feast day of their own. The name gradually changed to Halloween. The tradition of trick-or-treating dates to All Souls’ Days parades in England. Villagers gave poor people “soul cakes” in return for prayers for their dead relatives.”

hungry-history-the-halloween-pumpkin-an-american-history-E-2

5 HALLOWEEN EVENTS WORTH GOING:

1-GREAT JACK O’LATERN BLAZE

It features over 10,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins set against the mysterious backdrop of Van Cortlandt Manor’s 18th-century buildings and riverside landscape. Wander along the main street Pumpkin Promenade and stroll across the Pumpkin Zee Bridge. Gaze in wonder at swimming aquatic creatures and gasp at the sight of a giant Sea Serpent surfacing next to the Croton River. Get mesmerized by a color-changing star show in the plus-sized Pumpkin Planetarium. See slithering ground snakes, a giant spider web, go gaga over a collection of shrunken Little Monsters, and don’t miss Sleepy Hollow Country’s most iconic inhabitant, the Headless Horseman. Admission is ONLY by advance timed ticket, entrance times vary by evening. Most nights sell out, so get your tickets early!

Where: Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 South Riverside Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.2017 dates: September 29-October 1, 5-11, 12-31. November 1-5, 8-12, 16-18, 24-25. Times vary by evening.

Cost: Adults $20, children 3-17 $16 (Fridays-Saturdays $25 and $20).

For reservations: buy tickets online, 914-366-6900 ($2/ticket surcharge for phone orders).

2- HEADLESS HORSEMAN

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem.

Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by the undead, the evil, and the insane. Visitors begin walking a haunted trail, stumbling upon scary scenes of a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. The Hollow’s unfortunate inhabitants are all too ready to keep visitors from ever leaving. Creatures, human and otherwise, lurk in the shadows, ready to terrify the unsuspecting while incredible special effects disorient and unsettle. Elaborate costumes and the work of award-wining feature-film makeup artists make it all too real.

Those who survive the trail enter the terrifying ruins of Ichabod’s Schoolhouse, where they must endure a twisted maze of horrors too terrible to describe, only to end up in the lair of the Horseman.

Heads will definitely roll…maybe even your own! This is Sleepy Hollow’s premier haunted attraction, right in the heart of the village. Most nights SELL OUT IN ADVANCE.

WARNING: This event is NOT suitable for adults who are claustrophobic, have heart or respiratory conditions, are prone to seizures, or have other chronic health conditions. Enter at your own risk!

Recommended for ages 10+

Tickets: $20 (Saturdays $25) 
3- IRVING’S LEGEND

Featuring the Headless Horseman, Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, and Katrina Van Tassel. Flavored with live spooky organ music by Jim Keyes, Kruk’s spellbinding storytelling captivates all audiences. Performances last about 45 minutes.

This Historic Hudson Valley event takes place at the Old Dutch Church,  just across the street from Philipsburg Manor.

Recommended for ages 10+.

Adults, $25; Children under 18, $20
Members receive a $5 discount per ticket

 

Advertisements

No silver spoon for me, F-1 student.

International-students.png

No silver spoon for me, international student from a “developing” country. (My reflection after 7 years living away from home)

I was born and raised in a small beach town in northeastern Brazil. Maceio is located in the state of Alagoas (or “North of Rio de Janeiro”, as I would explain to my foreign friends). In Brazil, my family was considered middle class. There, my family had cars, places to live, farms, babysitters, cooks and maintained a certain quality of life (privileged compared to the sad reality of my beloved country).

The obvious class division was part of my life only in a few moments; when I came across very rich or influential people, or by reading the local newspaper (Gazeta de Alagoas) and spotting photos and gossip notes written by party promoters and social columnists.

The division and social pressure was so intense, that on several occasions I dreamed of seeing my picture stamped there with some useless caption to somehow feel “good”.

Sometimes I wondered why some individuals’ behaviors were borderline ridiculous. On top of their yachts on the most noble beaches of the city; they spread sound pollution and lack of any acceptable form of common sense. Whiskey bottles were thrown into the air and beautiful women would form a sort of shield -almost like an advertisement of one’s own ego.

I’ve never been a “x,y,z group” type of person, I’ve always enjoyed meeting different people. That was a problem for me, after all, it did not fit the molds of my surroundings. I lived in conflict with my own personality. I wondered if I had to behave in a way and be part of some group, other times I just wanted to be me. No explanation of anything to anyone. Some days, I was wondering how great it would feel to go out on my pajama pants or with my natural nails. The feeling of freedom shadowed my thoughts. Freedom of my soul, freedom from a society that was often chauvinistic, closed and rooted in futile values.

One day, while attending university, I decided to leave everything behind and simply start over. Restart from scratch and leave behind my “golden crib” as we say in Brazil or “silver spoon” as we say here in the United States.

I found a program called “Au Pair”; program which promised a total immersion in an American family with the benefits of attending English lessons and earning some money weekly working as a babysitter for the family’s children. Against all my family’s wishes, I signed up for the program. I was 20 years old and the day I stepped into the United States, I went back to zero.

At that moment, my silver spoon, no longer existed. I quickly learned a new type of division, this time, racial. From the very beginning I would hear about “white privilege” in the United States mixed with hate comments between races. My understanding of the historical roots of that expression was completely vague.

I started my English as a Second Language classes at Drew University and there, I often heard direct criticism about my grammatical structure when writing essays in addition of my professor calling me out about me (not) arriving on time for classes.

One of the first great realizations I had was that Brazilians do not like to be criticized. Until then, my idea of criticism was to listen to that one friend saying that everything was right, even though everything was so incredibly wrong.

I’ve realized that in addition to moral values, educational values were also very different over here. Back in Brazil, getting into any public college was enough to be considered a very good student . Here, I met the 3 scariest letters of my lifetime: “GPA”, which is basically the average of all your grades that can define your academic and professional future.

I realized that arriving on time for classes was no more than my obligation as a student and as a citizen who respected teachers and the time they devoted themselves to it.

After 10 months living here, I decided to stay a little longer. I applied for a new visa and continued the most crazy and uncertain journey of my life (Ah, and the most interesting one too).

I quickly learned that being an international student carried stereotypes, for example, that we were all rich. The United States is a huge country that hosts the best universities in the world, so students from very privileged families tend to come here to pursue their studies.Not surprisingly, people will build this stereotype.

In my case, it was a little different. I came from a country where the currency is almost 4 times weaker than the US dollar. Imagine instead of paying around $1000 dollars per semester in my home country, having to pay for a college tuition that costed about $30,000 per semester! (No loans or anything for international students/ saved in rare scenarios where we can get a tiny grant or scholarship)

Despite the difficulties, something in my heart (and on the ratings of U.S educational system haha) made me think I had to study here, that I would not leave this country feeling accomplished without at least a diploma.

My first degree was from a community college. There, I met people who lived in homeless shelters, who were single mothers, rich international students trying to boost their GPA’s, students who came from a completely different economic, cultural and educational background. We were sitting side by side, learning and walking together in academic life.

I started noticing that some people would look down on me for attending a community college. In the first month or two, I didn’t know how to deal with it, I soon learned how to stand up for what I think is good and really helps people on a larger scale.

The pride and love I feel for that campus does not fit into my heart. In that college, I met other international students, each with its own story, struggles (or not). I participated on every single event, workshop and opportunities the campus offered, I even got my first internship there! My mission there was accomplished.

I continued my studies at a bigger college. Among CUNY colleges (the only set of colleges I can realistically afford), Baruch is one of the bests. I was so obsessed with studying there that when I applied for my transfer I didn’t even pick a second option!

As I finish my Bachelors at Baruch, I feel that when this cycle closes, a whole new one will soon begin.

With the limitations of the student visa and the new proposals of the president, I literally have no clue about what the future looks like. I won’t lie and say that everything is ok. Anxiety has been knocking on my door for some time and living on the back of my thoughts.

After 7 years of a fast-paced, surprise-filled lifestyle, I could regret a great deal (especially given the fact I would have a much easier life back home).

Still, something is here, telling me one more time I have no right to regret at all, not even for a minute for living life to the fullest. A few months and I’ll see what the next phase holds. May life surprise me, here or in other oceans for the next 7 years to come. May my crazy journey can inspire all my f-1 friends to follow their dreams.

-Liana

Midterms and Halloween

Hi everyone!

If you are curious about midterms in America, this is the perfect post. The past weeks have been insane. Back in my home country we had a relatively easy grading system. We had 1 midterm and 1 final. That is it. In the United States however, is a little bit different.

Most of my classes have a grading system broken down in attendance, homework, quizzes, midterm, final and so on.

You can imagine all the anxiety we experience when midterms are coming up! If we get a bad grade, a good portion of our final grade will be affected. Here at Baruch the library is open 24 hours for midterm weeks.Students literally sleep over (or take naps to be realistic) while studying alone or with friends (Check out the available study rooms right here).

My first midterm (advanced English literature) was great, I didn’t get 100 but I was able to get 96. I was a little bit sad because I knew have I worked a little bit harder I would get 100. But it was still pretty good 🙂

My second Business midterm was not as good. This class has a C average and I would never accept a grade like that. Good thing for this class we have 4 exams and the lowest grade get dropped. I have to make sure to study as much as I can to try to get a perfect grade for this one.

My third midterm was a book review. We could choose any social movement and pick a book about it. I picked the Civil Rights Movements and I chose a book that talks about the desegregation of the University of Alabama. (I haven’t got my grade yet)

My fourth midterm was to create a blog and besides creating a blog post for every single class and posting pictures/ related materials, we also had to read a book about the presence of the Dutch in Old Manhattan and also create a post with the book review. (I haven’t got my grade yet)

My fifth midterm was for another Business class. We had to do a bunch of excel homework and we also had to create a presentation about the company we are talking about for the semester (in my case, my group is analyzing NIKE). (I still haven’t got my grade yet)

As you can see, there are a lot of micromanagement while taking multiple classes in college. My tip for that is to create an organized and detailed plan as soon as the semester starts. I always create a Microsoft Word calendar (you can download calendar templates for word on the own program) and I also keep reminders on my phone to keep me updated of my responsibilities.

Do students in America have any free time? Of course we do! 🙂 Living in New York City can be insane but it is rewarding as well. We have so many cultural activities that we only stay home if we really want to.

Last weekend for example, NY was full of Halloween parties! On Friday night I found a costume I bought 5 years ago and I went out to try to find some party. I found this bar close to my apt and it was so so so much fun! I love to see how creative New Yorkers can be when it comes to Halloween. I came back home in the morning and I had a great night dancing and observing others’ costumes!

Sunday is a chill/study day usually. After eating lunch, I went to my college’s library and I study until around 7pm. I love going to the library on weekends because there are not too many students and I am able to concentrate more.

I have to go now.. the week has started and I need to study !

See you guys soon!

-Li

CUNY Spring Break: Travelling on a $200 budget!

happy

Hey guys, how are you doing this week?

So, last week was Spring Break  and I traveled to Washington D.C with my boyfriend. Spring break is interesting because wenare supposed to “relax” but usually our professors assign us a lot of homework 😥

As you probably know by now, I am extremely cheap (as known as a “poor f1 student”). In this post I’m going to explain you:

1- How I planned the 3-day trip on a $200 budget 2-How I save money/ get deals when I travel3-How I manage to do all my homework + enjoy my free time

ps: I may not write in this order, but comment at the end or send me an email if I miss anything!

Ok, so first, this is how I planned my trip:

I only had $200 dollars and a desire to come back to D.C. I’ve been there 3 times and every single one of them was super quick. The first time was a crazy one day trip from NYC  leaving in the morning and coming back at night (never again in my life). The second time, I went with my boyfriend and got sick on the bus and ended up staying at the hotel the entire time. The third time, I went there for 24 hours with the debate team and I spent the entire day at a college. So I thought: Maybe its time to go back to D.C! I left on Monday around 9am and left D.C on Wednesday around 8pm

Transportation-> I bought the bus tickets at BoltBus and MegaBus-> I paid around $13 each way ($26 total)

Hotel-> I stayed at a hotel called Days Inn in Arlington, VA (which is about 10min from D.C) and paid $232 for 2 nights (since I went with my bf, this price was divided by 2 = $116 each)

Food-> All breakfasts were included on the hotel stay and I’ll tell you below where we went for lunch and dinner

ITINERARY

MONDAY– As soon as we arrived in D.C we took an Uber pool and went straight to the hotel to take a shower and nap (since we couldn’t sleep well in the bus).

Dinner-> We went to Buca di Beppo (Italian restaurant with family style meals), the dinner came out around $13.00 for each and after it we went to a happy hour on the rooftop of the W hotel. (got a drink for $13 I believe)

 

TUESDAY– On Tuesday I woke up super early and my bf slept a little longer. We ate breakfast at hotel and when we were both ready we went to a noodle restaurant for lunch special. Oh! We checked in on yelp to get a free appetizer. 🙂
After eating lunch, we headed to the Smithsonian Air & Space museum afterwards (free).

Since we wanted to watch something or ride on something, we decided to buy discounted tickets for an IMax movie at the museum- Don’t forget to use those pamphlets that they put on display in hotels, they have discounts! The one I got had a $2 discount, so we paid $7.00 each for the ticket.

After the movie, we took an Uber to another rooftop for Happy hour (of course! haha) The rooftop was very casual and nice. I felt really happy being there watching the sunset and wearing my all-stars!

After the happy hour, I goggled a bar with live music and I found this piano bar, so we went there. We ended up being inside this huge group of medical students from Georgetown. Apparently we were the only ones who were not medical students! haha We talked to some of them and had so much fun that night!

After the piano bar, we walked to a Chinese take out (super overpriced btw) and came back to the hotel with Uber pool as usual.

 

WEDNESDAY– Since Wednesday was our last day in D.C, we had to leave the hotel with our belongings. When I travel, I like to travel light (meaning I hate carrying a bunch of stuff). I took my backpack and my bf took his bag and we took a free shuttle from the hotel to some other neighborhood 10 min away.

We had lunch at some cool-quick lunch place with build-your-own noodle thing.

After lunch, we took Uber to Smithsonian (again hahah) but we went to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery one! Since they have lockers (PERFECT for small bags!!!), we put everything in there and explored the F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C exhibit on the Ming’s Dinasty Poetry, painting, and calligraphy, called “Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty”. After that, we walked to the National Museum of African Art (right across the street)

 

 

Resources for CUNY students

Hi there! Today I’m going to give you 5 tips for saving time and MONEY! Since I am a college student myself, I’ve decided to make this list to help you guys too! Enjoy and don’t forget to comment at the end 🙂

1. Download the CunyFirst App.

image

If you are like me (meaning you always forget your classroom locations haha) you should definitely download the app! Is basically CUNYFirst condensed in the app. Helpful and easy to access it.

2. Use your student ID to buy discounted things.

This semester I got $9 movie tickets at Baruch! (cash only- at the Student Life office)

Here is a short list of places that are currently offering awesome student deals:

Merchant’s House-> $8 dollars for students instead of $13 (reg. price)

Carnegie Hall-> $10 student tickets! With a valid student ID, up to two tickets may be purchased at the Box Office.

Lincoln Center-> Grab your student ID and discover the largest performing arts center in the world. Explore the links to the right to experience world-class music, theater, dance, opera, and film.

MoMa-> Free admission for full-time CUNY Students. 1 ticket per student.

Guggenheim-> Every Saturday, from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm, visitors can pay what they wish for admission.

 

BROADWAY SHOWS

Jersey Boys -> Student Rush: $27 – a limited number of student tickets available at the box office on the day of the performance beginning at 10 AM. Two kinds of photo ID must be shown: a non-expired full time student ID, as well as a government issued photo ID, drivers license or passport. Limit 2 tickets per person per 30 day period. Tickets are subject to availability and may not be offered at all performances. Locations may be partial view. Cash only.

The King and I-> Student Rush: $32 – Lincoln Center Theater offers student rush tickets beginning two hours before a performance at the box office. Limit 1 per person. Must show a valid college/university ID. Tickets are subject to availability and may not be offered at all performances. Cash or credit card accepted. Price includes $2 LCT facility fee.

Please note: ‘The King and I’ frequently does not offer student rush tickets. Inquire at the box office.

She Loves Me
Student Rush: a limited number of half-price seats sold a half hour before curtain. They are subject to availability and limited to 1 per person with a valid student ID. Cash or credit card.

If you look around, there are sooo many places that offers discounted tickets for students! A good strategy is to ALWAYS ask “Do you offer discounted tickets for students?” You’ll be impressed to see how many places actually do that!

discount-disneyland-tickets

3. Maximize your tuition money

If you are an international student like me and pay $7000 out of your pocket every semester, you should really enjoy every single thing the tuition can offer.

Examples?!

  • Free on campus events and club meetings that offer free food
  • Free workshops and courses
  • Borrow as many books as you can
  • If your campus offer laptops, borrow a laptop too! (Even if you already have one)
  • Apply for summer study/work abroad and for grants to pay for it
  • Use up all the printing credit if your college has one (at Baruch, we have $100 printing credit and I have no clue how I’m going to spend the remaining $60, but I will. Haha)
  • Talk to people, network
  • If you have time, be active on a student club or organization

4. Use student services located on campus!

-If you have a headache, cramp or just want to grab some contraceptive stuff, stop by at the Health Services.

– Stop by at the career center if you need a job, most of the time is useless but you can always get lucky!

– Talk to a Consulor. You don’t need to have a problem to talk to one. It’s always good to have someone to talk to! If you are nervous about exams or just want to talk about your relationships, past or future, stop there!

– Work out on campus! It’s FREE! Gyms in Manhattan tend to be expensive, so why not work out on campus? By doing that, you can save anything from $70-1000 per semester (depending the gym in the city)

5. Take advantage of every single opportunity. Companies love us! (students) because we are naïve, young and full of energy.

It’s way easier to find a job while in college. They want to “fish” you while you are still young so you can stay in their company forever! Haha

Thats it for today! Have a nice weekend everyone! 🙂

-Liana

Missing a place I haven’t been… yet

Hi there!

Running around, listening to fire trucks sounds, people and their stressful morning moods, taking subways up and down, going to college, completing assignments  and working double shift… yes, this was my week. Well, this is pretty much every single day of my life in New York.

As my life-changing year approaches (graduation) I’ve been thinking about strange desires I have. Throughout my life I’ve been exposed to many different things and feelings, just like any normal human being. I’ve seen people from all shapes and forms, I’ve experienced regional rituals, I’ve associated songs to places and all these patterns that we tend to do while growing up. We are made out of associations. We connect everything everywhere.

Although I love people and the city life (sometimes), I have a HUGE passion for nature. I grew up in the beach and spent most of my childhood visiting dad’s farms. Since I love creating things and I’m much more of a hands-on person than anything else, being connected to nature is where I belong. Natural forms give me inspiration, nature sounds brings me the peace of mind I need…

Once while watching Twilight, as soon as I saw Edward’s house, I knew that place was literally perfection to me! Oh, in case you were wondering.. this is the house:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is something about gloomy weather, nature and sounds that makes me be the best I can be. I know for a fact that being an international student won’t help me at this moment (as I am struggling to survive and pay my college tuition instead of relaxing). I don’t know what NY holds for me but I know for a fact that if I have to live in a shoebox with no nature at all after graduation, I definitely do not and I will not be in Manhattan.

I love travelling and seeing new places. A lot of people come up to me and say New York is the greatest place in the world. Is there such a thing as “the greatest place in the world?” I haven’t visited all countries nor experienced 10% of what I planned to…yet! I know exactly what happens when people get a job here, they get complacent, get married and die.

I want more. I want more than a job, more than a marriage, more than coming back home living in a concrete jungle. But where is my true happiness? I don’t know yet. As my graduation approaches I’ve been overwhelmed with thoughts from my past, present and future. It seems like I am blending all my experiences together to find my own destiny.

Things I want and things I do not want:

While I still want to share my life with someone, I don’t want kids anymore and I don’t know if I’ll ever want kids again. Having kids means not going out, spending way more money and time, not taking care of yourself, not having a social life. Remember these are my views and my views only. Other people may love the idea. I just.. don’t anymore.

I like simplicity but I also like big spaces.

I grew up on the Northeast area of Brazil, if you are not aware, we are the “countryside” of the country. My region is characterized by simple life in the farms, extreme poverty, music (forro). Oh we have traditional sports too!  “vaquejada” e “cavalhada” (traditional sports in rural areas,  vaquejada is the sport in which two cowboys (“vaqueiros”) on horseback pursue a bull, seeking to pin it between the two horses and direct it to a goal (often consisting of chalk marks), where the animal is then knocked over and cavalhada which is a “lighter” type of sport, with a guy running on a horse trying to get a metal piece that looks like a circle out of a wooden bar.

In this video, you can see some vaquejada pictures + forro music on the background:

This one is a little bit about cavalhada:

At this moment, I’m typing from my college’s library. While going over reminiscences of my roots, I am trying to figure out where I belong to… I made a gallery of my mood today! Hopefully it doesn’t look too crazy! haha

See you soon!

Liana

 

 

 

 

 

F1 Student: Yes, you CAN!



Hello everyone!

Hopefully you are all doing well. The past weeks have been crazier than usual
and I haven’t had a lot of time to write. This month was the closing ceremony
for the CUNY Service Corps at Lehman college. I woke up so early
(whoever knows me well, also knows I am not a morning person…unless I am
getting paid for it, then I can wake up at 3am, 4am… hahah ) to take the
subway all the way from Brooklyn to the Bronx and it took me over 1h and 20
minutes to get there!

I was happy to see my friends and heard the awesome news that some of them got
hired!!
I’ve also had a chance to talk to other international students that were not
able get job afterwards because of visa restrictions.

Every single person I’ve ever met who was not in our f1 visa have no clue what
we go through.
Sometimes international students move to the U.S with little or no English at
all… other times, we face the struggles of paying for our college tuition (no
financial plans, no FASFA, not a lot of scholarships, out-of-state tuition,
etc.) and so much more.

The reality is that we come here alone and we are probably leaving alone
(unless you get married at some point ! lol) that is the reason we need to set
a goal and work as hard as we can to accomplish it.

I am not going to lie and say I was the best student at High School, in fact I
was really bad. I couldn’t care less about my grades and if I got a passing
grade, I was happy. Failures have shown me that I needed to change something in
my life, I had to keep trying, I had to find my passions and set up GOALS.

Moving to the U.S has changed me in a dramatic way. The American system works
differently; not only in terms of college education, but also personal
relations, networking and the paths to get to your dreams. The best way to
improve yourself is moving to a country where you have to conquer you job through
you academic rating and understanding your flaws and limitations.

When I started to participate in college activities and I was exposed to what
was available for me in terms of friendships, jobs and personal development; I
could not stop. Self-improvement is addictive!



  A special thanks (and I will always be grateful for this person) is to Mr.
Harry Mars, who is the Director of student activities of my college. He is
ALWAYS there for students, not only as a director but taking multiple roles;
such as a father for students, a role model, a counselor, a peace-maker and he
will always be his best it doesn’t matter what the situation is. Oh! Just a
funny thing that happened last semester:



When I was the Vice-President of the Beauty and Fashion
Club, we were hosting a big Christmas party for students and the president of
the club got some donations, which were HUUUGE panels from a previous Fashion
show she has attended. Since we did not know who to talk to, one of the club
members just drove this huge truck and dropped everything off on a space that
had an open door (for college deliveries and stuff like that). Since we were
not allowed to do it (but unaware of it) The college security started looking
for us, investigating cameras and everything and they were also decided to call
the city trash collection to take it away hahah

So Mr. Mars was contacted, and after talking to us, we explained that it was
our first club, we were not aware of where to dispose things, college
permissions, etc. As usual, he went above and beyond, he talked to security
with us and did his best to try to accommodate all the stuff we had but
unfortunately the panels were so huge that they couldn’t even pass the
college’s door. But anyways, it was just one situation that Mr. Mars showed his
professionalism and understanding of student needs and at the same time, we
learned what to do and definitely what NOT to do on campus haha. 




Through him, I’ve heard and participate of leadership academies ( B.O.L.T and P.L.U.S) and I’ve made friends for a lifetime. THANK you again Mr. Mars.

Going back to our topic, as an international student myself I faced and
continue to face a lot of challenges every single day. I found out some tips
for international students are they seem to be very accurate!

1- Get involved

One of the best ways to make new friends is to join a club or an
organization. Do you love music or play an instrument? Mix with a group of like-minded
people and maybe even join a band or choir. Participate in sports or some other
activities that you like and have maybe even done before college – Sports are a
great way to meet new people because you all have a common goal. Whatever it is
that interests you, you will have no trouble finding a group or organization,
either on or off campus that you can join and enjoy. Once you are a member,
join group activities and volunteer to help. You will get to know others while
doing good. Club activities easily turn into social activities and you’ll find
yourself going to the movies or for a bite to eat with fellow members.

2- Learn English phrases and slangs

This seems obvious, but the slang is the important part. College students in
America typically don’t speak as formally as the books and guides that teach
non-English speakers, so be sure to research some commonly used phrases and
slang terms among the youth of America. If you hear a phrase that confuses you,
don’t be afraid to ask! It will be easier to make friends with other students
if you show genuine interest in what they’re saying.

3- Tip!

Tipping, while not a common practice throughout the rest of the world, is
expected in the U.S. Restaurants do not typically add gratuity to a bill, so
patrons are expected to tip their server somewhere between 15-20% to reward
them for their service. It is considered extremely rude not to do so, so be
sure to check your bill and tip your waiter if gratuity hasn’t been added.

4- Keep up with pop culture and sports for good conversation topics

College students in the U.S., just like everywhere else, love to talk about
entertainment and sports. Use your free time to read magazines and update
yourself on entertainment news, watch popular TV programs, and learn the basics
of popular American sports like football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Not
only will this help you have conversations with native students, but it will
provide you with an authentic experience of American culture.

5- Befriend American students as well as other international students

I’ve been an international student before, so I understand that it’s often
difficult to break out of that classification and make friends with the locals.
International students are grouped together in living arrangements and classes
at many universities, so you should make a conscious effort to befriend some
Americans. It may seem intimidating, but it’ll give you a more authentic
experience and hopefully provide you with lifelong friends that you can go back
and visit someday!

6- Don’t be intimidated

This advice goes for pretty much anyone studying abroad: no matter who you are
or where you’re from, you’ll be interacting primarily with other college
students, and we all have many similar qualities and interests deep down. Take
the rest of these tips into consideration and get ready for the experience of a
lifetime!


Lego movie and fun weekend with my baby!

 Hi blog! 🙂

     Last weekend my boyfriend came to my apt to spend the weekend with me. It’s nice when he comes because we get to explore the Upper West Side area- or we try to. lol (since most of the time we are at his place and we end up going somewhere midtown or downtown). 

On Friday we went out for dinner at one of our favorite Thai restaurants in NY: Chai Kitchen. When we were done with dinner, we headed to 2 bars with our friends. I don’t know if you guys know but bar hoping is NYC law. hahah 

This is the Thai restaurant we love so much!! 


These are the dishes we ALWAYS order. lol

Appetizer plate:
Mine ( Pad See Ew- mine I always order with no egg and no Broccoli but I didn’t have a pic so I got this online, lol)

His fav (Pad Thai)



If you wanna go there sometime, their address is: Chai Kitchen (930 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019)


After Chai Kitchen we went bar hoping, only two but it was nice.
So, the first bar we went to it was the ”Mc Coys” (super tiny bar and kinda dead lol)  

Then, we headed to some bar that was offering $5.00 mojitos. Great! We got our drinks and tasted like it was made with 50% ice, 3 % of alcohol and 47% of lemon. lol I was really tired so I came back home w Ru and our friends stayed at the bar.

On Saturday we went to Outback (  bad! :/ ) and to the Movies to watch the new Lego movie.
 One thing I love about watching kids movies is that we forget our problems, we laugh at stupid things and we feel so much lighter when we leave. 



 After the movies we went to Trader’s Joes and picked up some cheap-good dumplings and macaroons (4.99 pack with 12 pure deliciousness  *___* ) . Sunday was cold and you know, its Sunday and self-explanatory. (Boring, Cold, lazy day on the bed 🙂  )

     (Quick stop at Sephora after the Lego Movie- he looks so cute! ^^ )

This week is Valentine’s day and I can’t wait to post our Valentine’s day pics and everything. 😀
I love celebrating stuff (Anniversaries, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s day, New Years, etc. lol) 


XoXo,

Li.