Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning  

  I woke up this morning, and was ecstatic to see the sunshine filtering in through my blinds.  I couldn't help but jump out of bed, throw open all the windows and just drink it all in.

     I don't think I just speak for myself when I say that all of this rain had me feeling meh.  But I digress.  So there is sun shining though my window, which means that Spring is starting to get into full drive.  This also means that this semester is halfway over.

This being said, as an International student you should be asking yourself some key questions. Like:
      -Have I purchased my ticket home?
      -Will I have enough room to pack all my stuff in my bags, do I need to mail some stuff home,
        do I want to donate it, and/or can I store it on campus?
      -Do I want to stay in the states over the summer?  If so where will I be living, and should/how do
       I get a job?

I know that seems like a lot.  In fact, I can imagine exactly what you are thinking.

But let's break this down into some more manageable chunks.


Buy all the Tickets 


-So you are needing to buy a ticket back home, but you do not want it to cost an arm and a leg?  Here are some sites that may offer what you are looking for:
     -Student Universe

Sort Out all the Luggage


-Next, look at the airline you are booking with and check what their weight regulations are for checked baggage and carry-ons.
-Also check and see what the charge is for additional weight as sometimes this can be less than the potential shipping cost.

-Speaking of which, look into the cost of shipping through all of the offered venues (U.S mail, UPS, FEDEX, etc...)

-Your last option would be to check with your dormitory to see what over the summer storage options are available to you *NOTE: This option is for students who will be returning to PLU the following year*

-Regardless of how you transport your things please make sure you are following TSA guidelines, or any guidelines imposed by countries you are traveling to/in.

Find off Campus Living Arrangements 


-Need some place to stay over the summer?  Here are some sites that could prove helpful!
     -Apartment Guide
     -Another option is to look at the apartment advertisements that are posted around campus

-Worried you might get stuck in a bad neighborhood?  Say no more.
     -Crime Spot Map

*As always use your own discretion when agreeing to meet with someone to look at an apartment.  Let's keep it safe now y'all*

Make all of the Money

Step 1: Find a Job

-Here are some great places to start looking!
     -PLU Student Employment
     -The Career Center ( located in Ramstad 112)

Step 2: (FOR ON CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT) SSN Request form 

-Submit a SSN request for to ISS (This can only be done AFTER you receive a job offer)
     -You can submit this request here under "Letter Request Forms"

 -Apply for Curricular Practical Training
     -Instructions, Information and Request Form for CPT can be found here!

Step 3: Pick up all of the Letters

-(For on Campus Employment Only) Pick up employment letter from the Student Employment Office (located in RAM 112)
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card
          -Your I-20
          -Your Passport
          -Your I-94 (For more info on this go here)
     -You will be asked to fill out a I-9 and W-4 form at this time.

-(For on Campus Employment Only) Pick up SSN Request Letter from International Student Center (located in HARS 112)
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card

-(For off Campus employment Only)  Obtain letter from prospective employer
     -Letter must indicate:
          -Job title
          -Dates of employment
          -Number of hours to be worked per week
          -Place of Employment
          -Brief description of work
               -See the CPT Employer Letter Template for an example

-(For off Campus Employment Only)  ISS CPT Letter of Approval
     -Make sure to bring:
          -Your PLU ID Card

*Please allow 5 business days for Student Employment Office and ISS to issue your letters.

Step 4: Print out SS-5 form

-Print and fill out SS-5 form
      -This can be found here

Step 5: Make a Trip to the Social Security Office
-This office is located at:  Suite A, 2608 S 47th St. Tacoma, Wa 98409
-Their office hours are:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (9am- 3pm)
Wednesday (9am-12pm)
-You will need to bring:
     -(For on Campus Employment Only) Your employment letter from Student Employment Office
     -(For on Campus Employment Only)Your SSN Request Letter
     -(For off Campus Employment Only) Your letter from Perspective Employer
     -(For off Campus Employment Only)  ISS CPT Letter of Approval
     -Your SS-5 Form 
     -Your I-94
     -Your I-20
*SS Office will give you a receipt indicating that you applied for SSN. Students may NOT start working without presenting this receipt to Payroll Office (located at the corner of 121st St and Park Ave).
You will receive SS card within 2-3 weeks in the mail. After receiving SS card, you must bring it to Payroll Office.


Of course if you have any questions about anything listed about please feel free to contact:
     -The ISS office at
     -Heather Jacobson at

*Additionally, the ISS office will be open during the summer at normal office hours, so feel free to drop by.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring Term 2017

Hi again everyone,
This is Joel and for my blog this week, I'd like to talk about certain events during Spring Semester and my trip to Alaska after J-Term, right before Spring sem.
I went with my buddy Alex, and we had lots of fun in Anchorage. Here are some pictures from the trip
Rail road station that was close to our hotel
Snow on the ground at night
Scenery of downtown Alaska during the day

Apparently to the concierge, this bear was once alive and now preserved!

After the trip to Alaska, Spring semester started and I dived head first into ROTC and academics. As a MSIII Cadet in ROTC, this semester is the busiest as we're preparing for Advanced Camp during the Summer, and I'm also going on a training deployment to Tanzania.

Just a couple hours ago, we also held a JROTC competition for local high schools and their JROTC cadets came and competed against one another. Here is a short video clip of my event that I was in-charge of today, the Relay Event. I was the Officer-in-charge of this event so I planned and executed it, along with other cadets who helped.


At the end of March, we're also heading to Phoenix, AZ for a basketball game and just to visit and hang out.

For my academics, I'm taking 2 Computer Science classes and a Communication Capstone. So there's also a lot of work to be done on this front. However, I'm enjoying life and work at the International Office is going great as well. Speaking of which, we welcomed about 7 new international students to PLU and at the time of writing, all that I've kept in touch with seem to be enjoying life at PLU and that's great!

The next time I blog would be after my trip to Phoenix, and also after other ROTC events so look forward to hearing from me again!

Thank you,


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Weekend in Utah!

Hi all!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to present a paper that I co-authored with Olivia Cook, another PLU student. The conference we were presenting at was the Western Communication Association Conference which hosts an Undergraduate Research Conference for undergraduate students to present original research.

We arrived in Salt Lake City late Thursday night and realized that the schedule did not include undergraduate students on Friday. This was great news because it meant we were able to explore Salt Lake all day!

We started the day by walking to Temple Square, which is the largest tourist attraction in Utah. Temple Square is owned and operated by the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and the Salt Lake Temple is the site in which Brigham Young famously said "Here we will build a temple to our God".

After exploring the temple grounds, we decided to try to find some coffee. This turned out to be much more difficult in Utah than in Washington, because there is a large majority of citizens who are LDS, and that religion does not allow for its members to drink caffeine. Although, we did find a coffee and sandwich shop two miles from the temple, so we eventually got our espresso!

Following our coffee break, we went thrift shopping and then to dinner at Red Iguana. Red Iguana is a famous Mexican restaurant that has been covered on multiple travel shows and is a popular tourist destination. The line wraps around the building every night because there as so many people waiting to get in- but Olivia and I were lucky and only had to wait twenty minutes. The restaurant is known for their multiple moles sauces, and I got a burrito with the spicy mango mole!

The next day was the actual conference for undergraduates, so we woke early to get to hotel where the conference was held. At 9:45 we began presenting, and by 9:55 our presentation was over! It was a great day full of academic support and insight into what the future could be.

I will be excited to travel to Utah again soon!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Break & Friend's Visit

Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Break & Friend's Visit

The greatest healing therapy is the friendship.

I would like to share with you guys about my journey last week.

Because I took a J-term class, I had a short winter break. At the end of the J-term, I was little stressed out and needed something to refresh my mind. I had a short conversation with my friend by chance and asked my friend to come over my place. He actually came over to America from Korea 5 days after the conversation was done.

Within the five days, he made his new passport and issued new VISA. I so much appreciated that he made it happen. I can tell that Kim, my friend, is super initiative.

Our trip was all about foods because we are foodies. In addition to that, my friend Kim is a chef, so having a good food at a fine restaurant is always enjoyable for him. One of the favorite restaurants we have been is Duke's Chowder House, which has awarded several times at the Seattle Chowder Competition. We had all different kinds of chowders they have and other seafood cuisines. We , though, could not finish these all.

The point of the journey is that ...
I have refreshed my mind completely although I have just started stressing little bit because I am back in my real life. However, I am also happy to be back to school and study because learning what you want to learn is as fruitful as how tough it is. I am looking forward to the next journey to let  my stress go far away.

Friendship is the gift. Be pleased with people around you and build a good friendship. Friends are the healers, potentials, and gifts.

Last point is the foods. Along the West Coast, there are so many great restaurants that you do not want to miss. My tongue does not remember the taste but my tummy, so I think I need to go again.

- Cho Cheong Wun

Friday, January 27, 2017

J-Term & Winter Break at PLU

Hey, it's been a while.

I hope you're doing great! As you might have known, Fall semester ended about midway through December and it was the Winter Break all through early January.

Over the break, my parents came to visit and we had a snowy and fun-filled road trip to Oregon, Idaho and Montana. We stayed for a couple days in each State and finally returned back to Tacoma, where they spent the remainder of the time with me. We took some fun family photos as well!

Our family at a restaurant in Butte, Montana.
A day after my parents returned to Malaysia, J-Term classes began so I had to get ready for that. This J-Term, I'm taking Military Ethics, and it fulfills a requirement for ROTC. It has been a very interesting and resourceful class, I can definitely apply what I've learned to my career in the Army.

Something else that went on during J-Term was Land Navigation courses the ROTC battalion. We went to Fort Lewis, and practiced our land navigation skills by finding points only with a compass and map. Not only did we practice land navigation, our instructors demonstrated how we could start and keep a fire alive during wind and rain. 


Lastly, I would be heading to Alaska for 4 days on Feb 1st so that should be fun. I'll be back to help the International Student Office with moving in and transportation of new students from the airport. Spring semester is almost here and I'm looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Joel Goh