Friday, January 18, 2019

Winter break in Canada πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ—ΊπŸπŸŽ„


Hello everyone, happy 2019!πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³

Are you enjoying your J-term break or are you busy with classes? Either way I hope you all at least had a break at some point; it’s important to take care of yourself πŸ’ͺ🏼🍡. 
So during winter break, my mom came over to visit me and we went to Vancouver, and Victoria, CA together πŸ˜†. It was such a blast πŸ€©. Even though the weather forecast said it was gonna rain for a couple days, it ended up being really sunny most of the time πŸ₯°πŸŒ¦πŸŒ€πŸŒž. We were in Vancouver for 3 days before we took a bus to get to Victoria. Pictures time!

Gastown Vancouver Steam Clock


Canada Place

Grouse Mountain - my fav photo πŸ˜

Christmas vibe on Grouse Mountain ☃❄πŸŽ„πŸŒŸπŸ”₯πŸͺπŸ€ΆπŸΌπŸŽ…πŸΌ



Capilano Suspension Bridge - this bridge was sooo fun πŸ€£


VanDusen Botanical Garden - Festival of Lights
 
The Butchart Gardens πŸ’πŸŒ·πŸŒΉπŸŒΊπŸŒΈπŸŒΌπŸŒ»
Beautiful day in downtown Victoria☀


Parliament of Victoria

Enjoy our afternoon tea party πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§πŸ₯°

Fairmont Empress😍😍😍
So beautiful everywhere πŸ₯°

Canada is a great travel location and it’s also really close to WA state! I would definitely recommend everyone to go if you have a chance. Remember to look up for visa requirements for your nationality before you go to Canada (or any country that you do not have a valid visa). It took me about 3 months to get my visa so I think it is best to have it done at least 3 months prior to your trip.

Best wishes to you all, I hope 2019 is a year full of laughter and great moments πŸ˜†. Good luck!πŸ€✨✨

~Cloud☁~

Friday, December 14, 2018

Guest blog series: Paphawee and her Thanksgiving in Alaska🀩🀩

Hello everyonπŸ€— ~ I hope you all did well on your finals and are ready for the break now more than ever πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜. It has been a really busy semester but we now come back to our guest blog series with Paphawee Chungtrakool πŸ₯°. Even though Thanksgiving has been passed for a while, it's still really excited to read about Paphawee's experience in Alaska during this family time πŸ˜. Not gonna make anyone wait any longer, this is her blog!

"This year thanksgiving I decided to take on an adventure with my cousin to visit his family in Alaska. I was way over packed because I was afraid that it was going to be so cold that I would shivered till my bones. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad. The trip lasted five days so a short but very fulfilling one nevertheless.

My cousin and I flew from Seattle Airport to Anchorage, Alaska which took us about three hours to get there. Once we got there, his mom and sister picked us up and we head to get supper at a restaurant called Firetap Alehouse. This is where I got my first legal drink!


The second day of break we decided to just sit back and relax at the house. My amazing aunt and uncle decided to cook a homemade formal thanksgiving dinner for me. It was definitely an awesome experience. The food was so delicious that I overate. The whole family, including me, wasn’t a huge fan of pumpkin pie so we had tiramisu instead.

The third day was a combination of shopping in  downtown Anchorage. The mall was called 5th Avenue Mall and my cousin stopped at a park where you used to play and hangout with his friends in the old days. I do have to be honest that coming from a very hot country, Thailand, and to see people ice skating on a frozen pond is very unreal and exciting as well.


This is the picture I took when we were driving around the neighborhood! The view is unimaginably gorgeous that my iphone definitely didn’t do justice.




This was a picture of me sitting by the world’s largest chocolate fountain at Alaska Wild Berry Products. The shop was very cute and cozy with many souvenirs. I bought back mugs and chocolate. The chocolate was very tastely! Especially the dark chocolate mint.  


The last place I went was a ski town called Girdwood. My cousin and I decided to take a Picture of a random snowmen. Girdwood is a beautiful small town where people from all over the world or people from Anchorage comes to have a mini escape from the real world. It is very peaceful and with beautiful mountains.


Thank you for reading my mini trip to Alaska!
Happy Holidays and be safe!!"

Merry X-MasπŸŽ„and Happy New YearπŸŽ‡πŸŽ†!!






Friday, November 30, 2018

Around the World 2018 πŸŒŽπŸŒπŸŒπŸŒ—πŸŒ»



Hello everyone 😎~

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Earlier this month, ISS holds an event called Around the World. This is an annual event that we have during International Education Week to appreciate different cultures! Students who have studied away and international students host country/region tables with different education activities and food πŸ€©πŸ˜‹Here are some pictures and a really funny video from Taiwan table πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†~


Our photo booth☺️We will take your picture with
 a polaroid and you get to keep it after!
Each participant will have
passport (you can stick the polaroid
 picture on the first page!). You can go
to different country tables and
have them stamp on that country page
as a travel confirmation😏

Senegal table 😍😍😍
Taiwan table πŸ₯°
All the good food and information the
Thailand table offered 😭🀀
Hot pot tasting yum yum πŸ˜‹ (China table)


Ao dai 😍 Egg coffee (a traditional drink
in Hanoi) ☕️
Namibia with beautiful pictures
and stories 🀩🀩

Tinikling (Philippine folk dance) πŸ˜™








Some people was trying to learn a dance from a video at Taiwan table. There is a prize afterwards and it's super fun! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

If you missed Around the World this year, don't worry, we will have it next year too πŸ˜! Don't forget to come and immerse yourself with different cultures by trying some traditional food, taking some pictures, listening to all kind of stories, and music. There are all kinds of activities for you to enjoy, so come, learn and "travel" with us!

Good luck preparing for finals everyone! And don't forget to take care of yourself~

Best,
Cloud ☁~

*Photos by Heather Jacobson and Saralyn Smith

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

My First American Thanksgiving

Hey everyone – Megan here!

Campus is winding down in spirit of the holiday season, and my fellow Lutes are saying their goodbyes before they head home for the week. Thanksgiving is only two days away, and it’s the holiday we usually look forward to the most during fall semester. Not only do most students get to reunite with their families, but Thanksgiving also means a lot of good food and shopping opportunities during the days after. Our International readers might not be too familiar with the concept of Thanksgiving or what exactly Americans are celebrating, so some explanation might be helpful.  

Thanksgiving is a holiday in the United States and Canada that is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. It’s in remembrance of when Pilgrims came to the United States in the 1621, and the Native Americans living there helped the Pilgrims plant crops by offering seeds and plants to help them survive. The fall harvest was a good one, so the Pilgrims hosted a feast to thank the Native Americans. This feast is known as the “First Thanksgiving”, and today Americans usually celebrate the holiday in family gatherings to express thankfulness.

The distance from Seattle to Pittsburgh - quite a long way!
Last year, Thanksgiving break ended up being my favorite memory of my first semester at PLU. Because my family lives in Norway, I couldn’t travel all that way just for a few days. Luckily, I was familiar with Thanksgiving prior to moving here, so I planned a trip to visit a good friend of mine, Gianna, in Pittsburgh  for the holiday. We met at a summer camp in Virginia a couple years ago and have kept in touch since then, but my trip to see her was the first time we’d seen each other in a year and a half! Pittsburg is on the other side of the country, so the trip ended up being a whole day’s worth of traveling. I left on Wednesday afternoon, and didn’t actually arrive in Pittsburgh until early Thursday morning!! (Which included long layovers and a 3-hour time difference, but still.) My philosophy professor had also assigned a 400-page book to be finished by the first day back, so I spent the majority of my travel drowning in literary analysis.

Me (left) and Gianna on our way to Thanksgiving dinner!
Once I landed, I met up with Gianna and it was such a nice reunion. She’s the kind of friend I’m not able to talk to all the time, but when we meet up it’s like nothing has changed. Her family took me in and made me feel at home right away, and I knew that I was in for a good weekend. The actual Thanksgiving dinner was held at Gianna’s aunts house, so we got to enjoy a lovely meal with her (super fun Italian) family and their dog. It was a blast! Thanksgiving food is also my favorite meal in the whole world, so the food alone was worth the trip. 


<3 Gianna's family dog <3
The Pittsburgh Skyline - beautiful both during the day and at night.
The rest of the weekend Gianna and I spent doing some shopping, touring Pittsburgh and going ice-skating. Overall, it just felt really nice to be welcomed into someone’s home and to take part in their traditions. Especially as an international student that was really special to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday season last year, and I was even able to finish my long and not-so-exciting philosophy reading on the trip home!

Ice-skating around the Christmas tree!
From one of our walks around Pittsburgh - the weather was beautiful the whole time, which is usually not the case, apparently. 
For incoming international Lutes, and even for our current international students, I know that a lot of us are nervous about Thanksgiving break. Campus facilities close down for the majority of the weekend, so a lot of times we feel pressured to find someone to spend the holiday with. Although I would highly recommend finding a friend you can go home with over break, it is also important to keep in mind that it’s not realistic for everyone. PLU understands this as well, so they host Thanksgiving dinner on campus for students who don’t want to or can’t travel home. Friends of mine stayed on campus last year and had a blast – so don’t feel like you have to visit someone in order to have an “American Thanksgiving”. All in all, this holiday is all about showing love and gratitude to the people around you, which is possible to achieve no matter where you spend it.


Monday, November 12, 2018

Writing Center

Hello Everyone. This is Camille Chen. I hope mid-term has been treating you well.

With finals coming, I believe that there are students struggling with their papers. Me as International
 student, and with English as my second language, writing has been the biggest challenge for me.
 Grammar rules vary in different countries. In China, we don’t have articles such as “a” or “the”, 
which I always get confused. Another one I notice is that we express plurality differently as nouns
 themselves do not indicate any singularity or plurality. What’s worse, rules for plurality sometimes
 even doesn’t make sense to me. How can many fish still be fish, instead of “fishes”? 










Grammatical errors are the major area that my points get taken off so I decided to get help from the
 Writing Center. I would say that going to the Writing Center is one of the best decisions I have 
made for this semester. I can frankly say, papers are my worst nightmare. I can deal with exams 
or other things but papers just give me lots of headache, and it takes up way too much time. 

In Writing Center, they DO NOT write your paper for you but if you get stuck with your thoughts,
 sometimes they will help you to organize your thoughts. Like I said earlier, the biggest help for me
 from the Writing Center is to correct my grammatical error. Another big help is that they will go 
over my paper and point out anything that doesn’t make sense to them. Choice of wording or 
appropriateness of wording is also my big challenge as sometimes I still think in Chinese, and 
there are certain words that I believe they would fit in the scenario in the essay while it might not 
work in English. According to my writing tutor, the grammar is correct but the wording is just a 
little bit awkward and we don’t say it like that.
 






 
So yes, I am frustrated and the struggles are real. If you have the same issues, definitely go check out
 the Writing Center in the library. Tutors are all friendly are extremely helpful.  If you are struggling with 
your paper or want to make sure that you don’t get taken points off from grammar, check out 
their website and make an appointment with them :)