Thursday, February 19, 2015

Studying Away While Studying Away??

If your an international student studying away at PLU you might be asking yourself if you can still study away through a PLU course. The answer is OF COURSE! Many international students study away during their time at here and go places they might not have been able to go previously.

I just returned from a month long trip to China and South Korea studying Business Culture (BUSA 496A). I was especially excited because not only was I able to visit a part of the world I had never been to before through an in-depth course, I was able to use the course to fulfill the final credits in my business minor!

The group was small, with nine students and one faculty member. I really enjoyed the small size as it allowed us to get really get to know each individual and there was no formation of cliques.

As part of the coursework each student was assigned days on which they would write about company visits, cultural sites, observations and comparisons of business practices in that country and the USA. Here are the links to my blog posts in three different cities:

Blog Post 1: Shanghai
Blog Post 2: Guangzhou
Blog Post 3:  Seoul

I also thought it would be easier to show my family my trip, than to only tell them in person or in writing. So I took a lot of footage, both picture-wise and video wise to use as visual aids when telling them about our adventures. I made a movie from each major city we visited, and you can watch them below!

If you have any questions regarding Study Away please feel free to message me or to go to the Study Away Website!

 Live Well. Eat Lots. Travel Often.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

The International Journey

What to Expect and how to Cope with your New Life.

Dear Friends,
Each year PLU welcomes around 150 international students from all over the world. This Spring Semester, we have been fortunate to welcome students from Norway, Denmark, India, and China.
                Welcome New International Lutes, Welcome! 

As we all know, the semester goes by extremely fast, and just after two weeks of classes, you might feel a little?

It’s totally fine!
This article is here for you!
From a personal experience, I intend to share with you, both new and prospective international students, a small insight about what to expect during your first weeks of school and how to adapt to your new life.

For many of you, leaving home for the United States, mainly for the purpose of studying, is an exciting experience: you will have the opportunity to meet and connect with people from different backgrounds, improve your language skills, and expand your career opportunities. However, small challenges might come along the way, impacting your personal growth. These challenges could be experienced from the core of your classrooms to your campus life. However, you may need to get used to different ways of doing things and find ways to adapt to this new situation.

during their first days of classes:

1-       Instructional Differences or Classroom challenges:

  It is totally fine that you find it different or more challenging than your home country. Here, classes are very interactive, indeed rigorous, and with so much to learn at the same time, and most of the time you are expected to be an independent learner. However, keep in mind that there are lots of resources that are here for you to help you succeed. I must say that most, if not all, professors are quite accessible and approachable, and the tutoring centers are also very helpful to facilitate your learning process.

2-      Language barrier: For some of you, English is not your first language. Yes, it could be challenging at first. Learning a new language always takes time, but hone your language skills by associating yourself with friends that can help you learn the language much quicker, once you are more immersed in the culture, this problem will go away.

3-      Culture shock:  At this stage, you might feel a little homesick: missing Food from back home, customs, traditions, climatic conditions, or even social atmospheres due to the differences. However, with time, this will also go away.

I honestly believe that all these challenges are part of the learning process and would help you understand how you, as an individual, would fit into this world.

As you go through these phases, here are (3) three ways to handle the challenges and enjoy your educational experience.

Be determined and focused in your goals!
Be sociable and outgoing!
But most important of all: Be Patient!

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. -Helen Keller
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lau Tzu
Let’s have a wonderful Semester Guys.
Welcome and enjoy your stay here!
Your Friend,
Pape Mathioro Samba

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Starting My Senior Year

First of all, welcome to all the new students who have joined us for the Spring 2015 semester! We kicked off our Spring 2015 orientation with the Superbowl, which was extremely exciting. Although orientation was very jam-packed and busy, it was great getting to meet the new students. I'm so excited to get to know this lovely group better throughout the Spring semester!

After completing J-term, I finally kick-started my senior year with two full semester left to go. This means that I will get to work on my senior Capstone project this semester. As a psychology major, I will be researching the effects of culture (specifically the difference between American and Japanese students) and gender on attachment transfer. I'm quite excited about doing this research, and I will talk about it more as I get into the semester! I am also taking two sociology classes to complete my sociology minor: Introduction to Sociology and Crime and Society. I'm especially excited about Crime and Society, since it will definitely be related to what I want to do with my future career. Although I will be finishing my time at PLU a bit quicker than I originally expected, I'm excited to make the best out of the time I have left here!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My First J-Term Experience

Hello beautiful people,

I hope that you're all resting well and taking good care of yourselves. The start of Spring Semester is quickly dawning upon us. In less than 24 hours, we would all find ourselves sitting in classrooms (again) while ferociously scribbling down notes. Our poor brains would have to readjust to 'school' mode. I also assume that most of our brains are thinking about Spring Break, or the weekend, dinner, lunch, my pet dog, his pet turtle and all of that good stuff.

Me studying 2 minutes before a test(

Sometimes your mind just blanks out in class

Alas! That is the life of a student. I think we PLU students have it good though, we have extremely helpful and nice professors, a friendly community (everyone here's just so nice) and tons of awesome resources.

Anyways, I want to tell you all about My First J-Term Experience. Ever. Now, before you continue reading, I just want to let ya'll know that I forgot to take pictures during J-Term. Ha ha, I know right. I mean, I do have a few pictures (like 3) but I was too caught up with life, moving homes, classes, etc. But not to fret, I have a few awesome tools right in front of me that will help me portray my experiences of J-Term perfectly. Google images, the internet, my lovely keyboard and mouse. Yes, I will be using some pictures  from elsewhere to describe my feelings and life during January. Wish me luck!

Soooooo, how do I begin... Oh yes, the biggest/most significant thing that happened for me was moving. I moved out of my old place and into this new place that I absolutely love. I actually do have some pictures moving process. I had to rent a U-Haul van to move my furniture cause I had so many big and bulky items. 

IMG 20150120 205530453
Elliot the Retriever
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My awesome housemates
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Messy room = start of moving in
Well, I'm so glad that's over. I'm settled in this new house and it's been great so far.

For J-Term, I took an exciting Communication class called Communicating the Brand (COMA 387) and it's a special topics class. It was really fun and engaging. Professor Amy Young is awesome! :)

We talked about analyzing brand image, brand strategy, looking at competitor brands etc.  For this class, we worked with Safe Streets, a non-profit organization that focuses on neighborhood safety. We did a brand audit for them and for our finals we gave a presentation on their brand image and provided some recommendations. You can learn more about Safe Streets here:

Burger King trolls McDonald's

I really learned a lot from this class. I'm also confident that I can put what I've learned to good use in the future. Thank you again, professor. 

Finally, right at the end of J-Term, we welcomed our NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS!!! YAY! 


Well, before that, on February 1st, we had a Superbowl party at the diversity center. That also coincided with the move-in day for new international students so we were helping them move in and were watching the Superbowl when we had time. Some new international students had never watched football before and they were trying to grasp at the concept of grown adult men wrestling and fighting for a ball on a field. Honestly, I was the same when I first arrived in the U.S. in 2012. But now, I love football! It's really a fun game to watch (not so much the commercials though). 

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Our Superbowl party at the D-Center

Sadly, this year, the Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots 28 -24. However, the Seahawks played an awesome game and was unfortunate not to win. We 12s will never back down and I read somewhere on Facebook that the 12s bleed blue and green. YEAAAAHHHH!!! #GOHAWKS #SUPERBOWL50ISOURS

The next day, we had our official New Student Orientation (NSO) for the international students. It was fun meeting new people, making new friends and showing them life at PLU. A the end of the day, a few of the new students went for a shopping trip to get home essentials and stuff they needed.
Well, all in all, it was a great month. I really enjoyed my first ever J-Term.

Thank you for reading and take care always.


Joel Goh