Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Let's make more friends and have more fun!!!

 Hello everyone! Chau is here!

I hope everyone has a great start for your semester.  πŸ‘πŸ‘

I don't know if anyone feels like me, but I kind of have a mixed feeling when we are back IN-PERSON! I was so excited to be back in the classroom. I even pictured myself interacting with people, making friends, joining clubs, and having so much fun that I have missed for 2 years during the pandemic. BUT, I am not really feeling that when I am back to class πŸ˜•πŸ˜•πŸ˜΅

I personally have a hard time to make friendsπŸ’”πŸ’”.  Does anybody feel me???

BUT!!! I do not want to be alone forever hahaha, so I find out there are many ways for me to find a friend.

Let me show you how:

            Step 1. Finding your interest: it will be more fun when you do something that you enjoy, right? 

For me, I like body movement (most activities required moving, I know πŸ˜…).  SO Be specific!!! It's important! 

            Step 2. Willing to be open: relationship is complicated, so prepare for it.

            Step 3. You can ignore 1 & 2, but you have to see my collection of resources on campus where you might find your soulmate πŸ‘»πŸ‘»

 ➤ The CAVE:   

The CAVE is a great place to hang out, meet other students, catch up with friends, study, enjoy lunch, or rest between classes. Though it is called “The CAVE” the physical space is vibrant and the diverse community members create a warm and welcoming space for all. After 5pm and on the weekends, The CAVE hosts concerts, performances, and club meetings.

Hours: Monday- Thursday 9am-5pm & Friday 9am -2:30 pm

Location: The basement of Anderson University Center

Clubs and Group activities: I strongly recommend you to have at least 1 experience with the clubs and group activities at PLU. I was a shy and “lazy” student who did not like to join any big event or crowded activities.  BUT I am in love with these clubs.  

πŸ‘‰Group X: (X for exercise😁 ) where you find some fun activities, classes such as Yoga, Zumba, and Boot Camp.  The BEST part is you don’t have to commit with it UNLESS you are in love with it. 

I have the link HERE, so check it out and you might see me in those classes.

    πŸ‘‰Outdoor Rec trips (like KAYAKING, HIKING, CAMPING) is more than a trip-  it is a wholesome experience.  Each weekend,  they come together and go off campus for a outdoors journey.  It's whether hiking in the cascades, kayaking on the Puget Sound, or exploring states near and far. That will be a unique experience for you! I promiseπŸ‘Œ

Outdoor Rec Trip

            πŸ‘‰Like sport??? Let me introduce you to Intramurals. Pacific Lutheran University Intramural programs provide students with positive social opportunities and are an outlet for good clean fun (well sometimes it’s muddy fun), exercise and relaxation, while encouraging team spirit and good sportsmanship.

If you like a little friendly competition you’ll love the PLU Intramural program. Whether it’s team sports, individual competitions, or live action role playing, intramurals are open to all current PLU students, faculty and staff regardless of athletic ability.  These programs are designed as a way for students to get out, have fun and stay fit! 

πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺTo register for intramural sports, you need to create an account on and select Pacific Lutheran University as your school. You should then be able to register for the sports under the Intramurals section.  

            πŸ‘‰Last but not least, MAKERSPACE.  This is the place that I just got introduced to.   MAKERSPACE is an awesome place for people who are interested in crafting, or being creative with different projects. 

Creativity in the Makerspace

Creativity in the Makerspace
During 2021-2022, our Makerspace is open again in the ground floor of Hinderlie Hall on upper campus. Please drop anytime (9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) to use the materials. We also have open Makerspace hours on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in which the space is curated by Innovation Studies intern Maddie Lamwers. Maddie can help you find a project to do and she’ll provide access to any locked equipment (such as sewing machines, electronics, paints, and so on). (Here is the link) ✋πŸ‘‹ Come and have some fun!

πŸ’žπŸ’•πŸ’ž Thank you for reading my post. I hope you will find some things that might be helpful and interesting to you. Stay warm and stay connected!!! πŸπŸ‚πŸπŸ€

See you soon!πŸ’‹

Friday, September 24, 2021

Meet Amandine - Our first guest blogger!

 Hi everyone, this is Silje! 

Long time, no see - Things have been super stressful with moving into a house off-campus, being a student leader at the New International Student Orientation and the beginning of classes (which are finally in-person again!). But, we are back on track to our regular blog schedule, and this week is our guest blogger week! This is a new concept that we are introducing to our blog, which will either feature interviews with the guest or a blog-takeover. 

Amandine at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

For our first guest blog, we have Amandine Barban (22), who came to PLU during our current semester, Fall of 2021, and is doing a semester exchange for her MBA program! Amandine is from the Auvergne region in France, which she describes as a beautiful, green region with a lot of volcanos (that are thankfully inactive), but she was born in Montpellier in the south of France. Amandine is a student at NEOMA Business School in Rouen, which is located in the north of France, and we are really excited that she is spending a semester of her education here with us at PLU! I asked Amandine a few questions about what she has experienced during her first 3 weeks in Washington. 

You came to PLU for fall semester 2021. Why did you want to do an exchange year from France, and what made you choose PLU as opposed to other colleges in the US?
    I had already had the awesome opportunity to do an exchange program six years ago in Ontario, Canada for 3 months, from which I have met wonderful people and made several great memories. I really wanted to re-live an international experience because I love to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone! I think it is a very fulfilling and enriching experience and I would recommend it to anyone. Also this time is different because I am not living with a family but I am more " on my own '', since I am living on campus and I didn't know anyone before coming here. And the main reason I chose PLU as opposed to other colleges in the US is mainly its location: I didn't want to end up in a state in the middle of nowhere haha! I liked that the Washington state was on the West coast and not too far away from Seattle and other great cities that I wanted to discover.

 What has been the biggest culture shock that you have experienced since coming here?
    There have already been several: first of all, living on a huge campus like this is really something that we don't get to experience in France. Also, I was surprised at the beginning that everybody would ask me how I was doing, at any time: when passing someone on the street, when ordering food, when going to a store... But I have to admit that the biggest culture shock I have experienced here is with the food: even if I love fast food, I really miss eating actual cooked meals. I never thought I would have said that but I miss vegetables and healthy food hahaha! 

Is there anything you noticed were more similar to France than you thought, or anything that you did not expect to be different but were? Anything new that you have learned in the last month of being in Washington? 
    I have learnt to always be careful when looking at prices, since here the tax is not included and also you have to tip almost everywhere! In France, tips are like a bonus for waiters and waitresses, contrary to here where it is the way they actually get paid. Also I did not expect food to be so expensive, I feel like you pay the same amount for fast food here than for actual "restaurant" food in France. Eventually I didn't expect Americans to eat dinner so early, that required some adaptation from me in the beginning.

If your family or friends came to visit you in Washington, what is something that you would really like to show them?
    First I would want to show them the campus and its accommodations; but apart from that, I would take them to Seattle and visit Pike Place Market, as well as show them Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures.

Do you have anything on your bucket list of what you'd like to see or do during your time? Any bucket list experiences that you have already crossed off?
    As said above, I have already had the opportunity to go to Seattle (4 times already!), which was something I was really looking forward to. I have also been to Tacoma several times, and done a hike in Mount Rainier! Next locations on my bucket list would be Portland, the Olympic National Park, Vancouver and New York. I would also like to experience life on campus and I am really looking forward to attending on-campus events such as PLU's Theatre and Dance musical.

You're currently doing an MBA program, which for someone who might not know, stands for Masters in Business Administration. To provide a slight insight on Amandine's masters, she is enrolled in "Organizations, Leadership and Change Management", "Quantitative and Managerial Decision Analysis", "Marketing Management" and "Project Management". How has the first couple weeks of classes been? What are your favorite classes, and why?
    The first couple weeks of classes have been good! I already have a lot of projects and presentations, which is a bit stressful but also stimulating. Also the teachers are very understanding and have a close relationship to their students, which is something that I really appreciate. One of my favorite classes so far is the Marketing class because our teacher is very "entertaining", by that I mean that his course is very dynamic, which is important to me since all my classes are in the evening. I also appreciate that the class is not presented as a lecture but rather as interactive presentations made by students themselves.

What are some advice that you would give future international students wanting to come to PLU?
    I would advise to bring some snacks from home because food will be the second thing you miss the most after your friends and family ahaha! And other than that, just be open to any opportunity that is given to you and to live your exchange year/semester 100% - time flies and you don't get to live this kind of experience everyday, so make sure to take advantage of it as much as possible. This way you will meet amazing people and make wonderful memories! 

And that concludes the interview with our first guest blogger! I want to thank Amandine for her time, and wish her good luck with the rest of her exchange program. 

Until next time, 
    - Silje 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Fall semester and move-in is coming up - what to pack?!

 Hey guys, Silje here! 

Happy summer! I hope everyone is enjoying their time and unwinding before fall semester starts in September. Packing and moving away from home to begin college is always stressful - even more so when you're moving internationally! I figured I should let you in on some tips and tricks on what to bring and not to bring when moving to Washington state from abroad! 

Clothes and necessities

Tacoma has a lot of different weather to offer, which can make it overwhelming to pack. Summers can get really hot and winters can get really rainy - sometimes it snows! You will need to bring clothes for all types of weather, but I would recommend to not overpack for all types of weather! For example, you should bring a jacket for cold weather, but due to the limited space in a suitcase, I would recommend to only bring your favorite one. Pack light summer clothing, jeans/leggings, and sweaters, as well as a few pairs of shoes. PLU students dress casually on campus and for classes, so it is not necessary to bring all your fancy attire (although it is nice to bring a couple nice outfits for special occasions). 

You will also need to bring your necessities like glasses/contacts, all prescribed medications and toiletries. Stuff like shampoo and conditioner you might want to pack in travel bottles and repurchase when you arrive in Washington since full size bottles can take up both space and a lot of suitcase weight! 

Do not pack towels and bed linens. For the first few nights, we will lend you a set of all you need for the bed, plus a towel and a washcloth. This allows you time to go to a store and find linens and towels that you would like to purchase - no need to use suitcase space on that! 

Something to help with home-sickness

Home sickness do occur for most students, and it is nice to have something from home that you believe will make you feel better! For some people, it might be a certain candy from home, for others it's a stuffed animal. Personally, I brought a picture frame of me and my friends that I received from them on my going-away party. It is something personal and homey to add to your new dorm/room, and it will make you feel like you have a part of home with you. 

I tried to pack my dog to help with home sickness - it didn't work unfortunately. 


There's a few do's and don'ts on this one. If you have a computer or tablet, I would recommend bringing it with you since it will make studying and taking notes in class a lot easier. However, do not bring other necessities like notebooks, pens, books and so on - all of this is available to purchase for a fair price after you have arrived in the US. I heard that some people like to bring their old notebooks that they believe have relevant notes for some of your classes, for example old math notes. If that is the case I would recommend taking pictures of your notes and uploading it to your computer/tablet/phone. Books for your classes can be bought or borrowed at the PLU bookstore, or through Amazon. 

Room decor 

Unless it is something small that will help with home sickness, I would not recommend bringing room decor for your dorm/room. We will take you shopping for the first days of orientation so that you can purchase stuff like decor, linens, towels, school supplies and everything in between. If it is something fairly small like a blanket you really want to bring, then go for it! Just keep in mind that you will probably want to bring it back home as well after you have graduated. 

Important documents

If you forget to pack a sweater, you can purchase a new one - please do not forget to pack the most important thing; immigration documents. This includes your passport with your US Visa and your I-20 or DS-2019. Keep these with you in your hand luggage - you will need to show them when arriving at border control in the US, where you will not have access to your suitcase yet. 

Packing to move abroad is very overwhelming, and you need to pack a lot less than someone who is starting college in their home country. PLU residential life has made a really great list of what is smart to pack with you when moving into the dorms - international students can treat this list sort of as a shopping list after you have arrived in the US. Keep a screenshot on your phone during shopping on orientation, so that you remember the necessities! The list can be found here. Me and the rest of the ISS team will also be there with you help you out with shopping. 

I look forward to seeing you guys on campus this fall! 

-- Silje

Friday, May 21, 2021

May 17th - What does Norway's independence day look like?

Hey guys, it's Silje

I hope you're all hanging in there, and finish off strong during dead week. Personally, it has been a hectic few weeks with school and although it is kind of bitter-sweet that my first year at PLU is coming to an end, I am looking forward to summer and what next semester has to offer (hopefully in-person classes)! 

At the end of April, I went back home to Norway to finish the rest of the semester there. This means that I got back home in time for Norway's independence day, otherwise known as May 17th (syttende mai)! Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year and last year, the recent celebrations have not exactly been traditional. For May 17th I did an Instagram-stories takeover on the PLU international account (@pluintl) to show how my friends, family, and I celebrate - if you're interested in watching, it's saved on our account as a highlight! There were only a few traditions that I was able to do this year, so I wanted to tell you guys about how May 17th would be celebrated pre-covid. 

“Skrangletog” - noisy parade

The day starts bright and early at 7.00am when the noisy parade walks around the neighborhoods. 

This is a tradition that almost every city in Norway participates in, where the whole goal is to make as 

much noise as you possibly can to wake everyone up. This is a huge thing for kids - I would know since 

that was my favorite part of May 17th when I was a kid. Just to get a representation of how noisy this is, 

I found a video on YouTube of a classic "skrangletog" which you can watch here.

Champagne breakfast

This is exactly what it sounds like! Champagne breakfast is typically a tradition between friends, where we meet around 8-10am to eat breakfast with each other, like eggs, bacon, different spreads and drink champagne before we get going for the rest of the day.


On May 17th, people wear the nicest clothes they own. For a lot of Norwegians, their nicest piece of clothing would be their bunad. This is a national dress/suit that usually represents where they are from. For example, I am from Telemark and we have a bunad that is unique to our area. I, unfortunately, do not have a bunad yet, but I have been saving up for one for the past few years and are purchasing it this year! It is a big process to get this custom-made, but a bunad will last you for a lifetime. Here is a picture from May 17th this year (at champagne breakfast) - Pictured are Julie, Susann, me, and Aurora. They all have bunads specific to where they/their families come from. Mine will be similar to Aurora's bunad on the right, the Telemark bunad.

School parades

At noon is when the local school parades start walking. Students from grades 1-10 walk as their families watch. The schools also host games like corn holes and sack jumping, as well as there are food stands that serve hot dogs, ice creams, soda, cakes made by the local families, and snacks. I always enjoy going over to my school to see my old teachers, say hi to old classmates, and watch my younger family members walk in the parade that I used to walk in.


At 5pm, the citizen parade starts walking around the cities of Norway. It sounds like all we do is walk/watch parades, which is kind of true! The citizen parade is huge, with different schools, clubs, sportsclubs and organizations walk together. This includes this year's high school seniors who are graduating. They all wear senior overalls that they have stickers/drawings on to make them custom and unique. This has been a tradition for multiple decades and it is a fun way to celebrate your graduation. For seniors, May 17th is all about partying!

After the parades, people usually get together with their families and/or friends to eat dinner. A lot of people BBQ and sit outside if the weather allows for it, while some people meet out at restaurants to eat there. Those traditions are all individual, but my family is typically barbecuing with aunts, uncles and cousins. And of course, there are desserts. 

And that is pretty much it. I wouldn't say that it is anything crazy, but traditions are always sacred to any family/country! May 17th is actually one of my favorite holidays here in Norway because you really see a pride in your country, and it seems like that there are no strangers this day - we all smile, greet each other and say Happy Birthday to each other (independence day is considered Norway's birthday). The past two years have been different due to covid and a lot of celebrations were cancelled to limit gatherings, so I have not been able to see nor attend a parade these past couple of times. I am hopeful that May 17th of 2022 will be back to normal! 

I'll end with wishing you all good luck with finals, and have a great summer! Cant wait to see you all again on campus next semester :) 

- Silje 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Spring semester almost flies by-- what do we have for graduation celebrating this year?

 I couldn't believe that the Spring semester will be over within the next couple of weeks😲😲.  I believe that many students like me are turning the highest power of study mode on.  It might be exciting for most people to get things done and then enjoy the wonderful summer break, but that might not apply to our senior students or graduating this semester. 😐😐😐

I always have mixing emotions whenever the "graduation season" coming.  I am happy for those who are successfully completing their program, but I am sad because they will leave our home😒😒 and we might no longer see each other around.   Sorry, I need to leave the emotions behind and move forward to see what events we will have for graduation celebrating this year!!!πŸŽ‡πŸŽ‡πŸŽ‡

This year, we will celebrate both Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ“.  

πŸ‘‰ Due to the Covid situation, the in-person event will be limited.  Please make sure you contact the event planner to make a reservation.  The schedule of graduation events will be:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

  • Education Commencement Ceremony for Class of 2021
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 4:00-5:00 pm | Red Square
    Event Planner:  Diana Duclos

  • Education Commencement Ceremony for Class of 2020
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 6:00-7:00 pm | Red Square
    Event Planner:  Diana Duclos

Friday, May 28, 2021

  • School of Nursing DNP Hooding Ceremony
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 9:00-10:00 am | Eastvold Auditorium, Karen Hille Phillips Center
    Event Planner:  Kristi Edrington

  • School of Nursing BSN Pinning Ceremony
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 12:00-1:00 pm | Eastvold Auditorium, Karen Hille Phillips Center
    Event Planner:  Kristi Edrington

  • School of Business Celebration | Virtual Event
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 2:00-3:00 pm
    Please RSVP to attend the Celebration
    Event Planner:  Becki Torgerson

  • School of Arts & Communication Recognition Ceremony
    The event is open to graduating students only.
    Time: 3:00-5:00 pm | Eastvold Auditorium, Karen Hille Phillips Center
    Event Planner:  Helen Hickman
    Please RSVP to attend the Recognition Ceremony
Saturday, May 29, 2021, ❌❌❌BIG DAY❌❌❌
πŸ‘‰It will be a different experience for our graduate fellows, but it will be so special and unforgettable πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

  • Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2021 | Virtual Ceremony
    Time: 11:00 am

  • Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 | Virtual Ceremony
    Time: 2:00 pm
Finally, I wish you all have a great rest of your semester and congratulation to the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–