Thursday, January 26, 2023

Finals week

Hello everyone - it's Blen, I am thrilled to kick off a new blog post full of motivation for finals week.

Finals week for J-term can be a challenging time for all students, but for international students, the added pressure of navigating a new academic system and cultural environment can make the experience even more stressful. However, it's important to remember that despite these challenges, international students have the ability and potential to succeed. Here are some tips and motivations to help international students do well on finals week.

First and foremost, its important to remember that the hard work and dedication that international students have put in throughout the semester will pay off during finals week. It's important to keep in mind that long hours spent studying and the late nights spent working on assignments have all been preparing students for this moment. Have confidence in the knowledge and skills that you have acquired throughout the semester, and trust in your ability to perform well on exams. 

Secondly, it's important to remind ourselves that the J-term is not the end-all, be-all of our academic journey. While it's important to do well on finals, it's also important to remember that it's just one part of our academic journey, and one mark on our academic record. International students should focus on bigger pictures and think about the long-term goals and aspirations they have for their academic and professional careers. 

Additionally, it's important for international students to take care of their physical and mental well-being during finals week. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying active. It's also important to make time for relaxation and self-care activities, whether that be reading, meditating, or going for a walk. These activities will help students to stay focused and maintain a clear mind during the stressful period of finals week. 

Another important aspects to remember is to stay positive and optimistic. Finals week can be a challenging time, but its important to keep a positive attitude and approach the exams with a clear and open mind. It can be helpful to remind yourself of past success and accomplishments, and to focus on the progress that you have made throughout the semester. 

Finally, it's important for international students to understand that it's okay to ask for help if they need it. Many universities have resources available for international students, such as tutoring, counseling, and academic advising. Additionally, international students can also reach out to other international students as they maybe going through similar experiences. 

In conclusion, finals week for J-term can be a challenging time for international students, but it's important to remember that the hard work and dedication that has been put in throughout the semester will pay off. It's important to stay positive, take care of oneself, and reach out for help if needed. Remember, it's just one part of your academic journey and you have the ability and potential  to succeed. You got this!

- Blen


Friday, January 20, 2023

Computer science at PLU

Hello everyone - it's Blen, welcome to my blog! I'm excited to dive into the field of Computer science at PLU and share my perspective with you in this post.

PLU has a strong computer science program that is preparing students for the future by incorporating the latest technologies. The program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the principles of computer science, as well as hands-on experience with the latest technologies and tools.

One of the key areas of focus for the PLU computer science program is artificial intelligence (AI). Students learn about the underlying principles of AI and have the opportunity to work on projects that utilize AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing. This is a particularly important given the increasing demand for professionals with AI skills across a wide range of industries.

Another area of focus for the computer science program is virtual reality (VR). With the increasing popularity of VR and it's potential applications in fields such as gaming, medicine, and education, students are learning how to develop and design VR applications. They also get access to state-of-the-art VR equipment and learn how to create immersive experiences. 

In addition, it also includes courses on Blockchain technology which is expected to have a big impact on  industries like finance, healthcare, and supply chain management. Students learn about the underlying principles of blockchain technology and its potential applications, as well as the security and privacy concerns that arise with the use of blockchain. 

Finally, this program is also preparing students for the future of mobile networks with courses on 5G technology. Students learn about the technical aspects of 5G and its potential impact on society, including new use cases such as remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. 

Overall, PLU's computer science program is at the forefront of technology, providing students with the latest tools and knowledge to succeed in the rapidly-evolving tech industry. With an emphasis on AI, VR, blockchain, and 5G, the program is preparing students for the future and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. 

Our university encourages the ethical use of technology, promoting a responsible approach to the development and use of technology. The computer science program also includes a course on the ethical and social implications of technology, which is a critical aspect of the curriculum as technology advances rapidly. 

In conclusion, PLU is a great place for students interested n computer science and technology. The program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the tech industry, while also fostering a responsible approach to technology development and use. With a focus on cutting-edge technologies such as AI, VR, blockchain, and 5G, PLU's computer science program is preparing students for the future and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

- Blen

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Online resources

Greetings readers - it's Blen, I am thrilled to kick off a new blog post full of valuable online resources for you. 

Online resources are a valuable tool for international students, providing access to information,

support, and connections that can make the transition to a new country and academic

environment smoother and more successful. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best

online resources available to international students, and provide tips on how to make the most

of them. 

First and foremost, it’s important to have a good understanding of the online resources provided

by Pacific Lutheran University. These resources may include online portals for class schedules,

grades, and assignments (Sakai) as well as academic databases, libraries, and research tools

(Banner). Make sure to familiarize yourself with these resources early on in your time as a

student, as they can be a valuable asset throughout your academic journey. 

Next, consider using online language learning resources to improve your language skills.

Platforms such as Duolingo, babbel, and Rosetta Stone can help you learn and practice a new language in self-paced, interactive format. These resources can be especially valuable for international students who are still working to improve their language proficiency. 

When it comes to staying connected with family and friends back home,

social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook are popular choices.

However, it’s also important to consider privacy and security when using these apps,

especially when connecting with people you may not know well. 

In addition to these resources, there are a number of websites,

apps, and other digital tools that can be used to improve your experience as an

international student. One valuable resource is Go OverseaS, a website that provides information and reviews of study abroad programs, as well as a community

of students, alumni, and other members to connect with. 

Another valuable resource is the International Student Identity Card (ISIC),

which provides international students with access to discounts and deals on everything

from travel to clothing and electronics.

To get the most out of the ISIC, make sure to research the discounts and deals

available in your area and take advantage of them. 

To find part-time job opportunities international students can make use of

online platforms such as Indeed and LinkedIn. These platforms can be used to search for remote jobs, internships, part-time work

and even volunteering opportunities.

I recommend you to do this by following the rules for off-campus employment

and maintaining the right paper work.

Finally, when it comes to cultural immersion, online resources can play an important role in

helping international students learn about the customs, history, and culture of their host country.

Websites like Visit a City, Atlas Obscura and Culture Trip provide a wealth of information on travel, art, and culture,

while Meetup is a great way to connect with locals and find out about

events and activities happening in your area. 

In conclusion, online resources can be a valuable asset for international students,

providing access to information, support, and connections that can make the transition to a

new country and academic environment smoother and more successful.

By familiarizing yourself with the resources available through Pacific Lutheran University,

utilizing language learning tools, making use of social media and messaging apps,

looking for part-time work opportunities, and exploring cultural resources,

international students can make the most of the many digital tools available to them. 

- Blen

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

New Year Motivation

Hello everyone- it’s Blen I hope your holidays were happy and fun and you’re ready to take on the New year with a fresh start.

New Year’s is a time for celebration and reflection, and it can be a particularly exciting time for international students who are experiencing a new culture and way of life. Whether you are spending New Year’s in your home country or abroad, there are many ways to celebrate this special holiday. In many parts of the world, New Year’s Eve is marked with parties and fireworks.

New year’s can also be a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the future. Many people take this opportunity to make resolutions or plan for the coming year. As an international student, you may have specific goals related to your studies or your personal growth. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve in the new year, and make a plan to work towards those goals. 

New Year’s is a time to come together with loved ones and look forward to the future. Whether you are with family, friends, or on your own, take a moment to appreciate the people and experiences that have shaped your life, and look forward to all that the new year has in store for you.

As the new year begins, it’s natural to feel motivated and ready to tackle new challenges. As an international student, you have already taken a brave and exciting step by choosing to study abroad. Now is the time to build on the momentum and set yourself up for success in the coming year. 

One way to stay motivated is to set clear goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve this year, both academically and personally? Whether it’s getting good grades, learning a new language, or making new friends, having specific goals can help you stay focused and motivated. 

Another key to staying motivated is to surround yourself with positive influences. This can include classmates, professors, and friends who support and encourage you. Seek out opportunities to connect with others who share your interests and goals, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. 

It’s also important to take care of yourself and find healthy ways to manage stress. Make time for activities that bring you joy, whether that’s exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. Remember to also get enough rest and practice good self-care habits like eating well and staying hydrated. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of school and life, but it’s important to take a moment to recognize and appreciate your hard work and progress. 

With a little planning and self-care, you can stay motivated and achieve great things in the new year. Best of luck in all your endeavors!



Monday, November 21, 2022

Around the World 2022 Recap!

Hey everyone - it's Rei! Surprisingly, it is already late November! It has been cold everyday, and there is only about a month left in the fall semester. In the meantime, last week was International Education Week (IEW) 2022, and various events related to international affaires were held at PLU! In fact, IEW is the official national education week, celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange around the world! 

PLU's International Student Office hosted an annual event called Around the World, which allowed students to travel around the world without having to leave campus. This year, students from a total of six different countries: Denmark, Vietnam, Chili, Taiwan, U.K., and Japan (relatively fewer than past years, sad...) hosted tables and displays to present their unique histories, characters, and cultures to other students. Here is a recap of that event and my hosting of Japan, and a blog version Around the World for those of you who were unable to come to the event. I hope this will be helpful to those who would like to host a table next year! 

Japan's Onsen Culture

Onsen, is the Japanese word for "hot springs," or "bath" which is warmed by the heat of the earth. In other words, Onsens are natural hot springs, fueled by volcanic activity, as well as the resort atmosphere that has emerged around many such springs. In Japan, there are also public bathhouses where tap water is boiled. However, there are significant differences between them in terms of the texture and aroma of the hot water, and the warmth of the water after bathing. The minerals in Onsen water make the experience completely different. Once you try it, you will surely understand the charm id Japanese hot springs. 

History of Onsen

In Japan, there have long been myths about hot springs in various parts of the country, such as the healing of injured animals, and the Japanese people's belief in hot spring was born out of their "gratitude and reverence for gifts of nature." The benefits of hot springs were initially known only to the residents living near the hot springs, but when Prince Shotoku (picture below) took medical treatment at a hot spring called Dogo Onsen, a memorial monument (picture in left side) was built to celebrate his recovery, and the Dogo Onsen and Onsen itself became famous. After that, other emperors and members of the royal family in Japan began to visit hot springs in various regions, and people began to believe more and more in the efficiency of hot springs. 
Later, in the Edo period, more and more people began to develop hot springs as a business opportunity. Hot springs inns began to built in places such as Hakone and Atami, where the springs were located nearby. The hot springs in Onsen inns were marketed as a way to "become one with nature" when bathing in the hot springs, without any particular modifications from the source of Onsen. Hot springs used to be located in the middle of nowhere or in the countryside where the springs are located nearby, but due to urbanization, public bathhouses began to appear in the city, and now some super public bathhouses carry hot spring water. They are well equipped and are often used by businessmen after work or college students after their classes as a place to relax. 

Place to visit for Onsen

Ginzan Onsen in winter time
The retro scenery of Ginzan Onsen is like stepping back in time. In the hot spring resort area where wooden inns line both banks of the Ginzan River, gas lamps are lit at night, creating a nostalgic Japanese atmosphere. It is just like the setting of the movie "Spirit Away." The most photogenic time to visit is on a snowy night. The snow-covered streets look great against the outside lights. Soaking in hot spring resort can offer. There are many cafes, eating spots, and souvenir shops within walking distance, making it an enjoyable hot spring resort to stroll around. It is one of the hot spring resorts I would definitely recommend!

To sum it up, Onsen is one of the healthiest cultures that Japan has to offer, and one that you should definitely experience when you visit Japan! I hope this information has been helpful to you, and below are photos of everyone who hosted a table at Around the World 2022! I am looking forward to next year's IEW events and hope that more tables and visitors will be added. Have fun during the Thanksgiving break while getting a good rest, and start preparing for Finals week well in advance!


Japanese Drum Lessons
Study Away at UK!