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The U.S. in Words #2: Dodging the Bullet (How Sandy Affected My Community)

by Paula - Posts (11). Posted Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 10:37 am

The second in a series looking at U.S. life and culture through its idioms.  View previous entries. Dodged the bullet (or dodged a bullet) – Got lucky, avoided a bad outcome I remember being horrified by the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, empathizing with the Louisiana inhabitants in Katrina’s aftermath, and being shocked by the images […]

Tags: Posted in Uncategorized

The U.S. in Words #1: In Hog Heaven (and More Ways to be Excited)

by Paula - Posts (11). Posted Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at 9:35 am

Editor’s note: Paula is an English as a Foreign Language teacher by training, so she’ll be sharing her experience in the U.S. through the phrases she’s learning, and the valuable words that describe her feelings and experiences.  So check back regularly for Paula’s special series, “The U.S. in Words.”  And don’t forget, if you’re looking […]

7 Events for International Students: Oct. 29-Nov. 2

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

A slightly lighter week this week, but still some good events looking at business school admissions, community college options, and summer programs. Plus, the ETS is offering free GRE prep courses.  More details here: As always, if you attend any of these events, report back and let us know what you learned! (Use the comments, […]

Dana Explains Why American Professors Prefer Straightforward Essays

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Friday, October 26th, 2012 at 10:31 am

In response to Sunny’s observation that American professors expect you to be very explicit in your writing, and that you must fully explain all of your assumptions and arguments (she says her TA advised her to “treat the professors like idiots” in her essays), commenter Dana suggests: It is precisely because they *do* apply critical […]

Getting the Most Out of Work-Study

by Anna Malinovskaya - Posts (17). Posted Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

When I received my admission letter to Mount Holyoke College, I also received a set of documents outlining my financial aid package: a big grant, a much smaller loan, and earnings from my future work on campus. I had expected loans and grants, but didn’t know much about how on-campus work would help fund my […]

A New Style of Education Through Cultural Diversity

by Mohammed Al-Suraih - Posts (5). Posted Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Before coming to the U.S., I went to college in Iraq. For four years, I was in classes five days a week from 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. I have no clue how my brain is still intact and functioning after that. I’m not going to attack that style of education, […]

The Best Advice I Ever Got for Writing in English: ‘Treat the Professors Like Idiots’

by Sunny Peng - Posts (5). Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I will never forget my very first conversation with an American. He was an employee at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. I was a new arrival, highly exhausted after almost 20 hours of flight. Upon landing I found myself overwhelmed by homesickness, and very badly wanted to find a telephone to call my parents. I […]

Some Hard Realities of Studying Abroad as an Afghan Student: Muhammad’s Story

by Guest Post - Posts (71). Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 11:17 am

“I realized that whatever I said and whatever I did, I was helping create my classmates’ perception of what an Afghan person is,” wrote Abuzar last week of his experience studying at a U.S. high school.  He worked hard every second to “introduce Afghanistan through the eyes of my generation, a generation tired of the […]

11 Events for International Students: Oct. 22-27

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Friday, October 19th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

This coming week is packed with events for anyone who wants to study in the U.S., including a virtual college fair and a fair for biomedical programs, plus information on English programs, engineering and architecture programs, and business programs. As always, if you attend any of these events, report back and let us know what […]

‘Who Are You?’ What it Means to be an Afghan Among Americans

by Abuzar Royesh - Posts (5). Posted Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at 11:38 am

“Hey, who are you?” The straightforward question came to me in my first day as a high school student in America. I was about to begin the biography-like chronicle of my life, as I would when I was back in Afghanistan, when it hit me. Who was I, indeed? It was then that I truly […]

I Couldn’t Get Sponsored for an H-1B Visa, and Here’s Why

by Hein - Posts (3). Posted Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 at 9:50 am

I remember the very day I received the letter that I had been accepted as an undergraduate student at Johnson & Wales University. I had big dreams and aspirations about what I was going to become upon graduation from one of the best hospitality schools in the United States. I envisioned myself becoming a successful […]

Tags: , Posted in After Graduation

Advice on Recommendation Letters from UVa’s Admissions Office

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Over on the University of Virginia’s admissions blog, Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions Jeannine Lalonde got fed up with the misinformation she was seeing on forums and message boards about how many recommendation letters to submit to a college.  She struck back with this bit of valuable information about how the admissions office uses recommendations: […]

Learning to Live Without My Family

by Annisa Budiman - Posts (4). Posted Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 at 11:29 am

Being raised with Eastern roots, I have gotten used to a lot of things growing up. I can’t eat a full meal without rice, I can’t sleep without a bolster pillow, and I can’t imagine living without my parents. Even at the age of 21, when “leaving the nest” is normal in some cultures, in […]

How Much Easier Does an English Guy Have it In the US?

by Tom Collier - Posts (6). Posted Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 11:51 am

When I first joined the Student Union, I quickly discovered that most of my fellow bloggers, and indeed most of our readers, were students from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, not from Western Europe like me, and certainly not from England. At first I thought this might be a problem. Do I really deserve […]

9 Events for International Students: Oct. 15-19

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

October is turning out to be a pretty great month for anyone looking to attend a webinar or online event about studying in the U.S.  This coming week we’ve found events for prospective undergrads, grads, MBAs and law students, plus a virtual grad school fair, so check them out. As always, if you attend any […]

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