Monday, 12 December 2011
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Friday, 23 September 2011
My name is Shu Wen. I was born and raised in Borneo in a little town called Bintulu before heading off to college in the US. I am currently a junior (whew, time flies!) at Colby-Sawyer College, a small liberal arts college in central New Hampshire that’s about one and a half hours away from Boston.
I remembered back then, prior to my departure from Kuala Lumpur, I had braced myself for the irksome admission process into the US. Passport. Checked. F-1 student visa. Checked. I-20 form. Checked. I-94 form. Checked. Custom declaration form. Checked. The immigration offer gained me an easy entry after inspecting all my documents and asking about my intention of coming to the US.
Suzanna and Megan were waving frantically at me when I stepped down from Dartmouth Coach. I stood aghast on the spot. They gave me an affectionate hug. I was astonished by the warm hospitality I received the moment I stepped onto the land of freedom. “Is it winter still?” I blurted out a silly question and they burst into laughter. I threw on layers and layers of clothing everyday during my first week in New London. I could never get used to the cold weather here.
A view of New London, New Hampshire, where Colby-Sawyer College is located (Creative commons photo by Flickr user Bev Norton)
I'd always known that I never wanted to live in a small town for the rest of my life so I took a gamble and crossed the Pacific Ocean to the foreign land that I had always wanted to be a part of. I was amused as Colby-Sawyer College is beyond my expectations. The college is just like a big aquarium with fishes of various types and colors. It was an amazing experience to make friends with people from other countries throughout the world. A small United Nations, I would say, is developing in the college. We spoke our languages and shared interesting facts about our countries. Occasionally, we cracked up when we couldn’t pronounce other languages properly.
Indeed, New London is a tranquil and serene countryside place. The tour around the town area was an eye-opening experience for me. This was my first time holding maple leaves in my hands, to a farm with beautiful barns, hearing the chimes of the church bells, tasting apple and cinnamon, and seeing the trees changing colors gradually. I was overwhelmed by the stunning sceneries and the great sight here.
But frankly, I didn’t relish the regular student orientation. I had a few bumps to befriend the local students as they just mingled among themselves. I was hesitating to start a conversation with them because bashfulness tends to be one of the characteristics of Asian people. However, with time I polished my English speaking skills and regained confidence to blend in the community.
Now as a junior, I become a tour guide, as well as the “Peer Academic Consultant” (isn’t that such a cool title? I feel so important!). That’s really just a fancy way of saying that I’m a teaching assistant. I also get to act as a "Senator", meaning I’m learning all the ins and outs of the student government. I mention all this (whew!) to show the flexibility in the kinds of opportunities a small liberal arts college could provide.
Perhaps that's enough of that for the moment. Even I am getting sick of myself!
All good things,
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
A new semester is about to start really soon! Have you got your copy of textbook?
Before making a purchase, you should check with your professor if:
1. You can use an older edition (because it is usually cheaper)
2. You really have to buy the textbook (because some textbooks are compulsory, some are not; because some textbooks are on the reserve in the library, and you can certainly make use of it)
Before buying that textbook, compare the prices from your university bookstore with other online sellers.
Great sites to get textbooks:
You need to sign up for the Amazon Prime (http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=lp_student/?node=668781011) because it's free, it gives you free two-day shipping, and it's for a year.
*** Always check for the shipping rate and the shipping date. Some books from used-book sellers take 1-2 weeks to reach you.***
Of course, you can choose to rent your textbooks, get used ones from your friends, or buy the kindle version. At the end of the semester, you can choose to sell back your copy to the university bookstore, other bookstores, or Amazon. If your friend wants it, that's even better! (saves shipping fee) Anyway, the university bookstore and nearby bookstores pay pretty low for the textbooks. You should check with a few buyers before you sell it off.
Monday, 8 August 2011
1. Take note of the luggage allowance details provided by the travel agent or by the airlines you are taking.
2. If you have a weighing scale in your house, step on the scale and record your own weight. Then hold your bag and step on the scale again and record the weight again. Minus the difference and you will have a more accurate weight for your bag. If you put the bag only on the scale, you may not get an accurate weight.
What about locking your check-in bags?
Use locks that are approved by Transport Security Administration (TSA). Why? Read on.
"TSA screens every passenger's baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.
Not sure where to get a compatible lock? Try these Web sites: http://www.safeskieslocks.com/index.php and http://www.travelsentry.org/en/index.php."
At the Airport:
Check your bags in all the way to your campus.
At your first point of entry into the USA, you will have to collect your bags from Baggage Claim.
Then you will go through Immigration and Customs, and check your bags in again if you have a connecting flight. This can take some time, so if you have a connecting flight to your campus from your first point of entry into the USA, it is wise to allow about four hours in-between flights.
If you are breaking journey rather than continuing on to your campus on a connecting flight, you can expect to pay around $25 USD for each check-in bag within the USA unless you have lots of travel points or are travelling Business or First Class.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
I am Iishan from Subang Jaya, Selangor. I am a sophomore at George Fox University, a small private college in a little town called Newberg in the rugged state of Oregon.
Leaving the relative comfort of your Malaysian home for a foreign land is a very exciting adventure. This month, contributors to this blog will be focusing particularly on the "getting there" part of the experience; addressing things like the annoyingly long flight, clearing customs and immigration, getting to your college, arriving at college and settling down. We hope that by sharing our experiences with you, you will be less nervous in making your journey halfway across the world; or if you are already ultra confident, you may be able to pick out some useful tips from those of us who are already there or simply just laugh at our experiences. :)
Going to college, one of the biggest things on my mind was whether I'd be able to get a good night's sleep. Now most of us will not have enough space in our luggage to bring along the comforter and bolster we have been used to since forever. Inevitably, there will need to be some adjustments. That is why, it is SO important to be selective when choosing your bedding as a preemptive measure against sleepless nights.
Here are a few things to consider:
The size of your bed. If you are an incoming freshman staying in a residence hall, your mattress will most likely be Twin size which are longer than usual mattresses. Keep this in mind when buying your linens.
Where to get em. If you are cost conscious, a Walmart or Fred Meyers may be your best bet. Google map your city to find the closest outlet. Also "Bed, Bath & Beyond" offers some really neat college bedding sets. I got a whole set that came with a pillow, comforter, sheets, towels etc for around $69.99. Bed, Bath & Beyond also does delivery which could safe you the trouble of going to a store. It may be more practical to get your linens delivered straight to your dorm room especially if you arrive at your college late in the day and don't have the time to make a trip to the store.
Mattress Foam Pads. These are lifesavers! Mattresses provided in your residence hall are not likely to be very comfortable. Laying a mattress pad or two over the mattress will likely improve the comfort level ten fold! :) These normally cost between $12- $30 depending on thickness and size. Again, it is well worth the investment.
Set or Individual. Bedding sets will likely be cheaper. Buying items individually however, will give you more room for personalization. If you are picky about having the same sheets as your roommate, that may be a consideration. :) My room mate and I coincidentally got the same exact bedding set but I don't mind.
Monday, 1 August 2011
The month of August we will focus on Departure from Malaysia and Arrival in the USA.
Malaysian students who have completed at least one year of studying on a campus in the USA will contribute their experiences.
Students who are going to leave soon to study in the USA, we hope you find the stories from other Malaysian students who are in the USA beneficial.
We at MACEE wish you All the Best in your travels and stay in the USA!
We also hope you will contribute to this blog by sharing your experiences and tips you have learned along the way. Enjoy!