Happy New Year from Indonesia

During this winter break, I am back in my home country — Indonesia. So, I spent the new year with my family and friends.

I went to church on New Year’s Eve and to a friend’s house and lit sparklers on New Year’s day. The following day, my family went to our grandparents’ house because we always go there for the big holidays such as New Year’s, birthdays, etc. Even though I missed the big fireworks in the city, I still had so much fun.

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Am I a Global Citizen?

Dear future study abroad participants at SDSU,

As an international student from Indonesia, studying abroad in the United States was the most fantastic — yet scary — decision of my life. I had to adapt to a new environment and adjust myself to the weather, language, people and food. I thought I was a global citizen already, yet I experienced an extraordinary culture shock. I was not as open to new cultures as I thought.

Yet I believe that studying abroad is really a worthwhile adventure because we are out of the comfort zone. Studying in America and exploring the country for almost four years has changed my perspective about cultures, people, politics and the world.

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At the Border of USA and Mexico

Thrift shops have become my favorite thing, not only because of the very low prices but also because of the unique pieces of clothing I find everytime I decide to go hunting for new fun clothes. Luckily, San Diego has some amazing thrift shops, some of which I have visited with my friends. We always spend hours and hours searching for cool and almost always cheap clothes.

The past weekend, my friends Natalie, Lauren, Hina and I decided to visit this thrift shop called Auntie Helen’s and then we would go to the Outlets at the Border. It was one of those days. Going to the thrift shop was definitely a success since I left with two of my new favorite shirts and I only paid $2 for each of them. My mom would be proud! We had already decided that after that we to go to the Outlets at the Border — for more cheap clothing of course, because is it ever enough?

And let me just say, I had not anticipated how much of an adventure it would be.

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Easing Friction: Three Ways American Universities and International Students Benefit From Each Other

Pictured: SDSU students at the International Student Center’s 2018 graduation ceremony.

Two years ago, there was a question that continuously derailed my hopes and confidence during job applications and interviews:

“Does the U.S. see me as a foreign national attempting to take up university spots and jobs that should be reserved for locals?”

I admit, I went through a stretch in which I grew sad, lonesome and even developed an inferiority complex. Fortunately, I grew out of that phase as I developed myself as a legitimate, contributing professional in San Diego. Occasionally though, such grey thoughts would hover like a dark cloud over my mind, especially after 2016 — with the new wave of political news cycles, immigration debates and the lack of honest, cross-cultural dialogue between students and professionals of differing perspectives and backgrounds.

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Moving Across the World and Making Myself at Home at SDSU

When I landed in LAX two weeks ago, my mind and body had not yet fully understood the crazy adventure I was about to embark on. The car ride to San Diego on Aug. 19 was a moment of realizing this transition. I had officially left my home country Brazil and all of my friends and family to pursue higher education on the other side of the world.

I could not be more excited.

Arriving at the front desk of the Zura Residence Hall was a moment I had been looking forward to for months. Getting the key to my room and my official SDSU RED ID was the first confirmation that I was now a part of a bigger community of brilliant young adults.

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How to Get the Internship You Want as an International Student

“Why doesn’t anyone want to hire me?”

This is a question that crosses the minds of many international and non-international students alike throughout college.

While college is a unique time to explore different interests, meet diverse groups of people and prepare ourselves for the ever-evolving workforce, we live in a society that continuously demands for more. Better grades, better test scores, better extracurricular activities and better work experience.

Better and more of everything.

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My Journey from Indonesia Back to America

Summer ending meant it was time for me to return to San Diego to continue my studies. I had to say goodbye again to my family and friends after spending three months together in Indonesia.

To go back to America, I had to go through a really long flight and immigration. My flight was 18 hours with one stop for around 6 hours in between. It took me about one day to get to the U.S.!

Even though it was exhausting, I was excited to start a new semester at SDSU. Check out this video of my journey — I hope you enjoy it!

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Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an International Student

Making your first step onto campus during your freshman year in a different country can bring a mixed big of emotions.

One moment you could be feeling the rush of adrenaline as you meet new people at the dorms, feeling the warmth of a firm handshake or a welcoming smile from professors and peers. Next moment, you could be feeling a gush of loneliness filling your stomach in despair, unsure of how to cope in an environment so alien to each of your senses — thousands of miles away from familiarity.

It’s not easy.

Continue reading “Four Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an International Student”

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