Welcome to our International Student BLOG!
Welcome to our newest feature on the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office website! We have created a blog spot to provide Geneseo’s prospective students with more personalized information—descriptions and comments—on the different activities happening on campus. This, we hope, will give you a better sense of Geneseo’s student life inside and outside the classroom. Blog posts are written by current International students at Geneseo named Ayumi, Shikha, Marina and Ryan.
In addition we have two Americans Dena and Kaitlyn, who answer e-mail questions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can direct a question to any of us and we will gladly try our best to help.
Tell us how you feel about our Blog!
Summertime In Geneseo
Blog by Marina
18 June 2014
My name is Marina Kawarazaki and I am really excited to write for the ISSS blog! I am an international student from Japan and Bangladesh and I just finished my first year at Geneseo. I am a Psychology major but I’m taking a variety of different classes. It is great that Geneseo is a liberal arts college that doesn’t confine me to just taking my major classes.
Right now, I am staying in Geneseo over the summer taking a few online classes for my second major, Communication. Taking online classes is a new experience for me; it’s very different from regular classes since I’m not sitting for hours on end in a classroom, and I get to learn on my own time. This also gives me time to work and earn some extra money during the summer. I am working part time at the International Student Services Office helping prepare for the upcoming Fall 2014 semester. I am also working for CAS, the food services company in Geneseo. Summer in Geneseo is quiet, but as the start of the semester gets closer, I am beginning to see more and more students around.
My first year in Geneseo went by extremely quickly. Just 10 months ago, I was a scared freshman that didn’t know anything, coming to America for college. While I still can’t say I know a lot, I feel more confident and adjusted to Geneseo, as well as life in the United Stat
es. I was assigned to live in Dante House (Wayne Hall), where the population was a mélange of different types of people: international students, Edgar fellows honor students, and a lot of other very interesting people. I spent my first few months here making new friends, getting used to college classes and dorm life, loving the beautiful sunsets that Geneseo is famous for, and, sadly, gaining the infamous Freshman 15. Then, I experienced my first full winter under feet of snow. Honestly, coming from living in Bangladesh with its warm and mild winters, it was a shock. I did not realize it was possible for people to survive in such cold weather. But when I ignored my stinging face and numb fingers and looked around, it was so beautiful. Scenery like this was something I had only seen in movies or Christmas cards, and this winter I got to actually experience it. I can proudly say I survived my first Geneseo winter. Then, as quickly as it came, the snow melted away and it was spring again. I watched the changes in weather through the Milne Library windows as I prepared for my finals.
From my first year at Geneseo, I learned two very important things. First: you never know what you can or can’t do until you try it. College is for new experiences, and being afraid to try something because it is out of your comfort zone is a waste of your potential for new experiences and opportunities. As cliché as this may sound, don’t be afraid to take risks. The second thing I learned was to never be afraid to ask for help. This was especially useful to remember when 7000 miles away from home. I was pleasantly surprised many times at the kindness of others here in Geneseo. Everyone from professors to secretaries to managers to the heads of academic departm
ents are willing to listen to you and help you out; all you have to do is ask. Sometimes it’s good to know that you aren’t alone.
I had an amazing first year. Next year, it’s new classes, a new dorm, and many many new experiences. Looking forward to it!
Have a great rest of your summer!
Ending My Sophmore Year
Blog by Ryan
27 March 2014
It looks like spring is finally coming to Geneseo! Maybe winter decided to stay just a little longer thisyear and keep the Ice Knights hockey team company during the end of their great season! The students and local townspeople of Geneseo wereextremely supportive of the hockey team over the break. Even though some of the NCAA tournament games were played over spring break, many students stayed in Geneseo just to watch the game and support the team! A few very dedicated fans even drove all the way to Lewiston, Maine (8 hours away) to watch and cheer on the Ice Knights! What dedication and spirit!
With the warm weather on the way, Knights fans will be shifting their attention to our spring outdoor teams such as men’s and women’s lacrosse, track & field, and women’s softball, to name a few! Also, all students are beginning to take their own athletic interests outdoors with many new intramural tournaments beginning! Soccer, softball, kickball, flag football and ultimate Frisbee are always popular choices. Personally, I will be playing softball with some of my friends in intramurals. But I am also looking forward to playing some tennis on the weekends with my friends as well. Our school has great tennis courts and I really enjoy the challenging my friends one on one, especially if I end up winning! It is a great wor
k out and will beawesome to be outside with the sun and warm weather once again!
I should get back to work as I have a busy few days ahead of me, but nothing I can’t handle!
Until next time everyone!
Blog by Ayumi
25 March 2014
7 more weeks for summer!!! Spring break just got over but like any other break, it just went by so quickly. But 2 weeks ago, we had a snow day!!!! It was my first snow day and it was wonderful. At midnight on Wednesday, while I was cramming for my exam, we all got an email from the Dean informing us that all classes were cancelled. It was the best email ever, and everyone in college was screaming with joy across campus. My exam got postponed and I felt so relieved. If you are an Accounting major, your third year would be the toughest since you will be taking the major Accounting classes. But from what I have heard from the senior Accounting students, you will learn so much by the end of your junior year. I can’t wait for the next 7 weeks to get done with my junior year and enjoy the warm summer days!!!
This year was also significant for the Geneseo Hockey Players. We were semifinalists for NCAA and finalist for SUNYAC Championship. The ice rink was crowded with Geneseo supporters and we had to buy tickets beforehand to watch the game. The tickets sold out quickly as expected (it was free for Geneseo students) but there was a huge crowd. The NCAA semifinals were held in Maine, but we were able to watch it live online. It was heartbreaking though since we were defeated, but they did a wonderful job and made Geneseo proud. Good Job Ice Knights!!!
It has been a long winter in Geneseo, but there are sunny days as well. When it is warm, you will see many people outside, enjoying the warm weather. You would be surprised to see the number of students in Geneseo since everyone leaves the building and study in the sun. But it is a great sight, since many people will be out in shorts and dresses and some of them might be playing Frisbee.
Okay, time to hit the books!! I hope everyone is doing well and I will update you on our Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C very soon!!
The Start of a New Semester
Blog by Ayumi
24 January 2014
Happy New Year!!
It is freezing here in Geneseo and it is definitely my harshest winter since I came to Geneseo. It is like negative 20 degrees Celsius and the only way to remain warm is wear as many layers as possible. School started on Tuesday and it has been cold ever since. The last two weeks, I helped out with the January international orientation and it reminded me of my orientation 2.5 years ago. I was a freshman, nervous about all the changes, but now I am very close to graduation, with only 2 semesters left. Studying abroad has made me more independent even though I really do miss my family. Seeing new faces during orientation was refreshing and I hope they explore Geneseo and enjoy each semester.
Last weekend, it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Leadership on campus.
We had great speakers from our faculty and at the end, there were service projects. We assembled emergency kits for the elderly and packed lunch boxes for the children. By volunteering on campus, you get to meet new friends and interact with many administrative staff. There are many volunteer opportunities on campus if you are interested.
This semester, I am also interning part-time in a small tax firm in Geneseo. School of Business is very helpful in helping you to find internships around Geneseo and in New York City. I started yesterday and I love the work environment. The office is walking distance from Geneseo and it is a great start for a tax career. My supervisor is extremely nice and I look forward to working with him for the next couple of months.
I hope everyone is keeping warm, and look forward for more interesting posts from us!
Student Life: What to do in Geneseo
Blog by Ayumi
18 November 2013
Another month left for winter break and I can’t wait till then. We had our first week of snow and when I woke up last Tuesday, it was white outside. There wasn’t a lot of snow, but there was a thin layer of white snow when I looked out of the window. It was beautiful to wake up for that sight but all I wanted to do was snuggle in bed and have hot chocolate. That’s exactly what I will be doing next week during my Thanksgiving break.
Two weeks ago, we had the Intercultural Night and I was one of the masters of ceremonies. All the culture groups on campus came together and put on a show. The cultural groups danced, showed a video or had a small skit, representing their culture. Japanese Culture Club and Korean American Student Association collaborated and performed a small skit. The Intercultural night was highly successful, where more than 250 students attended. Since we could not accommodate all the students, we had to cut the line towards the end. So whenever you are attending a cultural event, it is better to buy your tickets beforehand so that you reserve a seat for these wonderful events. This weekend is China night, the biggest event organized by the Geneseo Chinese Cultural Club.
Yesterday, Shakti organized a Diwali lunch and thanks to them, I was able to enjoy spicy Indian food. The food was catered from one of the best restaurants in Rochester and only for a price of 3 dollars, we celebrated Diwali. To those who celebrate Diwali, Happy Diwali!!!
Blog by Ayumi
4 November 2013
Did everyone have a good Halloween? Did you dress up? For the past few days, I saw many people in costumes and it’s great. It is a great time to be creative and artistic. I dressed up for the first time this year for Halloween since in my culture, there is no tradition of dressing up for Halloween. I became a cowgirl but most of my friends were dressed up as bees, bananas and zombies. It was definitely one of the best weekends in my college life. It was really cold outside, but it was just great!!
Last week, all the cultural groups on campus were invited to the President’s house for a reception. We got to meet executive members from other cultural groups. I represented Japanese Cultural Club and we spoke about Japan Knight which is coming up in a couple of weeks. We had a group conversation with the President, and we discussed any issues and concerns we had on campus. I am glad we had this reception as it was a chance for all our voices to be heard, so it will benefit us and the incoming students in the future.
Japan Knight is approaching and our schedules are getting very hectic. This weekend, the college is hosting the 14th Annual Intercultural Night where all cultural groups perform in the Union Ballroom. Some cultural groups will be doing dances and a skit, while others will be showing a video about their cultural club. More details about this awesome event in my next post for sure!
It is already November and it is freezing. It was 0 degrees Celsius in the morning. I have to admit I hate the cold but I can’t wait for it to snow. I love getting up in the morning and seeing everything outside being covered in pure white.
Getting Back Into the Swing of Things
Blog by Shikha
23 October 2013
The semester is more than half over and before finals creep up the cold has started to kick in. It has gotten chillier and the leaves are turning shades of reds and oranges; it’s beautiful!
Last week was Fall Break: we did not have classes on the Monday and Tuesday. It was a great time to relax after midterms and take a breather before diving into your work again. All students can stay on campus for this break and a dining hall is open every day. Although most students do go home for this little break, there are quite a few who stay. On the Saturday of Fall Break my friends and I took the LATS Bus to Letchworth State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East. Letchworth is absolutely breathtaking! You drive up twisting roads among trees and greenery and there are places where you can look at the stunning valley created by years of erosion of the cliff. The autumn leaves crunched under our shoes as we walked around which made the whole experience just a great autumn fieldtrip. I highly recommend everyone to go to Letchworth at least once! The LATS Bus runs for free every Saturday in the fall from the College Union to Letchworth and back, multiple times a day. Although Geneseo is a nice little town with a beautiful valley, it was nice to get out and relax among just trees and grass.
On a more academic note, registration for the spring 2014 semester starts next week! We are all assigned dates and times to register for our classes based on the number of credits we have earned. Before registering, it is highly recommended to meet with your advisor and discuss your plans. Your advisor is a faculty member in your major department who is assigned to you for you. I talk to my advisor multiple times a semester to discuss classes and career goals. They are a great resource and advise you on what classes fit best and provide you with wise insight. Recently, I have been discussing possible summer research options with my advisor and she has given me feedback on how I should find these research programs and how to go about applying for them. In addition to getting to know your professors, I highly recommend getting to know your advisor because they can really help you navigate your major at Geneseo and also help make plans for your future!
Yesterday I attended the induction ceremony to Phi Eta Sigma, a national honor society. Students who have completed their first year at Geneseo and have earned a G.P.A. of 3.5 or above are invited to join this society. It was a nice ceremony and we all got certificates and pins. It felt very nice to be congratulated and recognized for your hard work; it also encourages you to work even harder! So that is exactly what I will be doing, probably for many years to come. Good luck to everyone in their classes and I hope you get to enjoy the fall before studying for finals starts taking up all of your time. See you in my next post!
Fall Break: What to do, Where to go
Blog by Ayumi
14 October 2013
I hope everyone is doing great! Fall break got over last week and I can’t believe that we have spent half of our semester already!! For Junior and Senior Accounting students, the fall semester is critical. Last month, the Accounting and the Finance club organized a trip to New York City for a networking event. The trip lasted for three days and for a price of $100, we were able to stay in Manhattan and it was literally 3 minutes away from Times Square. We left Geneseo around 5 pm on Thursday and we reached our destination around 10 pm. The next day you are assigned with three firms, so we had to get around on our own and meet with the firms. I went to KPMG, PwC and MLB. It was such a great networking event. I made connections with many Geneseo alumni. I was surprised to see the number of Geneseo alumni at the firms I visited. In addition to this networking event, the Accounting Society organized the ‘Meet the Accountants Night’ and the Accounting banquet. During the Meet the Accountants night, firms from Rochester held an information session and we were able to discuss any concerns and questions that we had. Starting to network from your freshman year is important so that you will have a higher chance of landing with an internship at your dream company. Most of the Big4 companies usually come to campus for on-campus interviews,so we are lucky to attend Geneseo where there are countless opportunities.
During fall break, we went to Letchworth State Park. It is around 45 minutes away from campus and there is a free shuttle that runs every fall semester. It was a perfect day outside and having to spend my free time in a breathtaking place was fantastic. Even though Geneseo is 5 hours away from New York City, there are always many places you can visit. You don’t necessarily have to own a car to enjoy all these places.
Japan Knight is coming up in December and we have already started practicing. Practices are fun as you get to know the other members on a more personal level.
It is definitely getting colder in Geneseo, but Halloween is just around the corner!! Hope everyone is excited as I am and I will see you in my next post!
Getting The Semester Started
Blog by Shikha
27 September 2013
The semester is in full swing and although tests and assignments can take over our lives, we still find time for ourselves and others. It has been warm here in Geneseo over the past week but it should cool down soon. I went apple picking last weekend with my RA staff and had such a great time! The weather was beautiful and we went to a farm about two towns away from Geneseo. We picked different varieties of apples and even stopped at a small shop to buy apple cider slushies and donuts. It was a very nice little trip and I had a great time with my friends.
Last Friday I attended the closing ceremony of the five-year national campaign, “Shaping Lives of Purpose, The Campaign for Geneseo”. The campaign raised more than $23 million for the college and its students. The ceremony also honored President Dahl who is retiring next June. It was a very nice ceremony attended by donors, alumni, faculty, students and others. Talks about people’s successes and what they have done for the college were inspiring and I was very happy that I am studying at such a great school.
On Wednesday I attended the International Students Reception held at the president’s house. I met interim president Long and other international students. I attended the reception last year as well and had been looking forward to this year’s ever since. Dr. Long was a very nice host and said that she was very happy to have people from different countries at Geneseo. Meeting the other international students was great too and I hope to see them around campus more as well. The reception is a wonderful event that I look forward to and I can’t wait for the one next year!
Other than these great events, I have been busy with classes and clubs. I am also a choreographer for Shakti and we have started dance rehearsals for Shakti’s performance at the Intercultural Dinner in November. After a busy week, I’m thankful for the weekend even though I know that it will be filled with studying for the tests I have next week. Good luck to everyone with classes and exams! We can do it!
Blog by Shikha
9 September 2013
It feels good to be back in Geneseo, back into the rhythm of classes, back into the college life. The weather lately has been on quite a rollercoaster with warm sunny days followed by rain and cold winds and back to beautiful summer weather. But I have been enjoying it nonetheless.
I came back to Geneseo two weeks before classes started because I had to attend training for my Resident Assistant position. The training weeks were great; I learnt a lot, got to know my staff and met all of the other RA's and professional staff. Being an RA since the semester started has been great. I have gotten to know my residents, answered their questions, held programs and been on duty. Other than being an RA, I am also the Treasurer and Student Association Representative for Shakti, the south Asian cultural club on campus. I have also learnt a lot from this position as I, along with the rest of the executive-board for Shakti, have started planning meetings and events. Being involved in various clubs and organizations is a great way to meet new people, expand your horizons and explore new interests.
Because there are over 200 clubs and organizations at Geneseo, it can be overwhelming going through a list of them and choosing which ones you want to be involved in. That is why there is a Student Organizations Expo every semester where each organization has an informational table and students walk around exploring the clubs, asking the representatives questions, and signing up for their email list and meetings. There have been quite a few events already on campus. Weeks of Welcome events, Geneseo Late Knight activities, and club meetings. Although this semester I am quite busy with my classes, research, RA position, and Shakti e-board, it is nice to take some time out to relax and spend wime with friends or else you may just lose your mind!
Hope everyone's semester is going well. I look forward to when the whole campus turns magnificent hues of red, orange, and gold as the leaves change color because it is absolutely beautiful! I'll see you in my next post!
Blog by Ryan
8 September 2013
Geneseo is just starting the third week of classes and I can feel the fall weather approaching. My classes are picking up pace and I am feeling very much back into the college routine as a sophomore student here. I am also living off campus for the first time and trying to find time in my schedule for cooking my own food and cleaning my apartment! I think I am starting to get the hang of things, which is good because I will need to manage my time wisely in order to keep up with my various responsibilities here at Geneseo.
Like many of you reading this blog, I am also an international student. I was born and raised in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. I love Canada and Ottawa but over the summer break I couldn't wait to get back to Geneseo. Before coming here I was slightly unsure and nervous about leaving my country and starting school in a place where I knew no one. But after only a few days I knew that I had made a great decision. The students, faculty and employees are all very welcoming and friendly. I have learned that it is the people who make the place! That being said, having a very scenic campus and surrounding area helps as well!
I have become very involved in several aspects of college life while at school. I am a business administration major, member of the men’s varsity ice hockey team and also a student staff member at the International Student & Scholar Services Office. Although I am not required to be part of any organization at Geneseo, I find it fun to be interactive in other campus life activities. Many students feel the same way I do. I have learned that college life in America is much more than simply attending classes and writing papers; it is much more involved than that. There are numerous sports, clubs and other organizations you may find that will suit your interests. Before coming to Geneseo, I briefly attend a university in Canada that also offered a great educational opportunity. However, I felt that it was missing something and did not really know what exactly it was until I came to Geneseo. My old school’s sense of community and spirit just was not there. Many of the students there drove cars from home to campus, left once classes were over and were not involved in the campus life. But my experience at Geneseo has shown me that education mixed along with school spirit and the many aspects of campus life can be very enjoyable.
Being on the hockey team, my favorite part of our school’s campus life is our home games played at the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena. We average about 1200 fans in attendance per game, most of which are students! Having my friends and fellow classmates cheer us on is a very special feeling and creates a great atmosphere for both the players and the students. Last year we had a game on my birthday and the crowd surprised me by singing happy birthday to me while I was playing on the ice! That is something I will always remember! I hope this has given you a good look into college life in America and at Geneseo in particular! Have a great day everybody!
Finally Back in Geneseo
Blog by Ayumi
6 September 2013
Hey everyone, I am back in Geneseo after a long good summer in Japan. I went back to Japan after a year and it was wonderful to be with my family. It was pretty sad to leave them since I would not get to see them for another year or so. I returned early to Geneseo since I was recruited as a Technical Support Assistant on campus. We had training for 3 days and I love everything about being a tech assistant. You get to work with faculty on one-on-one basis and you fix many computers across campus. Moreover, I am also one of the GOLD leader mentors on campus. GOLD, as I have mentioned before in my previous post, is a leadership program in Geneseo. Being a mentor, I get to practice all the leadership and team building skills I have learnt in all those workshops. You get to conduct workshops, and most importantly, it is a good opportunity for networking. Networking is extremely vital as sometimes you might get your first job through networking. I recommend all the students coming to Geneseo to attend these one-hour workshops as they are worth your time.
Being on the e-board for Japanese Cultural Club, we organized our first event called "Suikawari". It was open to all students, and everyone had fun. We blindfolded someone and he was supposed to listen to other people's directions and look for the watermelon. Finally, the watermelon would be smashed. We also had watermelon eating contests and everyone had a good share of watermelons. The weather was perfect and it was held in an open park on campus.
The semester has just started, work is getting tougher but still, I am enjoying my last three semesters at Geneseo. There are many other events lined up for this semester, which I will definitely keep you posted. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer as much as I did!! I will see you again in my next post.