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Another NYC attraction: “The High Line”

at The Highway of NYC

at The Highway of NYC

Have you ever heard about “The High Line” in the city?

I have never heard about it before my roommate had told me. I asked her to recommend a nice place to go in NYC that isn’t too famous. Then, she recommended me “The High Line” which had opened to trains in 1934 and worked by 1980. After 1980, the railroad was more and more deserted and it revived as an over-ground park in the summer of 2011!!

When I got there, Saturday, the weather was so fabulous that some flowers were blooming :-D

And, there were a lot of people who were watching around and taking photos of the scenery!


Railroad track and flowers

Railroad track and flowers

The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center. (Information from Wikipedia)

Anyway, my roommate’s recommendation was perfect! Because I and my friend could take many beautiful pictures and relax ourselves!

So, I also recommend you guys to visit there especially in the SPRING!!!

How Time Flies!

How time flies! It’s so hard to believe that almost two thirds of the semester has gone by. Now thinking back about how worried I was at the beginning of the semester, it’s quite cheerful to realize that I have made it through and right now things seem to be right.

Teaching and learning style is quite different in the US than in China. Master courses are very intense and students have to be very focus and engaged, even from just the beginning. I had to spend a lot of my spare time doing research, papers, presentations, homework. It kept me very busy but I enjoyed the way it worked. I could actually learn how to study more actively and productively, not just accept things from whatever the professor gave me, but also look for the knowledge that I’m interested in knowing by myself.

I guess for most students, the busiest time of the semester has come. I hope everyone can enjoy it as much as they can while working hard for the finals, set up a good schedule for study, work and rest. Good luck!

I feel like still in Spring break..

on the way to club

in a limo

During this 2013 spring break, I and my international friends who live in Village together left Montclair to South beach of Miami.

We have rented a big car and drove to there for 24 hours !!

South beach of Miami

South beach of Miami

It was unforgettable great experience because not only that I have never been to Miami, but also that the whole trip was with my international friends.

The weather was so nice that I felt there as a HEAVEN. In the good conditions, we enjoyed beach, emerald-colored ocean, relaxing of stress and youth! Amazing.

So, although it’s already a week ago, I still feel spring break mood yet.

How was you guys’ spring break?

First Try at Student Recreation Center!

The workshops that are provided by the Office of International Services are really good resources to get to know more about the university and what’s going on around the campus. By attending the workshop I have known about the student recreation center. It offers different kinds of fitness classes and provides a whole sets of gym equipments including swimming pool. All you need is just to bring your ID card with you then you can have full access to anything in the center. I went to yoga and hip hop classes this Monday, the instructors are patient and professional, the students are friendly. Their classes are designed for students of all levels,  even beginners would feel very comfortable in the class.  They also have yoga mat and clean stuff  that every student can use, very thoughtful. It’s a great place for working out and keeping ourselves healthy – really worth a try!

Cute, functional Recreation Center in MSU!

Hi, my name is Sehee Im, an exchange student from Korea for this spring semester.
I would like to describe my very fresh experience of visiting American College recreation center.
When I was in Korea, I haven’t worked out at all in recreation center on campus.
As well as I didn’t feel any neccessity of exercising, there was no time to work out actually.
So I thought that only person who is interested in body shape or athletic did work out.
However, in America, there are so many students to work out or jog regularly!
And of course, there are many active students in MSU recreation center! :-)
Looking that people, I realized I also need to do some exercise.
So, I ran into the recreation center~!
In front of recreation center 
That wasn’t that big actually, but it was enough for me to play a variety of games, swim, run, stretch, build-up, etc.
Student assistants in that place were so nice to me, and there were lots of hot boys as well! >_<
4 montclair recreation
A lot of treadmiles in 2nd floor
 5 msu recreation center
And this is stretching corner, there were many girls, you know.
Also, there was a ping-pong table beside the streching corner!
I played table tennis when I passed by there, and I got a suggestion to join table tennis club from a member of the club.
The game was really exciting!
The recreation center was exciting place that I never had experienced before!

Great Websites For Discounts

I think for most international students who just arrived in the US, other than adapting the new school life here, the most important and interesting thing to do is to attend some activities and to try different restaurants around town. As everyone wants to use as less money as they can to have the most fun, I’m going introduce these two great websites to my student fellows, and .

I have been using them for a long time and I’ve always gotten great deals on them. They offer deals on different activities, events and restaurants, from paintball, vineyard tour, skydiving, vacations, to concerts, different kind of classes, beauty services. I just went to a paintball game in PA not long ago, met great people there, had an exciting game, they even offered lunch, we had so much fun that day.

I have made some new friends from some of the activities I have been to, it’s a great resource to increase our social circle and get to know more about American people, culture and life while you are having fun at the same time.

First Class In America

As an international student from China, I had my very first class last Wednesday. Even though I have been working as an Au Pair in Montclair for 2 years, I still felt quite nervous about the first night of school.

We had a briefly self-introduction at the beginning of the class, everyone seemed very nice, that did calm me down a little bit. However, when the class was over, I started to ask myself, can I really make it through this semester? I felt overwhelmed already even though it was only the first class. All those readings, papers and presentations we will have to do down the road, does give me lot of pressures due to my lack of Academic English skills. I also found it hard to catch up in class when it comes to some examples that were related to history, culture and society of the US, things that I’m not familiar with since I was not raised in this country and I sure have a lot to learn.

Fortunately, I have a great advisor who has also been an international student before, to provide me very useful and thoughtful suggestions and advices. After our conversation about the problems I came across, my mind is much more clear now and my confidence is back. Some of you might find it very easy to adjust, which is good. But the beginning is always hard, for those who have the same problem as me, I hope you can hang in there and find someone to talk about the problem. Just like my professor always says ”Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world”.

I think my words for the first semester would be “Work hard, but don’t be too hard on yourself”. Hope everyone enjoys their college life!

Want to be a Successful International Student?

Every international student comes to the U.S. with lots of dreams to succeed. In spite of their strong academic and professional backgrounds, international students confront lots of challenges adjusting to the university and cultural environments here in the U.S. Though they experience many challenges, I have listed a few that are considered to be major challenges in terms of getting used to the academic environments in the U.S. They are:
• Avoiding Plagiarism
• Mastering English (oral and written)
• Taking part in group work (getting used to U.S. classmates)
• Expressing their views during classroom discussions, research paper and assignments
• Treating peers and professors with respect

While the above said problems are real life challenges, solutions are not too far. Below listed are some of the simple steps that we could take to succeed.
• Understanding the do’s and don’ts before writing a research paper or an assignment in discussion with a professor
• Practicing the language vigorously through reading, listening, writing and speaking
• Taking initiatives to communicate with the group and seek help when required
• Gaining clarity in terms of what is expected out of us as a student and take appropriate steps to meet the expectations
• Looking for role models and adapting to the U.S. way

The above listed solutions are my suggestions. As an international student, each one of us would have come up with a unique way of confronting challenges. How about sharing it here for the benefit of many? I found the following links useful in this context and would like to share with you the links.

ABP News: International Students Face Challenges In U.S. Colleges
University of Florida: Welcome International Students
University of South Australia International Students

A Hug

My Mexican classmate told me an embarrassing experience one day.
He asked me, “Do you like the life here?”
I said without thinking, “Yes, the people here are so nice and friendly. ”
After that, he said, “Really, last week, a girl was almost going to sue me.”
I said, “What! What did you do to her?”

He explained that he met that girl several times and he thought they were friends. However, last Friday, when he saw that girl in front of the building, he walked toward her and gave her a hug. Suddenly, that girl became so angry, according to what he explained

“I don’t like the culture here. In Mexico, it would be weird if you saw someone you know without hugging. People here are so cold!” He said these with a little bit hopeless.

This is a meaningful lesson. Especially, for us, being international students in America. It is really important for us to face the culture differences and deal with it carefully. It is understandable that the Mexican boy felt bad about this. However, it is not smart for him to judge all Americans based on one individual. Basically, people who live in the same area share the same culture, however, it doesn’t mean each person has the same personality and uses exactly the same way to express himself.

People can be friendly in their own way, of course, body language included, but there are thousands of other ways to express it as well. For that girl, I guess a smile is enough. It doesn’t matter how people express their own friendly for me, a hug is nice, only smile is acceptance as well, as long as they are sincere.

Eventually, I told my classmate, “Take it easy, she was just feeling uncomfortable about that hug at that time!”

Wear a Smile and Join Superstorm Sandy Relief

Hurricane Sandy made history by devastating portions of Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern parts of United States. All of us here in NJ experienced the impact of the hurricane Sandy in one way or the other; waiting in long queue for hours together to fill gasoline, spending dark and cold nights without power, drinking soups and eating breads all day as there were no facility to cook, having trees fall on the car in the parking lot, missing school and so on.

On the one hand, all of us experienced one or more of the above said impact, but on the other hand, many helping hands came from all sides offering some help. Many of my classmates at Montclair offered to open their doors for people who were victims of Sandy. Professors extended the dates to submit assignments. Food drives and donation drives were organized to help victims of hurricane Sandy. I was happy volunteering in one of the schools at Randolph.

Discrimination did not a play a role, but a common cause to help the needy did. Such actions reassure to each one of us the power of being together. Montclair State University is also organizing a donation drive to Sandy victims. Not just that, the University has come up with other ways too to help Sandy victims. Visit this link to find out what you can do to help: