Category Archives: international students

How do I fit in and make as an International Student?!

Hello my fellow international students!

As an international students myself, I found it quite hard to make friends and feel integrated when I started studying at FIT. American students intimidated me, they spoke so fast and I was afraid that I wouldn’t understand them or they wouldn’t understand me. Every time I met a student from abroad or someone that spoke the same language, it felt like such a relief, like I wasn’t the only one facing these crazy fears. But as an introvert I found it quite hard to go up to people or force myself to start a conversation. Here are some tips that helped me throughout the semesters.

Interacting with students in your major. I know what most of you think… But don’t let it intimidate you, most students (even American) feel exactly the same way. Don’t be afraid to talk to them, at least you have something in common that you can talk about, which won’t make you feel going in completely blind. Group projects too are a great way to make friends and start becoming more social, I know they can be annoying, but they give you more time to talk with them. That’s how I met my best friend at FIT.

Become part a group. Clubs are a great way to make friends, feeling integrated and part of a team. You see the same people every week at the meetings, but also outside during events, fundraising etc. What’s great about clubs, is that you are with people who have the same interests you do, so it will make it so much easier to find similar interests and things to talk about.  What I found really helped me was being accepted in the presidential scholars program, it was a much smaller group of people, which made it less intimidating to go up to people. Also most of us were there for the same reasons. Something I really liked about the honors program was that I didn’t only have one class with them, but I would see them on a regular basis at the colloquiums and various event throughout the semesters, which made us get closer without even trying.

Attend events. FIT has so many social events throughout the semesters, just go to one and see how you feel. It won’t hurt trying. That’s how I met my two first American friends at FIT, was during one of the orientation parties.

Community Service. Sign up for community service. You won’t be around only FIT students, but other people from different schools etc. It’s a nice way to meet people, not just from FIT.

Internships. They not only look great on your resume, but they’re a great way to make friends. Most of the friends I made through my internships are older, but I in a way enjoy it much more, because we have more adult conversations and I feel challenged (in a good way).

Campus Jobs. It’s a cool way to make extra money, but also friends! I loved working as a tutor, because without knowing, there are a lot of international students that worked there, so it felt like a very mixed and diverse group of people, not making it so intimidating.

But remember to be yourself, don’t ever try to be someone you are not!

xoxo

-Z

Christmas Shopping at Chelsea Market

christmas-gifts-to-ukraineHey there!

Hope all your finals are going well so far… As we all know we don’t only have to worry about finals, but Christmas shopping too. What gifts to get, who to gift them too etc. Each year I wait last minute to do all my Christmas shopping, and every year I freak out, because I don’t know what to get and I’m under time pressure.

The other day I was close to Chelsea Market and decided to go in. Best decision ever! Literally if you don’t know what to get your friends and family, you’ll definitely find something there. There are tones of small little markets, who sell really unique and one of a kind products. I feel like anything you get there would make a perfect gift, because it’s things you don’t find everywhere. Also if you want to get into the Christmas spirit, walking under all the fairy lights and stands, will put you in the mood!

xoxo

Zorya

Reminder for International Students

Hey there!

If you’re an international student (like myself) and are planning on having a non-credit internship next semester (Spring 2017), I would suggest you apply now for an OPT approval. It takes about 90 days to process, so make sure you do it before you leave for Winter break.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is go to the international student services on the first floor of the B (B103) building and request the form to apply for an OPT. Next you’re going to have to take two passport pictures and make a check for 380$ to the USCIS. Once you’ve done this, make sure you schedule an appointment with Erika Rohrback. I would almost suggest scheduling it, once you’ve gotten the form to fill out, just to make sure you get a meeting with her (since she is very busy). If she tells you everything looks good, you just have to wait for them to approve your OPT and you’re good start working!

Good Luck!

xoxo

Zorya

Open House

Hello there!

Just a quick reminder that Open House is coming up soon. It’s happening next week from the 10/08-10/09/16. If you’re planning on coming, I would suggest you start writing down questions you have and want answered. Open House is a great way to interact and talk to current students and ask them about their experiences at FIT, and if they have any tips for new students. It’s also great, because you get to meet future students  and  start creating new friendships.

If you’re unable to make it, feel free to ask me any questions you have about FIT down in the comments below!

xoxo

-Z

How My Country (Switzerland) Votes

Hello there! I’m guessing most of view watched the presidential debate that took place yesterday, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As an international student from Switzerland, I’m not very familiar with the political system in the United States (although I did take a Business Law class), and to be completely honest was never really interested in the political elections. But in my Principles to Public Relations class, our assignment was to watch the presidential debate and write a two page essay on how each candidate attempted to reach the target audience they are having trouble connecting with. This was finally an excuse for me to get familiar with the candidates and understand a little better what was happening in this election.

Coming from a country that does not have a president, and no debates, it was really weird watching possibly future leaders of a country get at each other throats so aggressively. You see in Switzerland, Swiss citizens have the right to have their say at all three levels of state, and can therefore have a considerable influence on political matters. We have a direct democracy, which means we can decide on policy initiatives. We can launch an initiative, request a referendum, or submit a petition. So it was really confusing, because it seemed to me that the majority of voters were for Clinton, so why is Trump not far behind Clinton in electoral votes? I finally understood! Basically US citizens, when they vote, are actually electing persons (electoral college) who will then elect the president. So even though they might be for the democrat party, the electors have the final vote and might vote for the republican party after all. Which to me coming from a country, where my vote actually makes a difference, doesn’t make any sense.

What did you think of the presidential debate?

xoxo

-Z