Global Outreach (GO) Ambassadors sharing their experiences as international students at NDSU
Want to know more about these or other activites? Ask an Ambassador!
Service Projects around the U.S.
XUN YU, CHINA
NDSU is much more than academic. It provides many good service projects back to the community. Every year, the NDSU Volunteer Network office will post a lot of volunteer opportunities for students. The service is not limited to Fargo-Moorhead area, but all around the United States.
This picture was taken during my PIF (Pay It Forward) trip during Spring Break 2013. The trip was organized by STLF (Student Today Leader Forever) chapter, which focuses on service, teamwork, impact, unity, and empowerment. Our group stopped by Little Rock, Arkansas and helped a local AmeriCorps branch to cut and move excess tree twigs from one area to another.
The PIF trip is a life-changing experience. During the trip, we visited 6 different cities, along the way from Fargo to San Antonio, Texas. Every morning we did service projects in the city we stopped in and experienced local culture at the same time. Every afternoon, we took the bus to another city. Every evening, we shared our personal stories with each other and enhanced teamwork abilities though many group work. Even though the schedule was tight and busy, no one felt tired after the trip. Our group became a family and everyone achieved their self-fulfillment.
Creating a Mobile App for NDSU
VAIBHAV AGGARWAL, INDIA
I am graduating this semester and it has been an amazing journey so far in terms of academics and extracurricular involvement. NDSU gave me amazing opportunity to be in such a diversified community and gain hands-on, practical experience in the field of Computer Science. For my senior year capstone project, I was partnered with Microsoft to develop an iPhone application for the NDSU football fans. It is certainly one of the best classes I have ever taken and gave me great opportunity to work with industry leaders and learn from them. This experience is exceptional which augments the culture and diversity of the NDSU and Fargo community. NDSU is a big football community, and we are national champions for two years in a row!
The app is called the BisonTracker. It is a social application for the NDSU football fans. The fans can use this app to go to different games and make check-ins, see their friend activities, use Bing maps, check-in their tailgates and rigs. They would earn badges for every game they attend and scores based on the priority of the game. It is unique way to show how big of a Bison fan we are. This app development helped me learn so much and has provided me with skills that will help me beyond. All the majors at NDSU have certain kind of a capstone course. This provides you with hands on experience which is necessary for a rewarding education.
Choose NDSU and experience the great diversity and opportunities for academic excellence!
SAMUEL OGUNYEMI, USA (NIGERIA)
If you are looking for a way to get involved at NDSU, stay active, meet new people, explore the world of sports, but mostly, enjoy and live life while handling college, then being in an Intramural team is a great way to accomplish these things. I was involved on an intermural indoor soccer team and we called ourselves “The Internationals”. The reason for this name was because our team was truly diverse, for we had members from Mexico, Vietnam, Japan, Nigeria, and America. What I enjoyed about this team is that we came together from different parts of this world, and we were able to share a common interest, which was soccer.
Through this experience, I was able to learn about the different traditions in the cultures, and I was able to share mine with them. Also I was able to try the different food, since we cooked for one another. Best part of this intermural experience was the bonding as a team but also meeting new people from the different teams, and developing lasting friendships with my fellow team-members.
SEYDOU CISSE, GUINEA
Hello! I would like to share some cool stuff I have been able to accomplish during my stay at North Dakota State University. As many international students, I have enjoyed playing outdoor soccer in Fargo during summer. I have also enjoyed a field trip in the Death Valley area visiting the Wildlife Refuge in Devil's Hole and Ash Meadow.
The most awesome part of the trip was the Safari Park visit in San Diego, where I was able to see live amazing animals such as polar bears, lions, tigers, elephants, Gorillas, colorful birds, and more! My stay in Fargo has just been wonderful and has allowed me to have access to many different opportunities.
XIAOXI WANG, CHINA
NDSU has many different diversity programs and students will show their culture to everyone on campus. April was Global Awareness Month, and more and more international activities are being held each year. One of these diverse events was International Night and I played the Chinese traditional instrument- Gu zheng or zither in English. I was wearing my favorite Chinese costume and I enjoyed the event a lot. NDSU provides international students a stage to demonstrate their culture and their gifts with others in the NDSU Bison family.
Food Culture in the U.S.
LEKH MALLA, INDIA
America is a mix of cultures and food traditions. It was said that when people travel to United States they bring their food cultures. After living approximately two years in the U.S., I have noticed that Americans eat out a lot at restaurants or food places. People here like varieties and never hesitate to try a new food whether it is good or tasting bad. Popular cultural foods includes Mexican (tacos, burritos, fatjitas), Chinese (egg rolls, fried rice, sweet and sour anything), Japanese (sushi and hibachi styling dining), Italian (spaghetti, lasagna, fettuccine, pizza) as shown in this picture .
When I was in my home country, almost everyone would eat at their home and when we go outside to eat at restaurants, it would be generally an occasion or party. But when I came here, the system was totally opposite. Here people usually make food at home during occasions like the Thanksgiving holiday where turkey is special. Other occassions includes wide varieties like barbecue fests, potluck dinner, Christmas etc.
Student life is busy, especially for an international student and we have to take care of our health very carefully. It was hard for me to adapt the new foods as I am from a spicy food background. But I have successfully adapted to the new food and I really like it. NDSU has a special meal plan for students in the Dining Center where you can experience wide varieties of food and it accomodates students who have allergies or dietary preferences. Every single day they have a different menu and you will never felt hungry here.
“One cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.”~Virginia Woolf
The New International Student at NDSU
MARGARET ROZARIO, INDIA
International students at NDSU receive a warm welcome at the airport by the Office of International Programs at NDSU. The international student orientation follows soon after. The current students volunteer to be mentors and assist with the orientation, so that the international students can learn from them on ways to adapt, to learn more, and to grow.
One of the first things that attract the attention of the new international students is the Equity and Diversity Center. Many events take place in this building, in the first week of school and throughout the school year. This place has a warm ambiance, and has very kind people who make every visitor feel welcome.
The diversity in campus student organizations and the numerous opportunities the campus has to offer to all without any discrimination whatsoever, also draws the attention and interest of the new international student at NDSU.
There are many more attractions on campus which are worth mentioning, but as an international student myself I would say that NDSU has the people, resources, and atmosphere which goes out of its way to make the new students feel welcome, and the existing students feel a part of NDSU.
Stress Relief During Finals Week
MISEON BAK, SOUTH KOREA
This December (2012) there was Cookie Decorating at the Memorial Union. NDSU offers many free and fun events on-campus for students to enjoy and relieve your stress from studying through Campus Attractions such as concerts, movies, art presentations, and other activities. I thought that there would not be many people because the event was held during final exam week; however, many NDSU students came to enjoy the event.
I needed to wait in line to get cookies and some frosting to decorate the cookies. There were cookies, frosting, sprinkles, and drinks so everybody felt welcome to participate. The shapes of the cookies were Christmas trees, stars, and bells. I could feel that Christmas is around the corner! I had a fun time with my friend, and took a break and ate sweet cookies to release my stress from final exams.
Voyage Back to the History of our City!
DENIZ COMEZ, USA (NORTH DAKOTA)
History is inevitably a part of every city and culture and our city is no different. Since I was a young child, world history fascinated me and getting to know a culture's history can be an enlightening experience in anyone's education. The city of Fargo also has a unique history from the original Native Americans who settled the vast plains thousands of years ago to the new settlers who documented the foundation of Fargo more than a century ago. Bonanzaville can show you how some of the original founders of the Fargo settled and survived in a new land for them and their families. Tours and informational guides are offered in addition to old houses, replicas, and museums for all to travel back into the past of our region. Visiting Bonanzaville's Pioneer Village can be an eye-opening experience for anyone to glance into the pioneering past of our community. Check it out sometime!
Become an NDSU I-CORE Leader
AKSHAT SHARMA, INDIA
Starting in the fall semester of 2008, I-CORE assisted new international students in the fall and spring orientation. I got the opportunity to serve as an I-CORE leader in the fall semester of 2012-2013 academic year. Meeting new international students and welcoming them to North Dakota State University was a unique experience for me. I-CORE helps the new international students to get accustomed to the new culture and environment at North Dakota State University. I felt glad to be a part of the I-CORE team because I was a new international student at North Dakota State University, so I knew how it feels when there is a sudden environment change. Through I-CORE, I wanted to make the new international students feel as if they were at their home away from home!
During the orientation, the I-CORE leaders help out new international students in every possible way, for example, ushering in COMPASS testing, guiding them to their TB Testing, and a bowling night for some fun and to help the new international students meet other people on campus!
Other than helping out new international students during their orientation, I-CORE also helps you as an individual to develop good interpersonal and communication skills. One should definitely experience being an I-CORE leader at NDSU.
Experience Cultural Diversity Off-Campus
SHEVONNE CRUSZ, SRI LANKA
Annually the FM community organizes “Pangea”, an event to cultivate all the different cultures in the community. This free event takes place in November and offers the community, college intercultural clubs/organizations, and intercultural students from the Tri-college area a chance to educate the public, as well as themselves, about cultural diversity while having fun. Pangea was founded by Cultural Diversity Resources to celebrate the community’s traditions and cultures with a showcase of music, dance, culinary arts, and children’s activities. The goal is to make sure that the different cultures have the opportunity to make themselves visible and share their culture with the community in one area.
This year I had the opportunity to perform the art of traditional Sri-Lankan dancing on a stage that was shared by many other different cultural performances. It was a heart warming and thrilling experience as we each stood on the stage with great pride to showcase our very own traditions. The Philippines, Haiti, India, France, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Somalia, Mexico, Africa, and Japan were some of the many countries represented at the event this year. It’s a cultural ride of entertainment and education.
SAMUEL OGUNYEMI, USA (NIGERIA)
Pangea is a festive event that occurs in Fargo Moorhead in November of each year. This event entails various aspects of different cultures through music, food, dance, and special traditions. This year there was an African group that performed called “The Atmosphere”. They are a group of Ministers for Christ and they worship and praise through African music mixed with some present day contemporary tunes and rhythms. This year they presented a medley of songs from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and the United States, as well a soft tune from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.
Relating To American Indian Culture
RUCHI JOSHI, INDIA
Going to school isn’t just about academics and getting good grades because that might just help you in finding a technical job. However, going to school to interact and study with a bunch of new people and learning about their culture and lifestyle is like a bonus in one’s college life. At NDSU, I had the opportunity to interact with American Indians. At first, I was aloof of this community itself, but after interacting and participating in various American Indian activities, I realized how much similarity I shared with them being an Indian from India.
The image on the left was taken at an opening ceremony of a Summer Camp at NDSU in 2012. It depicts how graciously American Indians welcome and thank god before proceeding with any task. Beside that is a picture from India depicting similar traditional practices.
Going On An Adventure
BRITTANI ANDERSON, USA (SOUTH DAKOTA)
The great part of NDSU is that it is not all that far from many things to do. My favorite is going to Duluth, MN to experience something new each and every time, from seeing the giant ore boats sitting in the harbor, to hiking in the many nearby state parks. It may be a long drive from Fargo, roughly 4 hours, but it is totally worth it because the scenery along the way changes from a desolate prairie to a beautiful forest.
NDSU offers plenty of opportunities to get away from the books and get out and enjoy nature; and I recommend taking those moments and run! Another fun adventure to go on that is not that far from Fargo is going to a Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball (MLB) game in the Twin Cities, even if you’re not a big baseball fan it is something everyone should experience. Fargo is located by so many great experiences that if you just open your eyes and look around you are bound to find something to do.
Together We Shall Succeed!
RUCHI JOSHI, INDIA
At NDSU, it’s less of “I” and more of “WE”. Irrespective of our ethnicity, together we share and celebrate whether it is Id, Christmas or Diwali. Here at NDSU, we don’t care what religion or what country we come from, because here, WE ARE A FAMILY. Associating with diverse organizations at NDSU allows us to explore the world and innovative ideas, opening the door of knowledge and new friends.
The topmost image was taken when we conducted an educational event at Moorhead for K-12 students to teach them about nanotechnology. Apparently, it was an event full of fun and kids!
The second image depicts the celebration of Diwali in Fargo, which was celebrated with prayers, platters and party.
The third image was taken at the Fargo Zoo where we all volunteered for the Earth Day Celebration.
NDSU Gold Star Marching Band
BRITTANI ANDERSON, USA (SOUTH DAKOTA)
NDSU has over 200 organizations and clubs, and I believe I am part of one of the best ones and that is the Gold Star Marching Band. Being part of this organization has many advantages and the biggest one happened this last year when the Bison Football team made their way to Frisco, Texas for the football national championship and the band got to go too! The Gold Star Marching Band is open to all students from every type of major; it’s a great way to break up the monotony of a busy class schedule or to just meet some amazing friends.
With over 200 members you will find friends that you will have for a life time and not to mention, have a front row seat to cheer on the herd for every home game and the occasional away game. NDSU organizations are a great way to get involved and to build character for the future; the Gold Star Marching Band offers all that and much, much more!
MANASI RATNAPARKHE, INDIA
When I first came to Fargo, I used to get homesick during short holidays like Thanksgiving or a long weekend. Everyone in my dorm used to go home while I could not, since going home itself takes two days. In my second semester I got an email from the Schott family in Fargo saying that they wanted to be my host family in Fargo. After emailing back and forth a couple times I knew they got my name from NDSU since I was an international student. We decided to meet and they wanted to take me out for supper. That was the day I found my home away from home!
Peter and Julie Schott are wonderful people and are like my family here! I have seen their little kid, Laura, grow up; we were best friends and I loved her! We both became proud sisters when the little addition to the family, Emma, was born last spring. I still go over to their house to play with Emma sometimes; we all have supper together and it is just nice to have a family to hang out with sometimes. They already loved Indian food so we go to a lot of Indian restaurants, see the fireworks on New-Year’s Eve, have Thanksgiving meal together or watch a movie on a Saturday night!
Fargo has some very warm and welcoming people; they are kind and make you want to feel like home. I’m glad that I am a part of the Schott family and that I have a family here. Even though my family lives continents away from Fargo, it still feels like home here!
Practical Work Experience with an NDSU degree
LEKH MALLA, INDIA
Every semester, the NDSU Career Center organizes a Career Fair on campus. For international students like me, it is a very important resource which NDSU provides; the Career Fair introduces students to potential employers from all over the United States. To get ahead of the game before graduation, work experience is a must and this comes from the internship and co-op positions which the companies offer during the Career Fair. Besides that, this work experience introduces you to the professional world outside college where you will be working in future.
The following picture shows me with my friends during the Fall 2012 Career Fair at the Fargo Dome near campus, after the rigorous meetings or interviews with different employers. We met with our favorite employers and talked to several others too. We learned a lot about the companies and their offerings, and we got many offers too for summer break. Also, the NDSU Career Center provides a lot of resources like career advising, career planning, mock (practice) interviews and preparation, resume assistance, etc. Besides that, you can create your own career link account to know more about the job opportunities in advance. Overall, the Career Fair is a useful resource for all students and I have gained a lot through it each year.
Diwali: Celebrating Hindu Culture at NDSU
VAIBHAV AGGARWAL, INDIA
Diwali, the festival of light, is one of the most important festivals of Hinduism and it brings light and happiness into our homes. Diwali symbolizes the victory of truth over evil and has a great significance in the Hindu religion. It usually falls between mid-October and mid-November and is observed as a national holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji. Everyone dresses their best, meets family and relatives, eats the best food and shops as much as they can! The happiness and the celebration that is seen in India are very similar to what is observed in the United States on Thanksgiving.
This year we celebrated Diwali on November 13th and it was sponsored by the Association of Students from India (ASI) at NDSU. They did a great job in organizing the event and bringing the rich and diverse culture of India to the NDSU community. Diwali Night at NDSU included song and dance performances and a fashion show which showcased the traditional Indian dress covering all regions of India, and concluded with a delicious Indian feast. It was great to see everyone enjoying the event and having food! The years will keep on changing but the community here will keep on celebrating the Festival of Diwali with the same spirit and enthusiasm.
Hidden Football League in Fargo
LEKH MALLA, INDIA
I had a passion for football since I was a kid, which is what we call “soccer” in the United States. This picture shows the winning team of the “2012 Fall Outdoor Soccer League” in Fargo, North Dakota--called the Blackhawks. I never thought that soccer was played in Fargo because of its weather condition but I was wrong; every year there are indoor and outdoor soccer tournaments played. During winter, they have the indoor tournaments which save you from playing outside in 10 inches of snow. You can find more information about these opportunities through the Tri-City Storm Soccer Club. They have trials, events, and tournaments outside of Fargo as well and is open for both men and women.
I represent the "Blackhawks" team and played in the league for three months; I enjoyed it a lot. Fargo is a small city but within it 20 teams participated in this fall soccer league. I was happy to be a part of this tournament and I made great friends or "brothers" as my Nigerian friend called us. The indoor tournament is ready to be played this winter and I am ready to roll in it. I believe that games are a great way to de-stress during studies as it’s important to have a good balance.
KATHERINE CHO, SOUTH KOREA
When students come to NDSU, they usually get to live on campus. Living on campus is such a great opportunity! First of all, you get to make new friends. There are many students from all over America and the world who get to live in residence halls. I made my best friends when I lived with them. Second, there are Resident Assistants who are willing to help you whenever you need them. I am actually one of Resident Assistants, and we plan programs every month for residents to participate. The picture on the left is of the pumpkin painting program for residents to celebrate the autumn season. Also, living on campus is so much easier than living off campus. People who live on campus have a higher GPA than people who live off campus. Classes are closer, and it is so much easier to just walk to class from your residence hall. I hope this information was helpful, and you can visit the NDSU Residence Life website if you have any questions!
Giving Back to the Community: Flood Relief
SHUANG SHI, CHINA
NDSU students of the Omega Projects and Human Development and Family Science class traveled to Minot, ND to serve the community and cleanup the Roosevelt Park Zoo which was covered by up to 12 feet of water for several weeks during its 2011 flood disaster. NDSU has lots of volunteer opportunities available for students to get involved and I have been actively volunteering in Fargo-Moorhead community. This class gave me another chance to volunteer in Minot, which is located in north central North Dakota, about 266 miles away from Fargo. I learned a lot through this service trip and believe it was a wonderful experience to serve the people in need. It is important to be willing to learn with an open mind and serve with a big heart.
SUHAN VETHANAYAGAM, SRI LANKA
This picture was from the official website of the 2011 Fargo Marathon, an race about 42.1 km (26.2 mi) long, with live music performances at every mile of the race. I spent the day with a friend's family cheering on the runners, taking pictures and giving out fruit and water to runners. First edition of Fargo Marathon took place in the summer of 2005 with 2,400 participants and since then it has grown significantly both in numbers and popularity. In last year's marathon, more than 20,000 runners from different parts of the country participated, thus making the Fargo Marathon one of the biggest road races in the nation. This weekend-long event brings in lots of tourists and helps the local economy a great deal. If you aren't a runner, but still want to get involved there are ways you can volunteer, such as directing traffic or assisting marathon officials. Usually for every hour you volunteer, the Fargo Marathon donates certain amount of money to local charities. Either running in the marathon or just cheering on the runners from the side, it would definitely be a great way to enjoy a Fargo summer day!
Local flavor: RODEO
XING ZHUANG, CHINA
This picture was taken at a rodeo in Hawley, Minnesota (MN). This was my first time to watch a rodeo in the United States. Hawley is located on U.S. Highway 10 midway between Moorhead and Detroit Lakes in Minnesota, which is about 40 minutes' drive from Fargo. Hawley Rodeo is very popular in this area and most of people bring their families and friends to cheer up for the cowboys and cowgirls who perform. Click here to view a video which gives you a basic idea of what a rodeo race looks like. The upcoming rodeo in the area is Rodeo Fest from June 2 to June 9, 2012 in Hawley, MN.
Spring Break Road Trip
PRANAY SWAMY, INDIA
This picture was taken when the International Student Association (ISA) organized a trip to Kansas City, Missouri during Spring Break 2012. It was a successful and organized trip. We took a bus from Fargo (from the main NDSU campus) that took around 12 hours with regular intervals to reach Kansas City. We were very excited to see the Power and Light District, Crown Center, Fountain Show, Oak Park Mall, Titanic Museum, Country Club Plaza, Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. I was most thrilled to experience ice skating along with the Harley Davidson Factory. Moreover, I got to know more people and was able to socialize with them and make new friends during my trip.
Build Leadership Skills for After Graduation
SHUANG SHI, CHINA
The students in this picture are Masters of Success Leadership Program (MOS) 2012 Group. This picture was taken on our way to a weekend retreat. Masters of Success is an incredibly transformational leadership program which helps students to learn how to serve people based on their needs, how to lead a team, how to develop their own confidence and motivate others around them. It’s an advanced leadership program for students who have the strong desire to take their leadership skills to a higher level. MOS is a fun way to discover the true abilities as a leader and build skills for future jobs and life after NDSU. If you want to know more about other leadership programs at NDSU, contact the Student Activities Office.
Merry in the Snow!
MANASI RATNAPARKHE, INDIA
“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.” - Markus Zusak
Before coming to NDSU I had heard a lot about the Fargo weather. Fargo weather gets very cold from December to March. But don’t let this perception put you off about the weather, as to overcome it the one important thing needed is the right clothing! Once you wear the proper clothes, winter in Fargo can actually be very much fun! Also, NDSU gives you a special presentation about snow apparel during orientation. Thus, not only was I prepared with my winter gear to experience my first snowfall but also to enjoy the snow.
Fargo offers various snow sports like sledding, ice skating or ice hockey or if you just want to have fun with your friends in free time you can always build a snowman or have a snow ball fight like me and my friends do! Instead of being lazy and sitting at home being sad about the weather me and my friends usually go outside and enjoy the snow and have lot of fun! So be ready with your winter gear and join me to have a great time outside in snow!
Increasing diversity at NDSU
SHUANG SHI and XING ZHUANG, CHINA
Shuang, Xing and other Equity and Diversity Student Ambassadors are shown on North Dakota State University's main campus. Their gestures mean "Go Bison," which is the mascot who represents NDSU. As you see in this picture, NDSU has a beautiful, natural environment on campus. NDSU also has an equitable and diverse environment for every student, in which students from different countries and cultures are welcomed as a part of the Bison family. The Equity and Diversity Student Ambassadors are commited to promoting diversity and creating a community of respect at NDSU.
From Class to the Community: Use what you learn!
COURAGE MUDZONGO, ZIMBABWE
In October, I travelled to Spearfish, South Dakota for the Great Plains Sociological Conference. A team of five students and two faculty were taking a road trip down south. The title of my presentation was "Understanding Child Labor In the 21st Century." I enjoy presenting in front of people, but over the years I have come to understand that public speaking is an art, the more you do it the better you become at it. Every opportunity to speak is practice for future speaking engagements and leadership.
My presentation went well and we all had a wonderful time to learn more about Sociology and network with students and faculty of other universities. We had time to do sightseeing and we drove up to the Black Hills to be enchanted with beautiful scenery. The little town called Deadwood was not so dead. We took time to walk around, take pictures and meet the locals.
Cantemus: NDSU Women's Choir
SHIVANTHY BALARETNARAJA, SRI LANKA
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” - Victor Hugo
One of the things I was missing most when I came to NDSU was being part of a choir. For as long as I can remember I have been part of a choir whether it was a church choir or school choir. I missed the music, the performances, the giddiness when being on stage, the spotlight and the thundering applause. Singing was such an integral part of me that during my sophomore year I started looking for opportunities at NDSU where I could use and develop my talent. I think of Cantemus as my stress reliever for the day.
Cantemus performs in two concerts per semester, goes caroling during the Christmas season, and sings in the community with music ranging for gospel to pop. We have begun hosting North Dakota’s only Women’s Choral Festival here at NDSU as well, which brings in women choirs from around the Midwest area. Cantemus also provides leadership opportunities and some of my most memorable NDSU moments are from Cantemus. I am extremely proud to be a member of Cantemus and hope to continue for a while. If you love singing and are interested in learning more, feel free to contact me or go to the NDSU Fine Arts website for more details about other NDSU musical groups.
Do you enjoy the arts? Express your artistic side in Fargo!
GABRIELA BAIERLE, BRAZIL
Being a ballerina since I was young, I had questions on whether or not I would have to retire my dance shoes when I came to Fargo. However, an NDSU course allowed me to make connections that would help me engage with the Fargo-Moorhead community by dancing. In 2010, I joined the FM Ballet Company, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to pass on the culture of ballet to the Red River area. I was able to perform several times in different places in Fargo-Moorhead, make friends outside of my major and most importantly, get a feel for how the people who live here are - they are great!
Be a leader: volunteer in the community
SUHAN VETHANAYAGAM, SRI LANKA
I would like to share my experience with a student-led volunteer organization called Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF). STLF has engaged over five thousand young students in service and leadership experiences, leaving a lasting impact on individuals and communities across the country. Its mission is to reveal leadership through service, relationships, and action and involves Pay It Forward (PIF) tours - a volunteer service trip across the country. A typical day of PIF tour includes a service project, a variety of fun activities on the road and some tourism.
Being involved with the NDSU chapter of STLF has truly been a life-changing experience. It has certainly opened up several other opportunities for me. Service projects vary from visiting an elderly home to cleaning up a library to painting a class room to working at food pantry to interacting with homeless people. The experiences I gained from these tours are invaluable. They helped me grow my self confidence, develop my leadership skills and appreciate my own life. To me, Pay It Forward tours are the best memories of my college years.
This spring 2012 I will be leading a PIF tour and help be in charge of planning and organizing the whole tour with the help of STLF National Office. I am really excited about this new challenge and grateful for all the opportunities I have been given. For more information, see the video below of NDSU-STLF volunteer work or feel free to contact me!
Some of my fellow volunteers interacting during a group scenario.
Travel Outside of Fargo
XING ZHUANG, CHINA
I took this picture when I went traveling my friends to Colorado and South Dakota. We went hiking at Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is very easy to travel in and outside of Fargo during winter, summer and spring breaks by car, bus, train, or from the Fargo airport (FAR). It took about 15 hours by bus to get to Colorado Springs. The Jefferson Lines bus service has discount tickets for college students and buses leave right from the NDSU campus!
SHUANG SHI, CHINA
I went to see Mount Rushmore, a U.S. National Park in South Dakota, during my spring break. I was very excited to see the granite face of Mt. Rushmore because I've heard about it so many times before I came to the U.S., but could never imagine how magnificent it is. Mt. Rushmore displays the faces of four American presidents who were very important to U.S. history. I was excited when it was actually in front of me and when I was standing on the rocks. I was in awe after watching the movie about how it was built and the pictures and videos in the Mt. Rushmore Memorial Museum are really incredible. It is the national treasure of the United States and I am so glad I saw it!