The Orientation and My First Class

The orientation for new international students occupied my two whole days. It was too long, especially when I couldn’t understand most of the presentations. The women who spoke Russian English did the immigration presentation, which I think was the most important one in the orientation. But I could hardly understand her English. For the other presentations, the other presenters either spoke too fast, or their speaking is full of cultural implication that I couldn’t refer to any of my previous experience… I hope I can learn as more words as I can so that I can catch up with these people.

The only thing that is helpful in the orientation is that I got to know many students from other countries. The orientation leaders of my group are awesome! They did a great job to “break the ice.” We played several ice-breaker games. I like the Desert Island game. My orientation leader Sara, she is from Thailand, leaded the game. She told us to pick up three things started with the first letter of our names to the desert island. The other orientation leader Evan, he is an American, leaded the second game. He leaded a game called Human Knot. Basically we needed to lock and unlock ourselves, the team who did faster is the winner. We all played very happily, and I made several international friends through the games. I hope the orientation have more this kind of activities instead of the boring lectures!

After the orientation, I went to the Chapel with several new international friends to have dinner there. We were all very excited to see the inside Christian church in America. I was curious why the minister was so hospitable to us, who he just met, and were foreigners on this land. We did not find out the answer until we finish dinner. They have a bible study right after dinner, that’s why. I did not stay, because my religion did not allow me to. Some of my friends who are from Korea, Russia, and Ireland stayed. I think it’s rude to leave, but I decided not to go to have dinner in Chapel from now on, because I can’t betray my religion.

 

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My First Week in Akron

This week is a super busy week for me! Because I arrived in Akron just five days before the semester begin, I have a lot to do in these five days. What’s the worse is I did know exactly what I should do!

I only know the first thing I need to do after I got here is to go to the Office of International Program (they call it OIP) to check-in, it is written in the package mailed to me with my I-20. There were a lot of students in the OIP, I hardly could find someone to talk to. And my English was so bad that the lady needed me to repeat my words several times… I was so embarrass. Finally I finished check-in, and they gave me another package, which was cool because there are a lot of free stuff in that package! I asked them if I need to attend an “orientation.” They said it was mandatory, I must attend it, or else I couldn’t register for classes.

Then I got home and began to register for my classes. But I couldn’t do it! The system said there was a “hold” on my account, and it was an health insurance hold. We need to buy health insurance? I called the OIP, and they said yes, it was, again, mandatory… OKAY. I paid the insurance. And I still couldn’t register! I called the OIP again. They asked me if I was an undergraduate student. Yeah, I said. “Then you will need to meet an academic advisor to let her/him register for you. I didn’t know there would be an “advisor” for me. In my country, we were enrolled in class automatically by our college supervisor. And the whole college enrolled in the same classes. Here I have to meet with my advisor one-to-one, and discuss what courses I want to take. This feeling is … good! I can design my own academic career!

In the afternoon, I walked around campus by myself. I was like a tourist, taking pictures everywhere~ because it was so different from my home town. In our hometown, most of the land is desert, and it is hot! Here in Akron, trees are grasses are everywhere. I have never seen snow so far, so I hope the winter can come soon so that I can see snow!

After the tour, I met my senior Iranian friends in front of the Student Union. They took me to a store to buy some food and living stuff. I could hardly find any Iranian food in the store. There was a shelf called “Asian food,” but no Iranian food was on that shelf. Finally I bought some fruits and vegetable under my friend’s suggestion.

It is late at night, and I am going to bed even I am not that sleepy.

Good night, Akron.

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Here I am!

Oh yeah!

Finally I arrived at Akron! The air tastes so sweet here because this is going to be my new starting point!

This is my first time travel abroad. The furthest place I went was Tehran, our capital. International flight is never my favorite thing… the English in the airport made me confused – it’s so different from what I’ve learned so far.

I am still in my jet lag now. My friend told me that I will adjust to the new time zone after a week. Last night I couldn’t sleep until two o’clock, and woke up at four o’clock, just like I took a nap at noon in my home. So I started to organize my room, which has not been organized since I arrived. The room I am living is really small, because the houses closed to campus are expensive, I didn’t have many choices. My senior friend helped me find an apartment that near campus in the south.

The Saudi guy living downstairs was nice, he helped me put my luggage into my room and lent me some cleaning stuff. Right next to my door is a Chinese girl, she looks friendly. I haven’t met the person living right across my door. Women here don’t have a Paja, on their heads, which we did in Iran too. They expose their body quite a lot, especially Americans. Now I know what I saw in the movies are true!

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2013.9.2.

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