Monday, March 1, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
- "Benefeeting Haiti," a shoe drive for the Haitian people so that they do not have to walk over " shards of glass, sewage, sharp metals, and diseases while trying to find loved ones buried under piles of rubble, walking to the nearest water station, navigating through the devastation, etc. " (from the facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=278512261966&ref=nf)
- Another event is "Hoos for Haiti," a fundraising event to create a U.Va. fund to help with the relief efforts in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. Its facebook event is located at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=251743948619&index=1
On a cheerier note, spring semester starts in a couple of days here at U.Va.! While we start our countdown to spring, many of you are probably counting down the days until your application results come in. Although it may be a while until you hear of the results, be sure to check Wahoo-World for the latest happenings at U.Va.! Spring semester brings not only warm weather, but lots of events on Grounds as well as in Charlottesville. We are all very excited to bring you more U.Va. happenings as the weather gets warmer and warmer, so stay tuned!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Anyways, continuing my Virtual Days on the Lawn for ya all out there!:
Hoos: Old Cabel Hall. A traditional-styled theatre where a lot of musical performances are held every week. The photo above features the Virginia Gentlemen, one of my favorite acapella groups here at UVa:) Today, Jeffery Sachs (renowned economist) just held a talk in here!
Boos: Old Cabel Hall has large columns at the back that block some of the audience's views. No idea who designed that.
Hoos: Painting Beta Bridge is one of the 109 things you need to do before graduation. Basically, its a bridge that is on Rugby Road (where a lot of fraternity houses are), and you paint on it to promote whatever event/cause that you want to promote for. It's fun and you can show off your non-existent graffiti skills!
Boos: Have to wake up at 6 in the morning so you can avoid being painted over, and that people will see it in the day time/ at night when they are out to party on Rugby Road.
Hoos: Springfest! one of the annual carnival events organized by University Programs Council. One of the activities of the day is Gus-burger eat-off (on the left)(Gus-burger is a burger with a piece of egg and hamburger in it, the best thing to have when you're a little...) and also disgusting eating competitions like Vermonster eat-off(on the right) (a huge tub of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream shared with 4 other people, and people just chuck the ice-cream on the table and pass it around so as to get it finished asap!!)...it's so much fun to watch! We also had Sara Bareilles come perform!(woo-woot!)
Boos: Stomach not big enough to be in all these competitions.
Hoos: One of the tranquil days at the Ampitheatre when all is just so peaceful. One of the things I love most about here is just enjoying nature, something I would NEVER have the opportunity to do if I stayed in Hong Kong.
Boos: The weather is pretty sporadic these days, it could be really beautiful one day, then kinda chilly the next...but makes you appreciate the better days more!
Monday, April 20, 2009
.. like we need any more pictures of the Rotunda. The second one was taken at Pancakes for Parkinson's - which is free pancakes on the lawn for a good cause.
I'm really more of a soccer (*ahem football) fan and our team is really good. The UVA soccer fan group is called Wahooligans and they are responsible for the most awesome atmosphere. I love it!!
But it's not like I've never been to an American football game.. it's a tradition to dress up with pearls and ties but wearing orange and blue is good too.
3. Music "scene":
for my fellow music lovers!! U2 and Muse are coming next semester!!!!!
Tim Be Told is one of the homegrown bands. Maroon 5 at JPJ Arena.
Melee at Satellite Ballroom and Jason Mraz at the Pavilion.
4. Spring Break Opportunities:
Interning for the Obama Campaign in Pittsburgh. Alternative Spring Break in New Orleans!
I'm a second year living at Lambeth. I really like it. Lots of space!
6. Other Events:
Foxfield! I went my first year and I had a blast. And Taiwanese Food Night. Yum
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So, what is studying in UVA like?
- We have continual assessment. This is alien for those who came from the British education system! Continual assessment means that there is no “big exam” at the end of the semester that makes up for all your grades. Rather, everything that you do in the semester is counted towards your final grade. This is both a bad thing and a good thing. The bad thing is, we have to worry about every single exam, quiz, and papers. This can be tiring when you’re expected to do this throughout the semester. The good thing is, you are always, always on top of things, and you study more, and you get the most out of your education here! Also, you won’t get into too much trouble if you screw up your final exam.
- If you are in the College, you can take classes that you’ve never, ever taken before. Astronomy, sociology, psychology, American studies, anthropology, Russian, politics, international relations, studies in women and gender… You name it. When else can you have the chance to learn all these, if not now? And how else would you know that you have a passion for any of these things if you don’t try it out right now? So studying in UVA is a great way to open your minds to new disciplines, and to the world.
- The professors/TAs are much more interactive and flexible than your high school teachers. They often change their lecture outlines to fit the class’s needs. They also insert many interesting random stuff like videos, websites, etc., that engage the students more. This makes the learning process much more interesting and fulfilling than a typical high-school class.
- There is way more teacher-student interaction in uni than there is in high-school. People ask way more questions, people are willing to discuss and challenge professors’ opinion. In fact, maybe “teacher-student” is not the best way to put it. It’s more like “instructor-participant”!
- The professors and TAs are always willing to talk to you outside class. My Sociology class professor was always up for “lunch dates”. My Religious Studies professor is even better; he can swipe you guys in for a free meal in the dining hall! Try to come for office hours even if you don’t have questions particularly related to the class. Come and have a chat, ask them about what research they are involved at, discuss a particular lesson that you think is highly relevant to real life, whatever. That way, you get so much more from your classes. And you get to know the professors and TAs more on a personal level, which can be very helpful for your future academics career (e.g. if you want to be involved in research or if you need a recommendations letter – they can’t write anything about you if they don’t know you!).
Now, let me share my #1 most favorite class in UVA so far: PSYC260 – Introduction to Social Psychology by Prof. Timothy Wilson! Maybe I’ll share more about that class when I have more time in the future. Check back often!
Monday, April 13, 2009
First of all, the Lawn during different seasons-
->During the summer, it can get pretty sweaty here in Charlottesville.
-> Trick-or-treating on the Lawn! Where tons of kids and families from all over Charlottesville come to UVa and the Lawnies (the Lawn residents as we can them) give out heaps of candies to little kids who dress up as peacocks, a whole family of M&Ms, little fairy dogs that run around... and the Best Costume Award goes to a Dad in a surfing suit while with one hand he's holding a surfboard that has a huge bite-mark on it, and on the other, his baby is dressed up as a shark! (how cute is that?)
-> Lighting of the Lawn! An annual event that brings the students together for hot chocolate, acapella groups and basically waiting for that moment when the Lawn lights up....and then you're like 'OH...so that's it?'
But when you're sitting on the steps of the Rotunda at night looking at the lit up Lawn, you just can't help but think how lucky you are to be here.
-> When it snows, it's awesome....and no, you aren't allowed to sled on the Lawn but you can streak with you UGGs on.
Tired of the Lawn already? Want to see other parts of the school? Check back here later for another installment of Virtual Days on the Lawn and I'm going to take you to dorms, the Stadium and other things you won't see on the official school webpage!
Monday, April 6, 2009
1. People. If I didn’t like the people I interact with everyday, I would have transferred already. (Shout-out to Fourth-years! All the Fourth-years I have met are just amaaazing)
2. Grounds. Yes, we don’t call it campus, call it Grounds. Every time I walk around on a bright sunny day, I am still awed at where I got myself into! Really, all the Fourth-years (aka Seniors) tell me they are still extremely appreciative of the beauty here: ) The thing I like to do most is take naps on the grass.
3. Acceptance of diversity. I can’t lie to you and say this is the most diverse school ever (I mean, it is a public school and ~60% are Caucasian Americans), but the thing is the different racial and ethnic groups mix really well here, and everyone is appreciative of other people’s cultures. And it’s not just racial diversity I’m talking about here, but the acceptance of being different. Here, you can choose to dress up for class or you can just go in your sweatpants and hoodie; you can go out and party every weekend or you can stay in to watch a movie with friends…there is no stereotypical UVa student except that in general, people are smart, care about their academics and just really friendly…that’s what I appreciate most about UVa.
4. Resources. So many libraries where you can go and study, and the libraries offer a ton of resources and books that are just plain overwhelming! Also, there are various study-abroad programs for the semester or just summer/winter break, and programs like ‘Alternative Spring Break’ where you can do something meaningful over breaks. Research opportunities, of course, with professors or initiate one of your own…the opportunities are out there waiting for you.
5. Size of the school.I’m talking about the size of the population as Kim has mentioned in the post earlier, which is a good optimum; and the size of Grounds too, as it’s located in a nice little city called Charlottesville, and the places you need to go to are practically within walking/biking distance, which makes you walk and burn off that ‘Freshmen 15’!(oh trust me, you need the exercise)
6. Students being in charge. Student self governance: the word that is heavily emphasized during orientation and all the painstakingly long receptions. But you won’t know how to appreciate it unless you are really involved in it. From students driving the buses to students in charge of the honor system, students care about what is happening on Grounds, and if they see something unjust happening within the system, they will voice out their opinions.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
There are huge, big classes. Especially popular 101s (Econ, Chem, Bio). There are also small seminars (like Ella said USEM) and the ones in the middle (20-50 ppl). I've taken all of them. What I like about popular big lecture classes the anonymity, you usually don't have to worry about cold calls or participation. The participation often lies in the discussions and you get to know your peers and TAs very well there. TAs may become valuable mentors in the long run as well. With USEM and the ones in the middle, professors are easily accessible. Going to office hours can be really helpful too. You have to be pro-active about it. When you are struggling with material - ask your TAs and go to office hours!! It can be intimidating at first but once you really get to know your professors - it will get more comfortable. They're here to help you! And never underestimate class difficulty - exams and tests can surprise you when you're not looking.
Global Media - Professor Hector Amaya
Anthropology - Professor Richard Handler
Intro to Asian American Studies - Professor Sylvia Chong
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Classes are a huge part of college life (you are a student afterall :P). So if you ask me what classes/professors I liked the most in the brief one year I’ve been here…
1/ USEM- First- year ONLY, everyone should go take a USEM!! They’re a small class (around 10-20 people) where you get close interactions with your Professor and other students in the class. The topics are generally specific and interesting, and the professor is usually pretty flexible in adjusting to where the students want the class to go. My Professor, John Nemec was really funny and nice, and he always asked us whether we liked the books we were reading and adjusted the assignment deadlines to our schedules. The class was just mostly chatting, him telling us about his adventures in India and interesting people he met etc…highly recommend his classes!
2/ Poetry/ fiction writing- Love creative writing but feel like you haven’t written anything creative in a long time? (because writing is now all about essays and papers…) Take one of these classes. I am taking a poetry writing class, and not only is the writing process fun and relaxing, it’s amazing to see how well your peers can write!(Fiction writing is equally great too as I heard from friends who were in it- also, these classes are an easy A as long as you participate!)
3/ TA- Maybe you have heard that TAs are just sucky teachers that don’t really matter in a course. But I can prove you wrong. I’ve been in a class with Jon Shoup, TA for politics, for two semesters because he is such a great teacher! He’s really encouraging and nice, speaks eloquently and explains concepts very clearly. I wouldn’t have learnt so much without him! So if you ever get to be in a class where he TAs for (I think he’s going an African-American studies class next semester), remember to go to his office hours because you really can learn a lot and have great conversations with him: )
Speaking of office hours, go to a Professor’s office hours! That’s why they have it for- so students can go talk to them! Don’t feel intimidated to go the first time and just introduce yourself, prepare some questions about the course or something that’s related to his/her field of research…once you start establishing a relationship with him/her, you’ll understand how valuable that can be.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Before coming I talked to people that attended here and listed to their experiences, which made me want to live these moments as well. Being here I understand their excitement and pride to be a UVA student. There really are so many opportunities available to do what you like and to meet other people. It is a big university but at the same time it is such a tight community. In the academic environment I have noticed this as well, by how people work together and help each other.
This is what I love about UVA, the friendly people, the warm community and the sense of belonging that you instantly acquire. It really has been an amazing experience for me and I wouldn’t change it for anything!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
UVA was always one of my top choices for many reasons. As most of you may know, the McIntire School of Commerce is currently ranked as the top undergraduate business school in the world. Apart from its strong academic showing, I was also attracted to UVA because of the many great things I’d heard about how beautiful UVA is and how nice the people here are. Although I never had the chance to actually visit, I was painted such beautiful images of students studying and playing Frisbee on the Lawn that I had just had to see it all through my own eyes!
Friday, March 20, 2009
You know, it's getting really exciting over here. The admission offers will be released in less than a week, and all of us really can't wait to congratulate you all! :D
I still remember the time when I received my offers from several universities. Some of them are more well-known than UVA back where I'm from. But what made me choose UVA? Being the enthusiastic aspiring business-woman that I was, McIntire was enticing. The Grounds looked extremely pretty from the pictures. The tuition fee is also not exorbitantly expensive like most other schools.
But what is the catalyst, the tipping point that really swayed me into sending my deposit to UVA? It was actually the scribbling that the Admission Dean wrote on my decision letter. It was hand-written, it was personal, it was warm. I think it embodied what UVA really is, a school that cares for who we are as a person. In UVA, you're not just another number. It is in UVA where you can discover what your true passion is, and UVA will help you achieve it. I have only been in UVA for a year, but I can already testify that it's true. I'll tell you more about it when we talk about our activities in UVA. (So check back often for updates! :)
What I can't write in words, I show in pictures. Spring is in the air! This is a shot of one of the first flowers that just bloomed on Grounds, overlooking the International Residential College (which is where I stay).
Last year same time I had NO idea where I was going to go. In fact, I was torn between going to UVa or universities in England or Canada…so I understand what some of you may be going through right now. Looking at official websites with the pretty Photoshopped pictures of students smiling as they are doing their labs is pretty lame when trying to decide which school to go to, so I have to say word of mouth is crucial.
I was lucky I had a very influential senior at my high school who also went to UVa, and she told me a lot about the school which definitely helped in my decision. Another way was just looking at the facebook groups and other websites that talk about college life and see what they have to say. And as you are reading this, you also have me, a real life student at UVa who is not just going to tell you that UVa is a perfect school, but one thing I can tell you is it is a better school than perceived, especially when you are referring to international reputation (UVa is a pretty underrated school outside the States)… I eventually decided to come to UVa basically on the basis that I wanted to go to the States for college and that it’s a good school. Pretty much a leap of faith!
All I can say for now is there have been decisions that I regretted making, but definitely not the decision on coming to UVa, and I’m pretty sure a LOT of students you meet here will tell you the same thing.
Name: Kim Sine (I'm second from the right in that picture)
Major: East Asian Studies (and maybe Anthropology, too)
Year: Third year (Yeah 2010!)
Country: It’s complicated…
Hey (possible) future Wahoos! My name is Kim and I’m actually American. So why am I writing on a blog for international students? Well, I only actually lived in the US until I was in first grade. I’m not really sure what to say when people ask me where I call home. I grew up in Beijing, China, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Manila, Philippines. Currently my family lives in Bangkok, Thailand. So I can identify with some of the questions that you may have about UVA.
I guess the biggest question going through your mind right now is if UVA is the right university for you. Honestly, before coming to UVA I wasn’t sure if it was the right place for me. So after all of my acceptances (and, yes, rejections) came in, I started looking into the schools where I was accepted. I read that UVA had a great balance between work and play. The college books also said that UVA students really do love going to UVA. It seemed like what I was looking for, but I still wasn’t sure. I hadn’t visited UVA for a tour, I didn’t know much about Virginia, and I wasn’t sure if it was going to have enough diversity.
I decided to come to the international student orientation session right before classes started in August. During orientation, I was nervous, shy and didn’t seem to make friends as easily as I had hoped.
So I moved into my dorm, feeling both excited and apprehensive. Because I went to the international student orientation, I got to move into my room early. The next day, when everyone else moved into the dorm, I started to meet my suitemates. Immediately, I met another American girl who had grown up abroad. I also had suitemates from Korea, Burma, Greece, and the Virgin Islands, in addition to a bunch of people from Virginia (of varying ethnicities). It was more diverse than I could have ever imagined. We didn’t all become best friends, but it was a nice little community of people within the greater UVA community where I felt at home.
I’ll be honest; it’s hard when my roommates from Virginia go home for the weekend because they “really miss their family.” Or when I have to calculate, and wait 12 hours until I can talk to my mom on Skype. But overall, I have really enjoyed my time at UVA. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else. Now I can add Charlottesville to one of the places that I consider “home.”
Hi, I’m Alice and I’m currently a second year at UVA. My anticipated major is Anthropology, possibly a double in Foreign Affairs. Long story short: I was born in New Jersey but I have lived in Taiwan since I was four years old. I went to a little bilingual school in a city called Hsin Chu. My interests are all over the place. At the moment I love alternative music, strawberries, Arsenal (CL draw in three hours!), 30 Rock, New Orleans and this Korean drama called Boys Before Flowers.
It is almost 3 AM right now. One thing I learned at UVA is that there are NEVER enough hours in a day to do everything you want! Thursdays are my long days BUT I have Fridays off! After classes ended today, I headed towards the Second Year Dinner Series. SYDS is basically a dinner where you can eat really good food and have a roundtable talk with professors and faculty. We really do have an amazing set of professors and faculty here, they genuinely love to hear what we think and LOVE to tell us what THEY think. Haha. It’s their job anyway. The food was SO good. Dinner was paella and tortellini. Dessert was homemade coffee ice cream and soft cookies. I’m hungry all over again thinking about it. So onto the point of the post:
Why did you choose to come to UVA?
My brother attended UVA too. He is both the reasons why I wanted and did not want to come to UVA. He always told me how great UVA was and I always looked up to him. But it was also one of those “I was growing up in his shadow” ordeals. And then I thought, well my brother is graduating and UVA is big anyway - so no one that knew him will know me, right? Wrong. But that’s a whole other story that I can elaborate later! Haha well, another important reason is that I got into my other first choice, it was a much smaller school that was focused on a particular area of study. What if I found out I hated it or didn’t like the subject at all? Which turned out to be true, by the way. Most people don’t end up majoring in their intended major. I know this is true for many of my friends who had pre-med or pre-comm dreams that drifted into Astronomy (seriously), East Asian Studies or Studio Art. You are exposed to so much more here and when you find your passion - the sky is the limit. And at UVA, there are so many opportunities you can take part in. Plus, did I mention how beautiful UVA is? I’m beginning to smell spring in the air. It’s going to be gorgeous.
I first heard about UVA from a friend who had just started here and he had nothing but praise for this great university. Im sure you have looked up and compared university rankings from Business Weekly and the rest and have seen that UVA features consistently at the top. Our McIntire School of Commerce was definitely a big factor in my decision to come here. But more than that, I could see that if I came to UVA I would not be constrained to one path of study. That's the beauty of a liberal arts education. Sure, I am Pre-Comm, but I have taken classes on Islamic Philosophy, Astronomy and Dialogues-on-Diversity... and I'm still in my first year! There are so many options for you here and new majors are introduced fairly often! We even have a Global Development Major that's stirring up a lot of interest!
We're not all study and no play though! Everything from symphony orchestra's to jazz bands to Jay-Z (amaaazing concert!! and T.I took off his shirt!!!) is free or cheaply available to everyone! Or you could just chill on grounds and watch the squirrels do their thing:)
UVA is your university and the opportunities are endless:D
See you soon!!!
Major: Psychology (and hopefully something else too)
Country: Born and raised in London, UK
Why I came to UVa:
It started out as a whole lot of totally random recommendations from friends of my dad. More and more people told me that UVa was an awesome place to spend four years of my life for a variety of reasons so I applied without really knowing much about it, except that everyone I'd met had told me either that they had been there and loved it, or knew someone who had been there and loved it.
Well I got in and still hadn't seen the campus (or as I was repeatedly reminded, the "grounds"). So my first visit before I made my college decision was for the Days on the Lawn. To cut a long story short, the day I came to visit was as beautiful a day as Charlottesville can offer, my tour guide was great and I just couldn't say no. I'm now in my Second Year here and haven't regretted my decision once.
Why I think YOU should come to UVa (especially as an international student):
You've read all the generic statistics about the academics, student life and probably a couple of interviews with students about the social scene - and I'll just give you my no BS account on what's good and bad (but mainly good) about being a student here.
It is said that there are 'no easy classes' at UVa. Not true. The vast majority of classes at UVa at least have their challenging moments, but there are one or two that are 'show up and pass'...actually scratch that, more like 'skim over the lecture slides the night before the midterm and final - and pass'. Having said all of this, there are some really, really, really tough classes here - right now it's 2:08am, I'm on the quiet floor of Clemons library, procrastinating from studying for a test that I'm going to take at 9:30am this morning and I'll probably be here all night, BUT there's hope - if you have somewhat good study habits, you'll be fine...it just so happens that I do not have good study habits.
With regards to the influence of being an international student on academics - really it's not a huge deal. The only point of note I have concerns language courses here at UVa...I didn't completely place out of my foreign language requirement and I noticed when I took my first French course that I was vastly knowledgeable in certain areas where U.S. students had no idea about, and totally in the dark about a few things that U.S. students had been learning for years.
Lots of stuff to do here. If you're interested in something, chances are there's a club or society with like-minded people. The easiest way to get involved in ex-curricular clubs/committees is at the annual fair in which loads of the clubs etc. set up stalls and take your email address if you're interested. If you don't find what you're looking for - look it up on the internet and send some emails.
In my personal opinion, the social scene at UVa is fantastic, although it's important to note that it won't necessarily come to you - sometimes you have to go and find it. Thankfully, this isn't hard. A lot of the social scene at UVa, especially for First Years, is based around the Greek System (Fraternities/Sororities). There is a large amout of drinking at UVa, and large proportion of it happens at frat parties (side note: If you're an international student, even if you hate the idea of going to a house full of inebriated and uninhibited students, I would recommend going to a fraternity party at least once, purely for the important cultural significance). If the frat party scene/drinking yourself to oblivion really isn't you, there's plenty of social organizations and groups around grounds that you can get involved with and have a good time with - it just takes an ounce more of effort to find them. Really though, a couple of the guys I live with don't drink or go to big parties, and they have very active social lives.
4. The People
As an international student who speaks English fluently (in my case it's my first language), I actually think I had it easier getting into the social scene than my American friends - from Day 1, EVERYONE was really friendly and wanted to get to know the British kid. In fact, the first question my academic advisor (a Philosophy professor) asked me was, "So you're from England...how are you finding it here so far? Is it like Love Actually?". If you've seen that movie you'll know what he was talking about.
I'm not going to sugar-coat this; UVa definitely seems pretty homogeneous - the stereotypical UVa student is white, middle class and raised in Northern Virginia. That's not to say that there are lots of other cultures that aren't represented here, but again, they're a little harder to find. This leads on to my single most important piece of advice for all prospective UVa student but especially international students - DON'T CLUSTER. Sure, be friends with people from the same backgrounds (e.g. race, culture, language, socio-economic status), it's understandable because you find common ground with them but please, please, please don't let it completely dominate your social life - make the effort and meet new people outside of these groups, I promise you wont regret it!
Oh and for all you English guys who wanted to know the answer to the question my advisor asked me, I'm sorry but you'll just have to find out when you get here.
I love it here at UVa, and if you come in with the right attitude, you will too.
Good luck in your decision making - I remember it being stressful, but take solace in the fact that chances are, wherever you go, you are going to have a blast.
Have fun - these are supposedly the best years of our lives.