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Life in the U.S. Series

OISS is always looking for new ways to help international students learn about United States life and culture. In 2011, we began a monthly programming series entitled Life in the U.S. Some of the topics covered include health care, immigration, friendship/dating, college sports, and how to navigate the U.S. workplace.

Life in the U.S. events aim to bring campus and community experts to speak about issues that impact international students every day. We have been able to expand the size of our events and are excited to hear any suggestions you may have for future topics YOU want to learn more about!

As part of each Life in the U.S. event, OISS provides lunch and refreshments to those who register.

Events are posted our Calendar of Events at:

Examples of previous Life in the U.S. Culture sessions held:

Friendship and Dating
Have you ever felt lonely and homesick living alone and away from your family and friends? Do you find it hard to make friends, or even develop a romantic relationship in the US because of the language barriers or cultural differences? If you are interested in the issues concerning friendship and dating, please join us in our Life in the US Series: Friendship & Dating. Presenter: MSU Counseling Center

Winter Blues
Winter is most definitely here! For many international students this can both exciting and nerve-racking. You may have heard how cold and dark it can be during Michigan winters. Well, this is true is also amazingly beautiful! The morning after a new snowfall turns the rooftops pure white and can be amazingly peaceful. Still, there's no denying that the days are shorter and the sun rarely makes an appearance during the winter. The darker and colder periods of the year can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder or "SAD." SAD is a medical condition that causes students to have less energy and in some cases, be depressed. Presenter: MSU Counseling Center

Trains, Bikes, and Buses
The first Life in the US program of the year brings you information on how to best use transportation to get around campus and the surrounding area. Presenters: CATA Bus Services; MSU Police (DPPS); MSU Bikes; Amtrak

College Sports
Are you still a little puzzled about the rules and appeal of American football? Have you heard the word "Izzone" and not found a definition of it in the dictionary? If you are an international student with questions about the sports culture here at MSU you are not alone! College sports are not as common or as supported in many other countries as they are in the United States. MSU alone has 25 different varsity teams (12 sports for women and 13 for men) and a plethora of other club and intramural teams. In our second Life in the US event of the year OISS will be bringing you information on sports at MSU. Current varsity athletes will be on hand to answer your questions about what it's like to play sports for the Spartans! We will also cover other topics related to sports including what all the excitement around basketball and American football is all about. Presenters: MSU Department of Residence Life; Student-Athlete Support Services

Summer Travels
Staying in Michigan during summer? Several traveling opportunities are available that you should pursue. We often do not know the hotspots and highlights the State of Michigan has to offer. There are so many things to do in Michigan that are all too often overlooked when taking summer classes or working summer internships. Please join us to learn more about where you can travel this summer within a close distance and still appreciate Michigan's culture. Presenters: Greater Lansing Michigan Convention & Visitors Bureau; Michigan Development Economic Corporation

The U.S. Workplace
"Time flies when you're having fun! Don't waste time. Time is money. An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold." These sayings seem to contradict themselves when it comes to advice about time. Maybe that is because different societies, different cultures and even different people view time differently! This talk will review two varying outlooks on time and apply the American view to job interview skills. Come learn how you might understand the pace of interviewing differently than your American counterparts, and gain tips for adapting your time sense to the style of those with whom you may be interviewing. Presenter: Career Services Network

Warm up to Michigan
The first Life in the US event of 2012 starts with a look at your own new backyard, Michigan! What does it mean to live in a place shaped like a mitten? Representatives from the MSU libraries will help you discover interesting facts about the Great Lakes State: its history, people, culture and four seasons of beauty. There will even be fashion tips to help you stay warm and actually enjoy the Michigan winter. Presenter: MSU Libraries

Academic Integrity and Success
Participants will understand what is considered cheating, how to avoid plagiarism, what resources are available on campus to help with academic success and good habits to adopt in order to do well academically. Presenters: MSU Office of the Ombudsperson; Office of the Provost; Department of Zoology

MSU and US Sports Culture
Learn the MSU fight song, cheers and chants, how to buy sports tickets and what "tailgating" is. What is the Big Ten? Who is Sparty? What is homecoming? What are the basic rules of U.S. football? Current MSU Spartans will get you excited for sports and teach you how to get involved in the fun! Presenter: Student Alumni Foundation

Michigan Employment Initiative
It's a new day in Detroit. One filled with high-tech startups, cutting-edge medical research, and affordable, desirable places to live! Learn about programs designed specifically to help international students with their job search as well as opportunities to connect with Detroit area employers hiring for jobs and internships. You can also get tips for interviewing and how to talk to employers about your immigration status. Presenters: Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Global Talent Retention Initiative of Southeast Michigan (GTRI)-Global Detroit & Michigan's University Research Corridor

Michigan Winter: Preparing Physically and Emotionally
Participants will learn what to expect during a typical Michigan winter, how to stay healthy emotionally and physically, how to dress appropriately, how to drive/walk and cycle in snow and ice, how to take care of your residence during cold weather and how to stay active and enjoy winter sports. Presenters: MSU Counseling Center

Service-Learning and Community Engagement: Meaningful giving of your time and talents!
This session will provide an overview of service-learning, community and civic engagement, and community service/volunteering in the U.S. overall, and at MSU in particular. Definitions will be covered as well as the ways that service-learning, community engagement and volunteering are simultaneously the same and different. Service and engagement opportunities for MSU students and scholars based on academic, professional and personal interests will be discussed. Benefits and challenges will also be addressed. This will be an interactive session to include a question and answer period. Presenters: Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement; Internationalizing the Student Experience

March Madness: Understanding Basketball Basics and MSU Sports Culture
Basketball is a huge sport and part of the culture at MSU. Come learn the basic rules of basketball, the popular MSU cheers and chants and how to get tickets to Spartan games. Participants will understand what Americans mean when they talk about "the Final Four," "brackets," "the Big Ten" and "the Izzone." It's going to be really fun and exciting! Go green! Presenters: Student Alumni Foundation; Recreational Sports and Fitness Services

Know Your School: MSU History and Trivia
Stephanie Perentesis (MSU Libraries) and Portia Vescio (MSU University Archives and Historical Collections) will introduce you to interesting factoids, trivia and history about YOUR MSU! Presenters: MSU Libraries; MSU University Archives and Historical Collections

Check our Calendar of Events upcoming sessions:

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