A new experience is always a fun experience!

Frida and AgnesThis Friday 8:30 am, Frida and I were walking to school for our management class as we always do on Fridays. But this Friday and this management class were not like every other Friday and management class, something unusually was going to happen – we were going to have our first exam ever in our American college history.“Isn’t it amazing that we’re having our first exam ever in our American college history and that we’re going to do an exam that’s completely different from those we’ve at home, at Lund University?” I asked Frida, and she agreed.

For the first time in our lives, we were going to have a multiple-choice exam. A multiple-choice exam is an exam with questions and appurtenant alternatives. In order to pass the exam, you’ve to choose the correct alternative for each question. You don’t have to pass every question, but of course, the more questions you pass, the better chance you’ve to pass the exam. Although the description of a multiple-choice exam makes it sound very easy, it’s a little bit tricky. You’ve to pay attention to every word within the question and within the alternatives because if you miss one word it can change the whole meaning of the sentence and you may choose the wrong answer among the alternatives. My advice for everyone who’s going to do a multiple-choice exam is to read the questions and the alternatives carefully and several times before you decide which alternative you’re going to choose!

However, back to the why the multiple-choice exam was going to be a new experience for me and Frida. In Sweden, at our University, we never have these kinds of exams. Instead, we’re having exams that contain 7-8 analytic questions where we’re supposed to discuss different theories and concepts. The exams last for almost 4-5 hours and are usually based on several books instead of several chapters in one book. As you can understand, it’s a big difference for us to do an exam that contains 60 multiple-choice questions based on three chapters and that lasts for only 75 minutes. Even though we both were nervous before the exam and didn’t really know what to expect, we felt happy after the exam – happy to actually be a part of the American college for real!

For me, everything that’s a new experience is a fun experience. It doesn’t mater if I’m going to write a type of exam I’ve never written before or if I’m going to try a new sport activity – a new experience is always a fun experience! Keep that in mind when you’re going to try something for the first time and I promise you it will be more fun!

25th annual Taste of New Paltz.

All began during a sad afternoon at our motel. Everyone were busy, someone studied in their room someone else in the library and three girls were doing kayaking. In my mind there was only one word: STUDY, but it was a beautiful Saturday, last summer weekend, it was hot and there weren’t clouds in the sky. Okay, I can’t spend my time here.. I want go out!During the week, I saw many posters about an annual festival in New Paltz: Taste of New Paltz. I was so curious … so I called a cab and decided to spend one hour there with one of my friends, before start to study. In less than 10 minutes we arrived in a unknown part of the city; there were many beautiful houses, among km of wheat fields and sunflowers and then.. a huge green lawn, many families with children running around on the grass. It was a wonderful scene!

It was the 25th year that New Paltz organised this event and we could not miss it. After paid $10 to enter, my friend Gaia and I started to taste every kind of food. Wasn’t that the purpose of the fair?! We started with a strange fried empanadas with beef, I discovered that this is one of the typical dishes in Jamaica.. It was delicious! The next stand prepared, however, a special kind of corn with cheese, curry and paprika, but the best taste of this incredible afternoon was a amazing pizza cooked with wood-oven, as the Italian tradition. Everything about the pizza reminded me of my country. At the end, as a real lunch, we bought an exquisite mini chocolate cupcake. After about an hour, at the end of our tour, I realized that there were many activities to raise awareness of their food and products to the citizens of New Paltz .. Wow, this was great! In this way, I was able to try dishes from restaurants that I didn’t know before and certainly I’ll try after this experience.

It was a really good afternoon spent with my friend! Beautiful place, nice people, good music and new food. Now, are you asking why the symbol of this fair is an apple? Try to get out of this fair without tasting a dish in which there was the apple! It’s impossible, trust me.

Visit also:

www.newpaltzchamber.org

Facebook: Tast of New Paltz

Health and wellness center

We have a lot of things to do here in New Paltz – and a lot to think about. You’re gonna keep up with five different classes, try to find a internship, get to know the people in your class and keep contact with your friends and family at home. You’re also supposed to adjust to the new environment, learn the new cultural rules and find some time to explore New Paltz, with surroundings.

Sometimes, it get a little bit too much. You maybe get the feeling that your head is going to explode? Or you just wan’t to hide for everyone just for an hour or two. But that’s totally alright, it’s the same for all of us.

For me, the best way to clear my head is exercising. And for that, you have a lot of possibilities here in New Paltz.

The school has it own athletic and wellness center, it’s free and available for all students. Isn’t it great? There is a gym, a swimming pool, an inside running track and a lot more that I haven’t discovered yet. There is also a lot of different classes every weak you can sign up for. I can highly recommend the hip hop cardio class. I was high of endorphins after, it was so much fun.

It’s just to bring your gym clothes to school for a work out before or after class, or even in between if you have a long break.

For me that’s perfect. It makes it easier to find the time for a work out. I need the safe and familiar routine of exercise when everything else is so new. It clears my head, gives me new energy to deal with everything and with some good music in my ears it also gives me time for myself. Above all, I sleep much better and eat so much better when I have a good exercise routine.

All over, I feel better and perform better.

And the most important part – I get the energy to enjoy all the fun parts of being here.

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One school, hundreds of opportunities

Raise your hand if you have ever seen an American college movie?

Okay, great, thank you!

Now, raise your hand if you have ever wanted to be a part of a college movie?

Pheuw, for a second there I thought I would be the only one reading this blog who have watched American movies and who would like to be in one, but fortunately I’m not.

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Photographer: Agnes Nilsson

For me, this very autumn, my dream came true! Well at least almost, I’m not a part of a college movie but I’m a part of an American college and I can’t stop being impressed by all the opportunities American colleges provides.

New Paltz Universitys campus looks exactly like I hoped it would look like, a typical “college-movie-campus”. All buildings are gathered in one area, the dining hall is huge and there are several cafeterias where you can imagine people dancing on tables, as they do in High School Musical. There are big lecture halls, a library that offers more than you can imagine and a Wellness Center that provides the students opportunities to practice more than 10 different sports. I keep asking my self, are all campuses like this? Do regular campuses give their students all these opportunities? After doing some research, I have found my answer: YES. Of course there will always be exceptions, but if you end up at a college in America, you will most likely end up at one similar to New Paltz University.

“Okay” you might think “She have now claimed that there are a lot of opportunities and that all universities are the same. What will she say next?” Well, I thought I would guide you a little bit around college, so you (as a soon-to-be IIB student) would know how to make the most out of your experience.

Get to know someone

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If you come by your self to this new country, it might feel a little hard to start talking to someone you don’t know, but don’t you worry. New Paltz University has thousands of students and everyone I’ve talked to are frie
ndly. The majority is very interested in other people too, as long as you also show interest in them.

I arrived here with some Swedish friends and we ended up in the same marketing class. One day, we decided to split up during class just to get to know others, and immediately someone started talking to me and I have now made a friend who loves sneakers even more than I do. I have a saying that I used to tell a shy friend of mine that I thought I would share with you “No one knows if you are not outgoing or shy, as long as you decide not to show them” so put your social shoes on and get ready to mingle! (and remember, if something goes terribly wrong, you don’t have to see them if you don’t want to.)

 

Be a part of an association

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Campus does not only provide you with thousands of interesting people, it does also give you an opportunity to spend time with people who have the same interest as you. New Paltz University have 169 (!!!!!) different associations touching subjects regarding everything from Quiditch to Handball, form Soccer to Human Vs. Zombies. They regard all the interest you might ever had and MORE.
Hobbys are a big thing in America and almost everyone I’ve talked to are either a part of an association or a part of a sorority or fraternity. So if you would like to get to know people in an environment where you know you feel comfortable and get to know people who admire the same things as you do, join an association! Why not email them before you come here and tell them a little bit about you? I promise they will appreciate it. I emailed on of the schools dance teams and now I get to dance with amazingly talented girls four times a week! Click Here if you would like to learn more about the associations.

 

Use the Wellness centre

The wellness centre at New Paltz University is, like everything else on campus, huge. They have 16 tennis courts, one swimming pool, two running tracks (one indoor and one outdoor), two gyms, one room for dancing and one for yoga and a big hall for basketball, handball, soccer etc. They do also have a field where the students can play lacross, baseball and rugby. If you don’t feel like joining a team since you will only be here for two months, use the opportunities provided anyway. Go to the swimming pool, do some exercise at the gym or join the different classes they provide such as Boot Camp, Hip Hop, Zumba and Yoga. You will have great fun and meet other students or get a possibility to get to know your IIB fellow students even more!

New Paltz University also provide the students with outdoor activities such as tubing, zip lining and canoeing which you have to pay and register for in advance. NOTE though, you have to be quick when the open for registration, the tubing and zip lining got sold out in less than 30 minutes! So discuss with your IIB-fellows which ones you would like to attend and then stay glued to your computer during the registration hours.

 Join the school spirit

One last thing that I have noticed about campus that we don’t have in the same utsträckning in Sweden but is a fun thing to be a part of is the school spirit. Every day I see at least 50 people walking around in clothes bought form school; New Paltz University t-shirts, Sweat-shirts or track pants. People with water bottles (me!), notebooks, pens and folders with the University name on it. Everyone feel so strong about this university and by doing so myself, I feel like a greater part of this fellowship. If you don’t want to wait until your first one-on-one with Jeff or Martha (where they give you a water bottle with the New Paltz logo) you can got to the shop and buy your New Paltz items straight away!

Internship interview?! Don't panic, there is the "Mock"!

Friday 11th September at 9:30. This was my appointment at “Career Resource Center” in the Humanities building for my first mock interview.
Try to image you feeling when, for the first time, you enter in a huge building in NYC and you are waiting your interview. How many things could cross your mind?! Agitation? Nervousness? Mind completely empty? It would be normal, but … keep calm and take it easy! There are people ready to help you to prevent this terrible situation of uncontrolled stress.

During the IIB program, you can take advantage of all the opportunities that the SUNY University offers to its American students; one of that is the “Mock Interview”. This is a simulation of what will happen during the job interviews in New York City that you’ll face before your internship period. In this occasion you can learn to control your feelings and give your best to make a good first impression … without panic. You will seat in front of a girl, she will turn-on the camera and everything begins!

You need to prepare yourself: bring your resume and informed about the company you choose for your internship. There isn’t a specific dress code for this situation (remember that it is only a simulation), but the employees can help you in the choice of the best outfit for the job interview.

The mock interview is divide in two different moments: the first one is a facsimile of the real interview and the second one is an analysis about your replays. In the initial part Sarah (I did my mock with her) will ask you some questions about yourself, your previous experiences and about the choice of the company. Not embarrassing for the camera and be yourself! No one will judge you! Answer the questions explaining all your experiences with many examples and always analyze what are the lessons you learned or what were the results obtained. Remember: don’t forget to smile! While smiling you send a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations. At the end, around 30 minutes, the girl will turn-off the camera and you can review yourself: here start the second part. During the remaining time, Sarah and you will comment all your replays and she will give you some advices about your feeling during the speaking, your body language and more other aids about the best way to emphasize your experiences.

I really appreciate this time! Sarah taught me more things about the American job world (that is completely different from the Italian one) and many ways to enchant the people in front of me. She also, explained me the importance to analyze every time the results of my experiences, although they weren’t exactly what I expected, because also from the mistakes we learned something.

Therefore, in conclusion, never forget your resume and go prepared; this is a rare opportunity for you. You can test yourself in a different situation and prepare for what may happen in the following weeks.  Above all, remember: smile at people! “What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not smile? Everything.”

Sweetness's, Workplaces, Offerings and Things do to

”You’ve to understand the current business to be able to create a successful marketing campaign”. That’s what our professor told us during our first marketing class. To understand the current business, you’ve to do research about it. There’re several ways to do it, but the most common method is the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for internal Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Opportunities and Threats and it’s used to do research about the environment of a company. My mission isn’t though to teach you how to use the SWOT analysis or to use it for analyzing a company’s environment. My mission is to describe both the internal and external environment of Campus. But I’m not going to use the ordinary SWOT analysis method. Instead, I’m going to change the meaning of the letters within the SWOT method in order to make the description more fun, playful and relaxed. Therefore, I’ve created my own SWOT analysis that aims to give you general advices about the internal and external environment of Campus. My SWOT analysis stands for:

Internal environment

S: Sweetness’s

W: Workplaces

External Environment

O: Offerings

T: Things to do

12023228_10156054958265554_775268853_n Lets start with describing the internal environment of Campus. On Campus, you can have a lot of sweetness’s. If you’re hungry or just would like to have something sweet, there’re several options on Campus to choose among. For lunch or dinner, you can visit the glass pyramid building that offers Indian food, Sushi, Pasta, Pizza, Salad, Sandwiches and Burgers. You can also visit the dining hall where you can combine different dishes as well as desserts. The best thing with eating in the dining hall is that you can make your own waffle with your choose of topping. I can highly recommend it. It’s amazing!

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On Campus, there’re many workplaces, in other words, different places where you can study. Campus consists of several buildings; Humanity, Business Building, Lecture Center and Science Building and all of them offers you places where you can study. Humanity and Lecture Center are my favourite places to study at. It’s quiet but not that quiet so you’re not allowed to speak with each other. But you can also study in the glass pyramid. On the second floor there’re both smaller conference rooms where you can sit and comfortable chairs, but if you’re going to study there, you’ve to bring sweater – it’s cold because of the air condition.

11998340_10156054958350554_2034157740_nAfter describing the internal environment, lets continue with describing the external environment of Campus – New Paltz. When you look around in New Paltz, you notice that New Paltz has a lot of different offerings, beyond Main Street. If you walk Main Street all the way down to the river, you will pass a cozy area called Water Street Market. It’s a small beautiful area with fountains, flowers, shops and restaurants. After you’ve visited Water Street Market my advice is to walk Main Street up to Church Street. On Church Street youll find an original bookstore where you can find all kinds of books. There’s also a chocolate store where you can buy homemade truffles, and I can guarantee you, the truffles is to die for! My favorite truffle is the one with caramel and sea salt, you’ve to try it!

11997337_10156054958215554_572683163_nOf Campus, there are several things to do as well. Since we’re students, we’re allowed to take part in different outdoor activities like tubing, kayaking and ziplinging. Today, we were supposed to go tubing but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the high water level in the river. But next weekend we’re going ziplinging – it’s going to be so much fun! Except outdoor activities that are arranged by the University you can for example go hiking on your own. New Paltz is very beautiful, especially up in the mountains and by the lake of Mohonk. If you live in New Paltz for one semester, you’ve to go hiking to explore the nature. Furthermore, you can also visit the public pool if you would like to relax and enjoy the weather! There’s a lot of things that you’ve to do while you’re living in New Paltz.

Now, when I’ve done my version of a SWOT analysis of the internal and the external environment of Campus, I’ve understood the current business of Campus and I would now be able to design a successful marketing campaign with the goal to inspire students to make the most of their stay at Campus and in New Paltz.

A FUNNY MOVIE NIGHT AT SUNY NEW PALTZ UNIVERSITY

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We almost come to the end of the fourth week of our “adventure” here in the US, and we haven’t lived yet the real life of a Suny New Paltz student. So we decided to take part at one of the various activities organized by the Center for Student Development: the movie night.
For me it was a totally new and exciting experience, especially because Italian universities usually don’t organize events like this. Indeed, we don’t have a real campus where students live and do activities together also during the evening.
And it’s a pity because, through campus entertainment events and activities, students can get involved in campus life, and this is a further opportunity to meet new people and mingle, getting the most during college education.
So, me and other girls decided to spend our Saturday night like a real American student, first having dinner at the Dining Hall and then watching a movie in one of the classrooms at the Lecture Center. Was our chance to meet other incoming Fall 2015 students and networking with them, after all it’s never too early to start making connections.

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During this totally free event, we were offered popcorn and drinks, with the chance to participate to the raffle drawing at the end of the weekly movie, Jurassic World.

The organizers were able to recreate the atmosphere of the cinema, putting at their ease those students who decided to participate.

During the show, it seemed to be in our bedroom surrounded by our friends, each of them was rejoicing and clapping with us during the most exciting scenes.
Little by little we surrendered to that familiar and funny atmosphere, finding ourselves commenting out loud along with everyone else.

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Although it wasn’t one of my favorite, the level of involvement created in the room made this movie one of the most pleasant and beautiful I’ve ever seen.

 

The plot in a nutshell: Isla Nublar opens the gates: the dream of John Hammond to create a theme park with regenerated and cloned dinosaurs is now reality. The reptiles, now devoid of mystery and anxiety, are downgraded to almost circus animals in the service of multinationals and genetic experiments, the result of which is the most ferocious dinosaur ever: the “Indominus Rex”. Soon, however, the managers of “Jurassic World” will have to deal with their terrible creature.

Overall it was an enjoyable evening that I can not wait to repeat.

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 The next movie event will be on Saturday, October 3 at the Lecture Center.

To keep up with the many activities offered by Suny New Paltz University, click like on this Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/SUNYNewPaltzClassof2019?fref=ts

A different but inspiring way of going through school

11914926_10153491271551638_157669319_nFor us IIB students it has been three intense weeks of making our selves at home here in New Paltz. I think we all can agree on that the town is very adapted to student life, which is great for us! There are a lot of Hawk-dollar restaurants all over the area and a lot of cafés and other shops that offer student discounts. Hawk-dollar is the payment card we use to buy food at restaurants and grocery stores. Well, even though I would like to write about all the nice restaurants where you can use Hawk-dollars (Main course!) around New Paltz, I’ve chosen another topic for this post. Instead I want to write about some of the differences I noticed in school here at SUNY New Paltz, compared to my University back home in Lund, Sweden.

Everything in school at SUNY New Paltz reminds me of every American high school or college movie11938941_10153491271866638_458676606_n I’ve ever seen all combined together. The dining hall, the many associations you can join, the American accent, the greetings “Hi, How u doing”, peoples friendliness etc. Pretty much everything and everyone here feels familiar but at the same time new and inspiring.

When it comes to manners, rules and regulations in the classroom it differs in many ways form what I’m used to, but I actually appreciate it. In Sweden, I don’t think we even have talk about manners in the classroom with our professors at our University. But here it’s different. My first thought when one of our professors at school here in New Paltz said that we weren’t allowed to use our computers or cell phones during class was: WHAT?!?!. But after attending three weeks of class with this Professor I actually admit that I like it. There are no distractions form a beeping phones or emails on our computers. It’s nice to get a break from the “Internet” once in a while. As a result, everyone, well at least the majority of the class, listens and interacts with the professors and other students.

The Professors at SUNY also give me an expression of that they feel responsible for our achievements and success. My Management Professor always begins class by asking us if we have any questions regarding class, school or life. The same professor knows every name of his 40 students. Do you think we feel appreciated and seen by him? Of course we do and it’s awesome! Therefor, a lot of our classmates also interact in discussions, because they feel safe to do so. I really feel that I the professors are here to help me.

The mentality here is that people help each other, which I think is a great. Most of the Professors are very friendly and helpful, in a personal way. This mentality motivates me and makes me feel very welcome. Keep up the good work professors at SUNY New Paltz!

 

 

IN THE HAWKS' KINGDOM

Our life in campus is crazy, literally crazy. Class, papers, books, assignments, dining hall, union building and, again, assignments, class, books and so on. At the end of a common day I feel as tired as I have run the New Paltz Marathon and my thoughts, usually, go in a unique direction: “my room sweet room”.

But last week, on Wednesday, an odd feeling took possession of me, and I decided to go to the Health Center to try to keep fit. In the Health Center, there are a lot of classes that we can do, two gyms, tennis courts and so on. Each team of the campus, known as The Hawks, here, have their training. I thought that muffins, cakes, potatoes, hamburgers had to be just a remembrance. Half an hour before the beginning of the hip hop cardio class, I enjoyed the queue to sign up, ready to dance, equipped with my hot pants and my just-refilled bottle of water. The room was very huge and along one side there was a big mirror, in which we would have seen if our performance was good. Alyssa, our teacher, was full of energy and she continued to smile. One, two, three and MUSIC. Thirty-nine girls and I were involved in an amazing sound. I was doing well, a part for some small, insignificant problems: I wasn’t good at dance. I wasn’t on music and every time that I had to turn right my body decided to go left. But I was super happy. For my gym-mates maybe this situation, this music, this class could have been normal, but for me everything was so special! For an Italian girl, taking a hip hop class, after her lesson, in a campus’ health center, surrounded by green and green, is something incredible. It was like being part of a Disney Channel serial for teenagers. I have loved seeing lot of students enjoying their free time between Zumba, hip hop and yoga classes, gym and swimming pool.

I finished my class tired but very satisfied as for this real American experience as to have kept fit. When I went out I saw our campus lit up and the sky was amazing: unbelievably nor light blue neither dark blue; a man was singing and playing guitar and some guys were skateboarding. I put my headphones and I came back home for having dinner and planning the yoga class for the next day. I remember I thought that I started to love this place and that I will miss it once left.

I was very tired at the end of the day, but I could say that I had a real “campus day”.

 

 

Mohonk is what you expect!

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Everybody told us about the inspiring nature around New Paltz and that it is a perfect destination for recreation and reflection.
So we asked ourselves: “Is it indeed the heaven of New York state?”

Yes, it is! If you want to relax and escape from the daily life, this is one of the best places to do this.
I am talking about the Mohonk Preserve.

Our goal for the day was to enjoy the Mohonk Preserve by hiking through wonderful nature scenaries.
By the way it was my first time hiking in a nature preserve; therefore, I did not know what to expect.

Our hiking trip started at the visitor center at Mohonk Reserve with a friendly recommendation where to go and what trail to take.
After a one hour comfortable and inspiring hike we experienced the aha moment:
The Mohonk Lake and the Victorian castle resort “Mohonk Mountain House” surrounded by the beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains.

The Mohonk Lake convinces with its great selection of activities such as boating, kayaking and swimming.
Boats can be rented at the boat dock for $13 per boat for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, without an overnight reservation,
swimming is only permitted when purchasing a meal or a spa treatment at the hotel.

However, the resort is a beautiful, old castle with a lot of history. When you enter the hotel you feel like going back in time – rustic but elegant.
The interior appears as it is from another century. Decide whether you like it or not.
I liked it, especially the sunset bar where we had a drink after a great hike. We enjoyed the wonderful mountain view.

You definitely should go there at least for a few hours to experience the Mohonk Preserve and the area around the hotel.
In case you do not feel like hiking, the taxi driver can bring you directly to the hotel in order to enjoy the setting in the countryside,
the lake as well as the amazing garden.

If you decide to stay overnight, take your credit card with you. One night in the spring/summer season costs
approximately $600 (without tax). In the winter season it is more cost-effective, round about $300.
There are many activities you can choose from such as croquet, putting green, indoor pool, tennis courts and and and ….

For more information I would like to refer to the following websites:

Mohonk Mountain House http://www.mohonk.com/

Mohonk Preserve http://www.mohonkpreserve.org/

You won’t regret experiencing the Mohonk Preserve and its surrounding.
Unforgettable moments are guaranteed! Enjoy 🙂