How a Student from China Became a Volunteer at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle (and Why She Loves It!)

Yueheng Feng volunteers at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

I’m Yueheng Feng, an international student from China studying at Shoreline Community College. Five months ago, when I just arrived in Seattle, I was excited and eager to try to adapt to this new environment as quickly as possible. I wanted to get involved not just on campus with different activities but also in the community to expand my social circles. Luckily, I learned about volunteering at the Pacific Science Center from our China Specialist, Ms. Linda Du. She told me about what it is like to volunteer there and encouraged me to apply for it. Of course I would try it because I have always loved exploring in the science centers and I enjoy the chance to help others.

Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA Photo by Ron Clausen [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Very soon after submitting my application, I received an email for the volunteer interview. It was a group interview, which was not as intimidating as I thought. It was just an opportunity for us to meet the Volunteer Coordinators and get to know each other because we might volunteer together in the future. Some of the questions asked at the interview were difficult for me to understand in the beginning, but I tried my best to be brave in a group setting, shared my opinions and expressed myself in English. When I didn’t understand a question, I listened to others and then tried to figure out what the question was asking for. If I still couldn’t understand the question, I just asked the staff and they would ask me again in an easier way. I passed the interview and completed the New Volunteer Orientation in November! By now, I have volunteered as a Guest Ambassador for more than 20 hours. Because of a temporary change with this particular volunteer program, I just re-applied and became a Tinker Tank volunteer recently.

     Before I started volunteering at Pacific Science Center, some friends told me that it would not be easy to be a volunteer there. Even many university students and local high school students want to volunteer there, and I just started learning ESL at that time. I think being confident in myself is very important. I know this is out of my comfort zone and I still need to keep improving myself, but I know I can do this better and better!   

     The Pacific Science Center is located in Seattle Center next to the Space Needle. It takes me about one hour to get there by bus. Volunteers can get bus passes for commuting there. Whenever I’m not too busy with school, I sign up for volunteering shifts. Being a volunteer there is very interesting and fun. I like to engage with guests by asking them questions to start the interaction. There are also many free cookies, candies and chocolates for volunteers. I can also grab a hot beverage for free as another volunteer benefit. Of course the meaningful experience of being a volunteer is way beyond this. People at the Pacific Science Center are very friendly. Other staff and volunteers would help me when I don’t know the answers.

     The Pacific Science Center is a great place. If you want to be a volunteer, you should go there and try! I would regret if I didn’t sign up to be a volunteer there!

To learn more about different volunteer opportunities and apply online, just go to: www.pacificsciencecenter.org/volunteers/

3 Reasons to Stay in Seattle During Winter Break

With almost a whole month between Fall Quarter and Winter Quarter, many international students choose to travel, whether back to their home countries or around the U.S. and Canada.

But there are plenty of reasons to stay right here in the Seattle area during the winter break! Here are three of our favorites:

Go Skiing!

Even though it rarely snows in Seattle or Shoreline, and when it does it’s gone in just a day or two, in the mountains nearby, there is plenty of snow for skiing. From Shoreline, you can be on a snow-covered mountain in less than two hours.

Experience a Bavarian-Style Winter Wonderland in Leavenworth

See beautiful Bavarian architecture dressed up in lights for the holidays, walk through the snowy mountain village, or stay warm and cozy inside while enjoying traditional German foods and drinks. Or better yet, do all three!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Seattle Center

Dan Bennett from Seattle, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Ring in the new year on the dance floor at a free dance party at Seattle Center, and finish the evening off watching the fantastic fireworks display at the Space Needle!

Why 2 Thai Students Fell for Shoreline

IT 1

Hello, my name is Thirachet Lapjaturapit or I/T. I am an 18-year-old student at Shoreline Community College majoring in Film Production and I am working as an International Student Ambassador for the International Education department. There are multiple International Student Ambassadors working on campus and duties vary for each one of us. I have a specific job as a photographer; I produce media for the department such as short introduction videos, interview videos, and taking photos of events around campus.

Tisa 2

Hi, I’m Tisa Somsap. I am also an 18-year-old student at Shoreline Community College majoring in Humanities. My job in the International Education department is quite different from I/T; I’m an International Peer Mentor. International Peer Mentors work in a team of 8. We connect new and current students with the International Education department as well as assisting the department staff members from time to time. Throughout the academic year, we organize events and activities such as International Student Orientation and school parties.

IT 2

I/T: I had no experience studying abroad before coming to Shoreline Community College. I remember thinking that this campus scenery is very breezy: the greenery, the design, it feels very comfortable. I have my own YouTube channel (IT’s Films) and I could imagine myself walking around filming a campus tour video at that point. I met many friends from various countries through International Student Orientation.

My fall quarter classes were ESL classes. They were honestly challenging for me; however, with the help of skilled teachers and the activities in class, I was able to improve. I have an opportunity to meet and connect with plenty of photographers outside of campus once in a while, and it makes my experience in Shoreline even better.

Tips from I/T: Stay true to yourself. Do not settle until it feels right. If you’re not certain about your interests, join clubs, make some friends, put yourself out there. Try something new to discover what’s the best fit for you.

Tisa 1

Tisa: My first impression of Shoreline Community College is similar to I/T’s. I noticed the trees and the unique buildings right away. I went to school in New Orleans before as a high school exchange student and it’s safe to say that Southern American culture is much different from Northwestern American culture, so I still had a little culture shock coming here. However, International Student Orientation gave me a great sense in what to expect from this community.

My classes in the first quarter consisted of English Composition I, Introduction to Communication, and Survey of Anthropology. They were very challenging, and I had to really step out of my comfort zone. After that quarter, I saw an instant growth in myself. I stopped doubting my potential but rather doubting my limits instead. I made the best out of the quarter by trying to socialize a lot with my classmates; now they are the group of friends I hang out with daily.

Tips from Tisa: Explore yourself and the environment around you thoroughly, whether that is the school or the city. Remember to always challenge yourself in order to see your full potential.

Shoreline Welcomes New Students from 24 Countries

Shoreline Community College welcomed students from 24 countries, representing 5 of the 7 continents, to Fall 2018 Orientation.

Orientation Crowd

At Orientation, students registered for classes, got set up with their new email accounts, and learned what they need to know to thrive as new international students. Plus, they got to meet their 2018-19 Associated Student Government President, Denish Oleke, who shared his own experience with them and inspired them to get involved on campus.

Denish Speech

Shoreline staff and student leaders also took our new international students on a tour of Seattle and introduced them to some of the most popular places to visit in the city, including Seattle Center, Pike Place Market, and Alki Beach.

Students on Dock

5 Tips to Help Students Manage Their Time

Whether you’re starting college this quarter or coming back after summer break, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the routine of being a student again. One of the most important ways to succeed in and out of the classroom is to master time management. Here are 5 tips to help you get started!

person writing on white book
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Use a calendar to keep up with your classes

Some people like using the latest technology on their smartphones, while others prefer posting a big paper calendar on their wall and covering it with notes. Either way is great, as long as you use your calendar to keep track of all of your reading, assignments, and tests. Review your calendar frequently so you know what important deadlines are coming up.

Carefully review your syllabus for each class

Do you know what a syllabus is? It’s a document that every one of your instructors will give you that explains the requirements and expectations for your classes, as well as a schedule of readings, assignments, and tests. Remember that calendar we just talked about? You can put all of the assignments from each syllabus on it at the beginning of classes so that you can beginning planning for the whole term.

Set routines for yourself

Doing things on a regular schedule can help you avoid procrastinating, or waiting to do important work until it is almost too late. Set aside regular times each day and each week for reading, working on assignments, and doing other work for your classes. You will become used to this schedule and form good study habits much more easily this way.

Break down big projects into smaller tasks

In college, you’ll have many long papers, presentations, and big projects to do. When you have to write a 15-page paper, think about what small steps you’ll need to take in order to complete the assignment. You need to decide what the topic will be, do your research (and make sure to note down where all of your information comes from so that you can properly cite all of your sources and avoid plaigarism!), and you can even divide the paper into different sections that you complete one at a time.

Ask for help!

If you find that you are having trouble managing your time or keeping up with your classes, we at Shoreline are here to help! You can always come to the International Education department in PUB 9302 to talk to an advisor or just to learn about all the resources that the college has to offer you, from tutoring in specific subjects to the Writing & Learning Studio, where you can get help with those big papers! The best part is that it’s all free!

How a Student from Kazakhstan Came to Shoreline at 16, Earned a UW Degree, and Got a Job at T-Mobile Headquarters

I was 16 years old when I started at Shoreline Community College in the High School Completion Program.This program allowed me to work on finishing my high school diploma and begin my college-level studies at the same time.  During my time at Shoreline, I was a math tutor and an International Peer Mentor, which allowed me to meet international students from all over the world, who would eventually become lifelong friends.

aigerim

When I started applying to four-year universities, the advisors at Shoreline encouraged me to apply to schools that I never thought I would get into.  Through their support and encouragement, I was accepted into engineering programs at Purdue, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, and University of Washington.  I chose to attend the University of Washington, where I interned with Synapse Product Development, Inc. in downtown Seattle. Even though the classes at UW were more difficult, my classes at Shoreline taught me study habits that helped prepare me for the academic rigor.

I am currently working at the T-Mobile Headquarters as an Associate Engineer – Systems Designs, where I test mobile devices for liability issues on the T-Mobile network.  Eventually, I would like to attend Cornell University for my master’s degree.  Looking back, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Shoreline.  Shoreline helped me grow personally and academically, and ultimately helped me believe in myself.  It also provided me the opportunity to transition into U.S. culture and get to know the Seattle area, which now I call home.

If you’re looking for friendly and supportive faculty, a beautiful campus, and great university transfer options, definitely check out Shoreline!

Aigerim Shintemirova
Almaty, Kazakhstan

Baby Duck and Goose Season at Green Lake

Spring is here once again, and with the sunshine and warm weather come baby ducks and baby geese!

Two geese with goslings

You can see lots of them from the walking and biking path along Green Lake in the north part of Seattle, just about a fifteen-minute drive from Shoreline’s campus. They are 100% adorable.

As a bonus, here is some fun vocabulary: young ducks are called “ducklings,” and the word for a young goose is “gosling.”