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!

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

Short Run Comix & Arts Festival

The Short Run Comix & Arts Festival is taking place on Saturday, November 4 at Seattle Center, from 11:00am – 6:00pm. This free event is all about showcasing independent artists, writers, and creators.

11-2-17 Short Run

The Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center will be where the Book Expo is held, and the Vera Project will house all of the programming. There will be spotlights on featured creators, an Animation Tent, a bake sale, screen printing demonstrations, and a life size coloring book mural. There’s also an all-ages after party at the Vera Project from 8:00pm – 11:00pm.

11-2-17 Short Run 2

If you are interested in art or publishing, make sure you check out Short Run! There is a full list of exhibitors and programming on the Short Run website. For more information on events on campus and around Seattle, follow the International Education Facebook page.

– Meg Humphrey