Author: Norman Joshua
Some people consider Chicago as one of the coldest cities in America. Others say that it is the windiest. However, Chicago is widely known as one of America’s center for creative industry and arts. Indeed, there is a selection of art and photo galleries in Chicago, and you will never run short of events such as movie screenings, theatre shows, or music gigs. Nevertheless, one of the most renowned is The Art Institute of Chicago, which is located on 111 South Michigan Avenue. Boasting a collection of approximately 300.000 artworks, this museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago.
Rahardhika Utama, Muhammad Fajar, and Gde Metera presented their working papers at the MCAA & SWCAS joint conference, October 3-5 2014, in Kansas University, Lawrence. The event was the first experience for the three Arryman Scholars to present their paper in an academic conference in the US. They are grateful to receive many constructive feedbacks for their papers and are thrilled for the suggestion to publish in various suitable scholarly journals.
The journey to find a new home might be disorienting, especially when we finally face culture shock and feel disconnected from our surroundings. One of the objectives of the ISI is to ease the transition and help us to negotiate barriers so that we can adjust more quickly. Well, a long list of social activities in ISI actually did the job, because we didn’t have much time to feel lonely.
Some of ISI's social events: Picnic at Botanic Garden (left), Ravinia Music Festival (center), and Bonfire Night (right)
Some people say that home is where the heart is. It is not just about the sense of belonging to a place or a person, but also following our bliss, doing what we like. Sometimes, “walking home” involves moving to another country, adopting a new culture, and speaking a foreign language. This process would be easier if we had a guide and a friend to accompany us in this journey.
Perhaps this is the primary role of the International Summer Institute (ISI); not only to ease the transition of international students to life in the United States, but also to help them feel that they belong in their new home.
During the period of my one-month commitment with the International Summer Institute’s series of academic English programs, I had a wonderful experience attending an event to meet and greet one of Illinois’ state representatives. Together with colleagues, Yoes from Indonesia and Yi-Shu from Mainland China (PhD candidate in Statistics), we went to a wine store near the Jarvis CTA station, simply 15 minutes away from campus by train. The following post will comment on the organizer, activity, and my post-event reflection based on my field observation.
Still within the spectrum of fascination, I would like to discuss one of the many programs and facilities that Northwestern University (NU) offers its students for academic trouble-shooting. Help is always available as long as we go and ask for it. The brief account of my recent activities in the following paragraphs serves to give a clearer picture.
When Hamas militants and Israel were exchanging rocket fire and airstrikes on Thursday, 17th of July, the Muslim and Jewish communities in Chicago were busy sharing their prayers and meals.
It was two weeks ago when I started to pack my stuff for a journey to the United States. My mind was filled with various thoughts, a mix of excitement, thrill, joy and anxiety. It was very similar to the atmosphere in Indonesia at that time, in which people were drawn into a political twister of presidential campaigns, the euphoria of World Cup and the start of Ramadhan. However, I was ready to put aside all those matters for a while, to depart to the U.S. and to start my one-year fellowship program.