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There is a famous quote from John F. Kennedy Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country”. After spending a lot of the day to ask what ACS can do for us, it is the time to think what we can do for ACS. We can’t control what ACS does, but we can control what we can do for ourselves being in ACS.

 

As international students, we want to be welcomed here. Firstly, we have to prepare ourselves to be ready for the welcome, so at least, we should be open-minded, and not afraid of communicating with domestic students.


As domestic students, we probably haven’t thought about being involved in a welcome program for the international students. But as a chemist, as a scientist, we have drive to learn new things and curiosity to discover new aspects of the world. These new things and new worlds are definitely not just from academic and science area, they are everywhere in your life. The way we approach science will be similar to the way we approach our life. By developing a friendship with somebody from different culture, we can get a better understanding of the world, will know our place better in this world, and will gain some insight how other people view the world. We believe you can get the same excitement by something new about the world as the excitement of discovering something new in your lab (or just getting your reaction to finally work!)

 

As a member of local ACS section, we can start to think about doing something to change our own life. We can start from inspiring people around to notice more about ACS news or resources, so that what we do in ACS can affect more people. Instead of hoping ACS organize something big, we can start from organizing a small multi-culture roundtable coffee workshop in campus, bridge the culture barriers and help to minimize the challenges that international students are facing. We probably won’t be able to make some big changes, but the small step is a step. Let’s just step by step, and walk into our world friendship and create a developing and sustainable science community around us.

Liping Zhu

Moments of Self Reflection

Posted by Liping Zhu Nov 13, 2012

For two Colorado students, starting at 7:30 am, 5:30 am in Mountain Time was a struggle.  Fortunately H.N. CHEN caught our focus and kept us interacting. The time difference maybe takes a couple days to adjust, but the people difference you probably need to spend your whole life to figure it out. H.N. Chen mentioned his uncle, who was a successful salesman, can recognize and define people’s personality in 30 sec, which is pretty awesome and can make sales much easier. But we found that it is even hard for us to define ourselves.  When we were working on our evaluation form, for most of questions, we don’t know which level we are in. We believe there are gaps between what we wish we were, what we think we are, and what we actually we are. This workshop reminds us to think about these gaps and try to find our strengths and weaknesses. Once we know ourselves better, we can learn the best ways to articulate ourselves and engage others in dialogue.

 

Finding your path is a little bit different from what I have thought before. We thought we don’t know what we can do before, but after this we realized that it is not really about what you can do.  It is really about what you want to do, which is a question that nobody else answer for you. We should decide for ourselves, and once we decided, we just need to do it. H.N. Chen said it is never too late to make changes and don’t be afraid to make changes. At this stage, we do need that kind of inspiration.  Life depends on choices we are making, we can decide what kind of life we want and try to make it happen.  We just have to learn how to balance what we have and what we want. Reality may not always our desire, but we always have something to work towards.

Hi this is Liping from Shanghai, China and Melissa from North Carolina. We are both graduate students in the same polymer lab at Colorado School of Mines.  We are getting more excited about the approaching IDSS summit. When we first heard about this summit, we felt that it was designed for us because we are already labmates and best friends.  Over the past four years, we have had many discussions about our respective cultures to try to better understand each other.  The IDSS will be a good platform to share our experience and participate in a formal discussion about this topic which has become important to both of us.  According to our experience, we believe that an open-mind is essential for building relationships between international and domestic students. If you are willing to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone, you will be rewarded with some great experiences and good friends. And in the best case scenario, you will have a place to stay and a local guide as you travel the world. Will you please share your experience in building friendships across cultural boundaries? What do you think is the most important thing to enhance the relationship?