Anonymous said: Hi Nanami~ I love your blog! It's really cute! It helps me look into what it is like to be a real Smithie! My questions are: a) what was the transition like the first few weeks when you got to Smith? b) what is it like participating in International Student Pre-Orientation? What do you do? c) what clubs are you involved in? which ones do you like the best? Thank you and I'm sorry for asking you so many questions!
Thank you so much! I love getting questions!
a) I think I had a bit of a late start. (I’m generally slow at everything haha) So, to be honest, my first few weeks was a little tough. Most of my troubles were in my social life. I thought I fit in well with other international students, but I had some trouble fitting in with American students. Of course, I didn’t want to only hang out with Asian international students, so I’m working on expanding my comfort zone this semester. When I was feeling lonely, the friends I made from International Students’ Pre-Orientation (ISP) really helped, because they were having similar experiences too.
b) ISP this year was about 100 students, so it was easy to make a few close friends before all the first years came in. I’m really glad I was at ISP, or else I would have been waaaay too overwhelmed.
During the day we gathered for information sessions about student visa, passport, filing taxes, bank accounts, American culture, health etc. We ate all three meals in Lamont House. In the evening the ISP leaders (other international Smithies) talked to us about student life. We did karaoke night, ice cream social, game night, manicure and lots of other fun activities. On the last day, everybody wears their country’s clothing for a picture in front of JMG Hall.
c) I’m one of the conference chairs of a student organisation called the Asian Student Association (ASA). ASA is a small student org that attend and prepare conferences to learn and spread Asian awareness. Right now, I’m in charge of setting up a conference about Asians in the Media.
I’m an alto for the first year choir and clarinet/ tenor saxophone for the Jazz Ensemble (I’m not really sure if that’s a club or extracurricular…?) I’ve been playing instrumental music since I was small, but I never performed in singing groups, so choir is something I challenged myself in. Jazz Ensemble is a continuation of my hobby.
Recently, two friends and I formed a singing group called Hanabi. We performed for the first time in the Asian Teahouse during Family Weekend. After that, we’ve been invited to two other Asian student org events. It’s mostly for fun. :)
And some other Japanese Smithies and I recently started up a project called “Smith&Me.” to promote study abroad for Japanese students by blogging and making videos of our college life.
I like all the activities I’m involved because they represent my different hobbies and interests. Hmm but if I had to choose, “Smith&Me.” is the most exciting for me right now. I like how I’m a part of a group of people building a project from scratch. It’s very exciting.
Class of 2018 international Smithies: see more information about this year’s International Student Pre-Orientation here!
Interfaith Awareness Week at Smith Through April 9
Interfaith Awareness Week is designed as a bridge of cooperation by people of different faiths. Organized by Spirituality in Action, a student group sponsored by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, it included cooking for a shelter and thought-provoking dialogues. Coming up: Thursday, April 3, 4:45 p.m., CC102: Speedfaithing. This event encourages participants to ask questions about different religions to become more religiously literate. On Wednesday, April 9, 5 p.m., Sanctuary: Oxfam Hunger Banquet. This program is an interactive simulation of hunger and poverty throughout the world and locally. Where will you sit? All are welcome
Disability Visibility Day, Speaker at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 3, Chapin Lawn
A day-long exhibit on Chapin Lawn of 400 chairs representing students with disabilities at Smith with facts, images, and stories about disability issues. Students, staff, faculty, and allies are invited to take a seat at 4 p.m. to make disability visible. At that time, Jen Matos, Ed.D., a Smith alum with a disability and a social justice educator, will speak on the intersection of disability and other social justice issues like race, class, and gender and will discuss why disability access and inclusion are central to the equity, diversity, and justice conversations on campus.
Disability Visibility Performance Night, Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Campus Center Carroll Room
Poems, stories, music, and discussion. Students with disabilities may submit a piece to be performed personally or read by a volunteer from the organizing group. Please submit your piece on the Office of Disability Services Website by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. Refreshments provided.
Global Books: Black Ethnics - Race, Immigration and the Pursuit of the American Dream, Friday, April 4, 12:10 p.m., Lewis Global Studies Center, Wright
The Lewis Global Studies Center presents a Global Books conversation with Chrissie Greer, assistant professor of political science (Fordham University) and discussant Daphne Lamothe, associate professor of Afro-American Studies (Smith College). Greer’s new book explores the political significance of ethnicity for new immigrant and native-born blacks from from Africa and the Caribbean in the USA. Please join us for the final segment of the Global Books series, an opportunity for authors to present their work and examine larger global issues with the Smith community. Pizza lunch will be served to the first 25 participants.
JHALAK, Friday, April 4, 7:15 p.m., John M. Green Hall
Jhalak is Ekta’s biggest annual spring event, bringing South Asian cultural performers from across the five colleges and beyond. This event is free to the public and a dinner will be provided prior to the show at 5:30 p.m. in Davis Ballroom. Jhalak is an excellent way for students to network with each other and explore the diversity that is within South Asia.