Stepping out of your comfort zone as an international student

As an international student, this whole study abroad thing is not easy. Because you are in a strange country, you may find it difficult to integrate into a group or make friends or even communicate properly, so you start to fall into deep self-doubt and you lose your confidence. But I would like to say, please don’t give up on yourself, because campus life is wonderful, and I would like to give you some references from my own experience.

Be proud of yourself

Please think of it this way: we are in a strange country, speaking our second language, a language we have never spoken before. In doing so we are learning and living while getting good grades at the same time, which is quite difficult, and you should applaud yourself instead of giving up on yourself.

Take your first step

In the summer, I attended a new student networking event organized by the Newhouse School, held at the Syracuse Zoo. It was the first event I attended when I came to Syracuse University, and I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the initiative to interact with students from other programs. We saw various animals and ate roasted marshmallows together, which was a very interesting experience. In the process, I realized that communication is not difficult, you just need to take the initiative to start communicating. I am grateful to Newhouse for giving us a way to meet other students and start connecting.

A worthwhile experience

I am more than halfway through my master’s program. If I can do it, then you can do it, too. Please be brave enough to take the first step and fully experience and feel the diversity of campus life, and relax, because you will feel included here and it will be your most unforgettable memory.

Yuchen Pan is a graduate student in the new media management program at the Newhouse School.

Dear prospective international students

First of all, congratulations! Congratulations in advance for being a part of the Newhouse and Syracuse University community!

This is a letter for you from me being an international student nearly a year in Syracuse. Even though I’m coming to an end to my time at Syracuse, I still have one more semester to complete in Washington D.C.

I’m not sure if you have completed your bachelor’s in your home country, in the U.S. or in any other country. In my case, I came here after working for four years and did my undergraduate in the country where I’m from. Regardless of our background and situation, here are some lessons I have learned that I will share with you:

Make the whole experience worth it

Moving to a different country and perhaps sacrificing some things and investing thousands of dollars are not easy decisions. I totally understand.

Make it worth it. Attend the classes, engage in class, ask questions, use professors’ office hours, build relationships with your classmates and be yourself. Also, some days you may not feel good and wouldn’t feel like coming to class. It’s okay to take a break.

There are always numerous events happening; take advantage of them. Join student organizations, go to those events, hang out with classmates, make new friends and, most importantly, make the best of it and seize the opportunities to the fullest. What can I say? Take advantage of the tuition you paid!

Speak up

In my country, I wouldn’t dare to speak with my dean of school and share some issues. They wouldn’t bother to listen, honestly.

But here, when you’re dissatisfied with something especially that has to do with academic quality, speak with your professors directly. Their doors are always open, which I’m thankful for.

If you happen to face problems as an international student, don’t hesitate to talk to the dean, academic affairs, Center for International Services, Barnes Center or professors. As they’re striving for improvement, they would be happy to talk to you and hear your concerns.

Don’t let the fact that you’re an international student be the excuse for not speaking up.

Explore the campus and city more

I haven’t seen many university campuses before but ours is beautiful and you may agree with me. When you have time, explore the campus and enter every academic building. Take tons of pictures on campus, or with Otto. Study outside, eat outside and play outside.

There are many decent restaurants downtown worth trying. There are Asian restaurants and markets as well. Get to know about the city a bit more in case someone asks about Syracuse.

Don’t worry; you will get this degree!

It’s an overwhelming experience. Each class, you will be given some amount of readings, assignments, team projects and more. You want to have fun but, at the same time, you don’t want to fail. Being an international student makes it even harder. Reading takes a lot of time for me.

As long as you manage your time well, make an effort and be engaged, you can still party hard and study hard and get your degree.

Overall, make this period of time meaningful and worthwhile. Sometimes I forget I’m an international student here because everyone is treated equally and respectfully. Good luck, make it happen, get that degree and go make a difference.

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Oko Khosbayar

Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar is a graduate student in the public diplomacy and global communications program at the Newhouse and Maxwell schools.

Five Things I’m Excited for in 2022

Last year may not have been the best year, but I feel that shouldn’t stop us from making the most of the coming year. In that spirit, here is a list—in no particular order—of the top five things that I am looking forward to in 2022. 

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

I am surprised by how much I am looking forward to this film. After being tired of the constant output of Marvel superhero films, I was just about ready to tap out. However, after seeing the character in the latest Spider-man movie, I am excited for the newest film. Not only does the film look exciting but it also features the return of famed director Sam Raimi to directing a superhero flick after his Spider-man trilogy.

Completing school

In 2022, my one-year graduate program at SU will be done. It’s a little bit daunting, but at the same time very exciting. Since I graduated from the University of Maryland, a part of me has been both excited about and anxious to start working. It partially comes from my own desire to be done with schoolwork, but also seeing all of my old classmates kick off their own journalism careers. I am ready to work at a news station or paper.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean

This is the latest iteration of my favorite manga series of all time. They decided to release the series in chunks on Netflix and the first half debuted in December with the second half coming out later next year. This is one of my most-anticipated TV series for how off the wall and weird it can get.

Getting my driver’s license

So I have been trying to get my license for a few years now, however because of a mixture of a lack of time as well as my own procrastination, I have not been able to manage getting it. So I’m using this as a bit of a New Year’s resolution for myself. I’m motivating myself to get it this year.

Final Fantasy 16

I love video games, and I’m a fan of the classic game series Final Fantasy. The fact that the newest release in the franchise is coming out next year has me unreasonably hyped. This new game looks good, and after the last game in the series was a bit of a critical disappointment, I’m excited to see where this new one goes.

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Writer Jalen Wade

Jalen Wade is a graduate student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

Campus organization: GSO

There are dozens of student organizations that you can be a part of as a graduate student, and you’re already a member of the biggest one: the Graduate Student Organization. As I serve on one of the committees under GSO, this is an article introducing GSO , what it does and how you can contribute if interested.

You may already be familiar with GSO because we all receive frequent emails about events, advocacy opportunities/openings, important announcements, Senate meetings and more.

In brief, GSO consists of representatives from degree-granting programs and elected officials who work for the sake of graduate students. GSO represents the population in the University Senate, the biggest decision-making body on campus. There are several ways you can engage with GSO.

First, you are technically a member of the organization and are invited to attend Senate meetings. However, you may want to sign up as a senator officially to represent your program. You can check whether your program is listed here. If you can’t see your program, you can add yours and start contributing as a senator.

GSO also has several sub committees that work for different missions. The committees include the Diversity Committee (which I’m a part of); Employment Issues Committee; Civic Engagement Committee; Student Life Committee; Academic Resources and Affairs Committee; and Outreach Committee. You can join any of these committees any time by contacting the GSO staff. I would encourage you to join if you would like to speak up, address some of the issues you see in our community and any other changes you want to see on campus. It may be almost halfway through the semester, but it’s never too late to make a small change.

Finally, even if you are not a senator or a committee member, you can still make your voice heard at Senate meetings. The GSO Senate Meeting occurs every two weeks on Wednesday at 5.30 p.m. You may join the meeting virtually and speak your mind freely. Check the meeting details here.

As of now, Yousr Dhaouadi is the president of the GSO, Daniel J. Kimmel is the vice president and Brittnee Alexis Johnson serves as the external vice president. If you have any questions about anything regarding the GSO, you can contact them or email at and Also, their website has information and contains previous resolutions passed if you would like to explore.

Check out the GSO website>>

During my time at GSO Diversity Committee, I was able to organize a panel discussion with my colleague on the topic of healthy rRelationships in February with a partnership from Barnes Center counselors. It was a great experience especially addressing something you care about.

I’d be happy to answer any questions if you are interested in the Diversity Committee, just reach out to the GSO email.

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Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar

Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar is a graduate student in the public diplomacy and global communications program at the Newhouse and Maxwell schools.

“You study Public Diplomacy. What’s that?”

Whenever I tell people that I’m a public diplomacy and global communications student, they give me a puzzled look, and I totally get that. Unlike other familiar sectors like public relations, magazine, marketing or economics, public diplomacy is a relatively new field.

Before we talk about public diplomacy, we have to understand hard power and soft power by nation-states. Hard power refers to coercion, military action, invasion, nuclear power and other defense-related tools. The best example from the current events is the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began in late February. After the end of the Cold War, the world was pretty optimistic that each nation would exist peacefully now and there would be no war. However, many events—and not just recent ones—have shown that countries will use hard power if they deem it necessary.

Soft power, on the other hand, is about influencing public opinion through cultural aspects, education, exchange programs, information, music, food and other intangible spheres. In other words, soft power values peaceful communication to persuade people.

In this case, public diplomacy is a part of the soft power that nation-states exercise. More particularly, public diplomacy aims to influence other countries’ public opinion by boosting its image and creating mutual communication. Setting a favorable image in people’s minds is key; how to keep that pleasant image consistently is another thing. Public diplomacy closely aligns with public relations.

Examples of public diplomacy are broadcasting (television, radio, podcast, social media, etc.); advocacy campaigns; educational programs; cultural exchange programs; bilateral summits; music festivals and so on.

In simpler words, it’s diplomacy towards the public. While traditional diplomacy is carried out between states, this one is aimed at audiences of foreign nations and can be implemented by different actors.

I chose to study public diplomacy because, in the long term, I plan to make a contribution to my home country Mongolia’s public diplomacy policy and activities through media content that would export globally. I care about my country’s image to the rest of the world and want to do something about it.

Lately, I’m happy that I’m obtaining this joint degree from the Newhouse and Maxwell schools, which are the two best schools in their fields!

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Writer Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar

Ichinkhorloo Khosbayar is a graduate student in the public diplomacy and global communications program at the Newhouse and Maxwell schools.

Treat Yourself

Over the years, I’ve learned to accept that it’s okay to be selfish from time to time. That’s not to say that the world should always be framed around what you want 24/7, but rather that it’s okay to do something really nice for yourself. I feel that every day you should do something, no matter how small, as a little treat for yourself.

Here are some of the ways I do this:

Actually celebrating my birthday

Usually, I hate doing anything for my birthday. I mostly see it as just a day that happens every year. My parents would push me to do something nice every year and I always kinda hated it. It felt wrong for me to have people going out of their way and doing something nice like spending money on me. I would usually just do something to make them happy like agreeing to order something small from a restaurant I liked. 

This year, I decided to do something different. This is my last year being in a school setting and my first year being back on campus with people in nearly two years. I wanted to celebrate by doing something nice this year. I felt that it was appropriate to do something nice for myself as I turned 23 considering I did nothing last year, so I organized a dinner with friends at one of those all-you-can-eat Brazilian steak houses. I was afraid some people wouldn’t come, but everyone showed up and had a good time. It was reflexive on my part, but when the check came, I had to be stopped from trying to pay. We went to the Biergarten after that and I treated myself to the birthday boot. That might have been a mistake, but it was fun to be carefree for a night.

Relax your routine

When you get up in the morning, don’t always be in a rush to get everything done. Feel free to stretch out and take your time making a good breakfast. Whether you wake up with a lot of energy or need a cup of coffee to get started, you deserve the time to start your day off right. 

Enjoy Your Hobbies

Sometimes, you need to decompress when you get home. You don’t always need to grind and work for the future; sometimes you just need to read a book, play a game or bake some cookies. 

Having hobbies ensures you’re saving time for yourself. Finding a little joy in your personal time is always worth it, especially if you’re constantly busy. 

Don’t be afraid to put things off.

If something isn’t dire, you shouldn’t be afraid of pushing it off to another time. I go to the gym every morning, but because of how cold it’s been lately, sometimes I just decide to go way later in the day than I normally would because it’s warmer out. Other things I extend this philosophy towards are work assignments. If an assignment isn’t due immediately, sometimes wait a day to get it done.

Those are some ways I try and reward myself. The world won’t explode if you give yourself a little bit of self-care.

Headshot of Jalen Wade
Jalen Wade

Jalen Wade is a graduate student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

The joys of international diversity

 ”Who do you meet every day?”  

It’s the question I have often received since I moved to Syracuse from Japan. 

One of the biggest advantages at Syracuse University is that you can benefit from a wonderfully diverse experience as a community member. I love meeting new people and am very curious about knowing different cultures, so I enjoy this circumstance to the fullest. 

So, to answer the question, a typical day for me goes this: 

In the morning, I walk to the campus with my American neighbor. My first class is with classmates from Egypt, Taiwan, India and Nigeria. After lunch with my Turkish and Pakistani friends, I stop by a café on campus to say hi to my friend from Peru, who works there. 

Then, I move to the library to discuss my future start-up ideas with my Russian and Brazilian pals. In the afternoon, I join the yoga class in the school gym with my friends from Tajikistan and Iraq. 

I ask my Belarusian and Nicaraguan friends for advice. On weekends, I go out to see a musical with people from Afghanistan and Indonesia or have tea with my Mongolian friend. I also love hopping around local Asian restaurants with my Chinese pal. 

Sometimes there is a gathering at some friends’ house, and I have my first chance to eat Uzbekistani food my friend makes and I immediately fall in love with it.  

I also meet people from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ghana, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Germany. It will be more than 30 nationalities I have encountered, just by being a student at SU. 

Their majors are all different, from business, law, education, psychology, biology, music, data security, etc.  

Professors also have exciting backgrounds; some are well-experienced journalists, while others have deep knowledge about entrepreneurship and investing. It’s a privilege to have an opportunity to listen to their stories and advice. 

Gender, age, or title; they don’t matter here. Everyone has a different background, and they all respect each other. Everyone came here to pursue their own goals. I assume most of them have sacrificed to go here, but all of them are brave enough to meet the challenge and start a new chapter. 

We all know that this circumstance will not last forever. Everyone’s time is limited. Everyone has a finishing line for their courses and plans. We all are anxious about our future in some way. Some friends have an issue going back to their home countries because of lack of safety, while others try to enjoy their freedom here, which they can’t obtain in their homeland. 

That is why we cherish this once-in-a-lifetime moment as much as we can. We enjoy each encounter, respect who we are, laugh together and spend happy times together. I do not doubt that this is one of the gems I can experience being a graduate student at SU. I love meeting, talking and spendig time with them. I respect them because they all have different perspectives, experiences and standpoints. I love to discover our differences and what we have in common. My friends expand my world practically and literally. 

I am grateful I can be one of the members of this diverse community. If I haven’t met you yet, I hope to see you someday! 

Asako Takaguchi

Asako Takaguchi is a graduate student in the new media management program at the Newhouse School.

What I’m excited for this spring

After the extended winter break, we’re now back in the cold, starting the semester off. The fall semester for me was a time filled with growth and learning, and I’m ready to take this into the spring. But I also have a lot of upgrades I’d like to make.

For one, I’m excited to get more experiences outside of the classroom. Joining clubs, trying new dining halls and attending basketball games are just a few things I am looking forward to on campus. But there’s a lot inside Newhouse I‘m very excited for this spring.

All the various speaker series

From learning about the Big Game to gaining tips for on-air presence, there are so many guest speakers and Newhouse professors to hear from this spring. I love a good chance to learn, and these free (perfect for college students I might add) sessions are a perfect way to gain experience outside of the classroom.

View the Newhouse speaker events>>

The snow

Even though it isn’t “inside” Newhouse, it’s certainly all around it, practically for months. What better way to blow off steam than to grab a sled and feel the wind lightly hit your face as you slide down the hill by Falk College? Syracuse is in the perfect region to do endless outdoor activities, including winter activities like skiing, tubing and snowboarding. Or even just soaking up the sights of the little flurries as you walk to class. All in all, it’s ideal for getting a break from homework and class.

More social interactions

While we still have masks and COVID restrictions, there is something so powerful from learning from my peers. Not only learning from them but spending time outside of class with them. The fall semester was very busy with class, yet we all got through it together, and all in one piece. Inside jokes, laughter, exploring the city, sending funny reels, and even just working on homework together and grabbing lunch all help to get through the school year.

Logan Garvey Headshot

Logan Garvey is a graduate student in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

Finding value in self-care

For many people, the term “self-care” means a vacation on a tropical island or getting pampered at a spa. Even though I enjoy traveling and deserve a deep-tissue massage, self-care looks a lot different for me these days.

As a full-time graduate student, an intern for Sports Illustrated, a waitress at TGI Fridays and a lab supervisor on campus, my days are long and my “free” time is limited. The reality is—my schedule is busy and my grades are a priority, but so is my self-care.

You must be wondering, How does she manage to balance all of this? There is no trick; my self-care has come with sacrifices. These days, something as simple as a bubble bath with candles lit, a chlorophyll face mask or a trip to the nail salon are realistic and achievable. 

I’ve learned to find peace and happiness in the simple joys of life. And even if I dedicate my Tuesday mornings to catching up on beauty rest, instead of the weekends like most people, it is okay because that is what works best for me.

Taking care of yourself does not always have to consist of an extravagant trip or an expensive appointment. More often than not, you can do something in the comfort of your own home and get the same effect.

Now that I am halfway through earning a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism (BDJ), I’ve learned to value free time differently than I did as an undergraduate. As an undergrad at San Jose State University in California, most of my free time consisted of off-campus parties or nightlife in San Francisco.

Today, those experiences are the least of my concern. Right now, my focus has shifted to ways I can reset my mind outside of the classroom, prioritize school work and take advantage of opportunities that will set me up for success before, during and after graduation. 

I think it’s amazing what experience and time will do. You learn to value the present differently when you understand how precious time truly is. Now that the fall semester is over, I look back and reflect on how efficient I have been wearing many hats and planning my days, accordingly. Finding time to try new recipes or meal prep for the days ahead is another form of self-care I truly enjoy.

I am taking better care of myself now, despite having more responsibilities, than I did as an undergraduate student because I am more cautious of how I use my time. Prioritizing yourself requires discipline and with discipline, you develop a change in your lifestyle that’s suitable for you. While the term self-care is subjective to everyone, I’ve learned to create ways to incorporate it into my life efficiently. 

Finding time to incorporate self-care is very difficult in the Newhouse program; the curriculum is intense and it’s designed to prepare graduates for real-world experiences.

Newhouse BDJ graduate students work under tight deadlines, go out into the field to produce packages, report live and complete a capstone experience in Washington D.C. Considering our program’s schedule (which began the week after the July 4, 2021 and ends in August 2022), self-care often takes a backseat to our education.

Knowing what I know now, I would advise my peers to take one day at a time, give yourself grace and find ways to incorporate self-care into your life wherever and whenever you can.

Writer Darcie Ortique

Darcie Ortique is a graduate student in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.

How to prepare for internship season

As the spring approaches, one of the top concerns for Newhouse graduates and undergraduates alike is finding an internship. For graduate students, this is especially stressful because an internship is a required part of the program. As someone who had trouble finding news internships in the past, here are some tips and tricks I used to get an internship.

Keep your LinkedIn up to date 

Make sure you keep your LinkedIn current with all your recent and ongoing professional events. You never know when someone could be scrolling through your profile and might want to offer you something. You could miss out on an opportunity and not be aware of it because you neglected to update your profile.  This includes keeping your résumé up to date.

Have someone look at your résumé and critique it

Something I’ve learned in the past few months is that your résumé could probably be improved. It’s always useful to pass it on to someone else to get their feedback on it. I asked my mom to look over mine. When she got back to me, she found a number of errors that, while small, could make a bad impression. There are people in the Newhouse Career Development Center who would likely be willing to take a look at it if you ask for help.

Reach out to your professors

It’s good to have a positive and close relationship with your professors, as they can often help you expand your network. Ask them if they know of any internships or job positions available. Having a professor to speak with can also help with getting work published. During my time here, various professors have helped me to get work published at publications such as The NewsHouse. One of them even took the time to go through the story, correcting it and offering suggestions.

Reach out personally

While it can be difficult to do for a larger company, if you are applying for a position at a smaller local outlet, making the call yourself to ask if they have any openings or positions for a freelancer can endear you to a potential employer. I got m first internship at a local paper in my town through calling the editor, showing some of my clips  and setting up a meeting with him. It can be hard to do, but making that first step by just calling yourself can show initiative.

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Jalen Wade

Jalen Wade is a graduate student in the magazine, news and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.