Part-1 How International Students from developing countries can save money while being at GCC by Zerin Firoze

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I was born and raised in a developing country, Bangladesh, and it was my dream from a very young age to study in the US. A lot of youths like me from developing countries also aspire to study in the US. It is extra challenging for poor students from developing countries to be able to afford to study in the US. Students from developing countries cannot remit money to a foreign country. The US government is also notorious for imposing sanctions in certain countries. Exchange rates plus foreign transaction fees by banks also add up. For example, 1 US dollar is 84 takas in my country Bangladesh. There is no legal way to remit money and corrupt middlemen charge high fees. I am a student from a developing country and here are the following things I have learned after coming in the US. I hope these tips will help you to save both time and money.

Choosing the right college

I would encourage all students to start at a community college first. You can literally save thousands of dollars and still get the same degree and classes at a cheaper price. Many community colleges like GCC do not even charge admission fees. It is completely free to apply for admission. You just need to apply online. So, apply to as many colleges as you want.

Learn to drive in your home country

Many cheaper colleges in the US are located in rural areas with little to no public transportation. You can save a lot of money by choosing a rural location. The cost of living in large cities is extremely expensive. It is not possible for students to pay out of state tuition fees and still afford thousands of dollars per month for rent, food, and other basic necessities. According to American Infrastructure Report Card, the US infrastructure is crumbling and has a rating of D+. Driving schools in America are very expensive. Private one-hour driving lessons are also very expensive and are not available in all rural US counties. So, try to get some driving time before coming to the US. Ask your family members or relatives in your home country to teach you driving for free.

Try to learn about car maintenance and repair before you come to the US. Then, attend a defensive driving course and Driver’s Education course in the US to get your license. You will be very busy being a full-time student once you come to the US. So, try to learn basic life skills while waiting for your acceptance letter from US colleges or for your visa interview.

Learn how to cook and preserve food before coming in the US

I lost thousands of dollars in wasted food. I had no idea how to preserve food. I had no experience in estimating the shelf life of certain food items. I cried when I had to throw away tons of fruits, frozen meat, and cartons of milk. I have been in the US for two and a half years now and I still did not find the time to read all the articles or watch all the videos that I always wanted to watch about food preservation. You can save a lot of money by learning to preserve food. Cooking skills are also important. Next time, hit the grocery store with your mom and learn about basic spices and ingredients if you are not a cooking pro.

Learn how to use coupons and rebate apps

I remember how overwhelmed I was when I first landed at JFK airport and very quickly I became busy with campus life. I had no time to read blogs about saving money in the US as a full-time student. I had no leisure reading time outside college textbooks. Hence, do yourself a favor. Read blogs and website articles about saving money in the US while you are waiting for a decision from US colleges or for your visa interview.

Coupons and rebate apps are not used in my country at all. I became familiar with coupons and rebate apps after coming in the US. It took me two years to learn to use coupons and rebate apps. Now, I am the ultimate coupon queen. I received $54 cashback from Ebates and $55 from Ibotta just for buying groceries and other necessary items. Groupon is also a great website to save money. Learn to use coupons and rebate apps before you even come in the US. Read articles about rebate apps and coupons on the Internet.

I will share more secrets and life hack in part-2 of the same article next week!

 

 

 

 

Read this before you register for a class!

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I have taken a lot of classes at GCC and I have learned a thing or two from my mistakes. I wish there are things I would have done before registering for a class, costing hundreds of dollars. Instead of, leaving important decisions and consequences of signing up for a class to fate!  Spring Registration begins October 1st.

  • Speak with your Academic Advisor and Success Coach

You might think it is a hassle and a waste of time to schedule an appointment to meet with your advisor and success coach but trust me it is important to meet with both the academic advisor and success coach. This is, especially true, for International students. You will be wasting a lot more time and banging your head in frustration when your advisor messages you that you did not sign up for the right class. Meet with your advisor even if you know your degree requirements because you can find a lot more information about your future classes, instructors who would be offering your classes and other academic activities. Your advisor and success coach also have a wealth of other resources that can help you. Message your advisors if you have any questions or if you are too busy to schedule an appointment to meet in person.

  • Meet with the Instructors in person before you sign up for a class

It is extremely important to meet with the instructors in person before you sign up for a class unless you want to be miserable for the rest of the semester and waste hundreds of dollars and your valuable time. You will get an idea how your instructor is when you meet with them in person to discuss their class requirements and expectations. A lot of students are excited to sign up for a new major or class. However, they are quickly disappointed and surprised when they do not like their instructors after they start a class and are half-way between the semester and it is too late to drop the class. Hence, they are stuck with an instructor and a study style they do not like. There are several instructors offering the same classes. Pick the instructor with whom you best get along. Ask your instructor how and why certain students perform poorly in their class. Your instructors can give you valuable advice to ensure your success.

  • Read the description of classes online before you sign up for a class

Carefully read the description of each class before you register for these classes. Check how much time you need to spend on each class before you sign up for additional classes. International students with no financial aid must purchase their books ahead of time during winter and summer break. Double-check what other additional materials you will need for a certain class. Try to use Schedule Planner to organize your time and classes.

  • Speak with students who have already taken those classes with a certain instructor

Students who have already taken classes that you are about to take are a bundle of resources that you must utilize. However, do not be persuaded by the opinion of just one student. Speak with multiple students, including students who have dropped the class. Learn from the mistakes other students have made.

  • Check if you accidentally qualify for another certificate

A lot of classes and degree requirements are very similar. For example, both the Nursing Program and Respiratory Care program have similar prerequisites. Health studies certificate and child care certificate have similar classes. You may have to take one or more additional classes to earn another certificate. Hence, carefully select your classes. Additional certificates can boost your resume.

May the force be with you!  Happy Spring Registration!

 

Fundraising for GCC Respiratory Care Club

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I am a sophomore at GCC and one of my majors is Respiratory Care. I am raising funds for the GCC Respiratory Care club by selling holiday chocolates, holiday gift tags and wrap. Healthcare majors are very expensive. Hence, GCC Respiratory Care club helps all respiratory care students to pay for some expenses like CPR certification, mock exam cost, three days’ review sessions, board preparation, trips for conferences, pinning ceremony and poster presentations.

All the money raised by GCC Respiratory club will be spent on the students. America needs more respiratory therapists. So, please help us to raise funds. I am sure most of you will buy chocolates and holiday goodies for your friends and family. I would highly appreciate if you buy some goodies from me as your valuable money will be used to help students. I am proud to announce that GCC Respiratory Club has partnered with “Niagara by Frey Premium Chocolates” to help students. “Niagara by Frey” is a leading fundraiser for countless schools and organizations in Western New York.  “Niagara by Frey” is an all American brand famous for making delicious chocolates and other goodies.

Some of the items that we are selling are:

  • Milk Chocolate Sponge candy $14.00
  • Orange Milk Chocolate Sponge Candy $14.00
  • Dark Chocolate Sponge Candy $14.00
  • Chocolate covered Pretzels $11.00
  • Pecan Caramel Clusters: $10.00
  • Cashew Caramel Clusters $10.00
  • Almond Butter Crunch $10.00
  • Peanut Brittle $15.00
  • Chocolate covered Oreo Cookies $14.00
  • Chocolate Raspberry cups $12.00
  • Peanut Butter cups $12.00
  • Chocolate Caramels $12.00
  • Chocolate Truffles $12.00
  • Chocolate Rounds $12.00
  • Milk Chocolate Miniatures $15.00
  • Holiday golden trees wrap $9.00
  • Red Stripe Wrap $9.00
  • Light bulbs wrap $9.00
  • Santa Claus is coming to Town wrap $9.00
  • Holiday gift tags $5.00

There are coconut clusters, raisin clusters, almond chocolates, chocolate Biscotti Prato, teddy bear, Santa, nutcracker, holiday foiled novelty assortment, chocolate sports car, ornaments, tool kits, dino eggs, various kinds of crème d’ Orange and chocolate locomotive, motorcycle and fire engine. If you want to see the holiday fundraising catalog, then please feel free to contact me. My email address is zfiroze@my.genesee.edu You must order by 26th October, 2018 if you are interested to help GCC Respiratory Club to raise fund for student expenses. Product delivery date is on 30th November, 2018.

 

 

GCC Cougar Weekend!

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I am excited to announce that GCC Cougar weekend will take place Friday and Saturday, September 21-22, 2018. Everyone is welcome. GCC is pleased to invite the entire community to join Cougar Crawl in Downtown Batavia on Friday, the 21st September, 2018 at 5pm. The Cougar crawl will begin at Ken’s Charcoal Pits at 5pm and features stop at The YNGodness (73 East Main Street), Valle Jewelers (21 Jackson Street), Pollyanna and Dot (202 East Main Street), Eli Fish Brewing Company (109 Main Street) and T-Shirts Etc. (37 Center Street).

The crawl ends at T.F. Brown’s Restaurant (214 Main Street) for the Cougar Crawl Bash including live DJ till 10pm, a buffet and prizes included. Cougar Crawl tickets are only $10 and can be purchased online or by contacting Jennifer Wakefield, GCC assistant director of Alumni Affairs, at 585-343-0055 ext. 6265 or by email at jgwakefield@genesee.edu

Cougar weekend event on Saturday, the 22nd September, 2018 will be held at GCC’s Batavia campus. GCC’s Batavia campus will host a full day activities, exhibits and more! It begins at 10am when the craft and vendor market opens in Richard C. Call Arena. You can also register for Annual Bike and Car Cruise. A chicken BBQ will be available for only $10. You can also view exhibits “Portraits in Trash” by Dion Hitchings in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery from 12 noon through 3pm and “Landscape Interaction/Intervention” photography exhibit on the display in the Stuart Steiner Theatre Lobby.

Five new inductees will be welcomed in the Athletic Hall of Fame at 5pm in the Richard C. Call Arena. Alumni co-ed soccer game starts at 7pm on the campus Turf Field.

Finally, the Alumni bonfire will take place at GCC dorm “College Village” at 8pm. I hope you will join us to have fun!

Student Blogger Intro – Zerin Firoze

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I am a sophomore International student at GCC from Bangladesh. I am a scientifically literate individual and I am very passionate about science and secular activism. I love to advocate for science and secularism during my free time. I love the United States of America because of its advancement in science and technology, gender equality, secularism, democracy, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights and diversity. I hope to be a US citizen someday.

I am an introvert. I have always loved reading and writing. So, the position of being a blogger and news assistant at MarCom is perfect for me. I am honored to be a GCC blogger.

I’m really passionate about the science clubs, but also plan to explore all kinds of campus activities closely so that I can make great and accurate blog posts.

My Time Working For Marcom

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By: Mike Adamczak

For the past couple of weeks, I have had the privilege of being able to work with the wonderful people at the Marketing Communications (MarCom) Department of Genesee Community College, thanks to the Upward Bound Program. In these past few weeks I’ve learned some useful skills that could be used in a future career such as how to create the most professional portrait picture possible, create and collect data from a survey, as well as my most favorite of all, how to fly and take video with a drone. Check out this Awesome Video of the drone following me up the spine at GCC!

The drone was most valuable to me because it allowed me time to talk with Tim Lawton, Online Communications Specialist for GCC and Upward Bound Alumni. While assisting him as the Visual Observer, as well as helping teach three classes on how useful a drone is in advertising; we discussed the importance of why going to GCC would be a great choice to start off when going for a bachelor’s degree and what to look for the most when figuring out which college is the best fit for you.
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As well as assisting in drone flying, I was also given the task of performing a survey of my fellow Upward Bounders. Along with my work study partner Fermina Sanchez, we worked to present original questions on what social platforms are most used today by high school students and which would be best for GCC to advertise on. Our findings are blow!

As part of our work study duties, the Marketing Communications Department at Genesee Community College had us survey 51 of our fellow peers in the TRIO Upward Bound program. The purpose of this survey was to determine which social media platform would be most beneficial for marketing advertisements.

  • The average age demographic of our data set was 15 year olds, with a majority of the answers coming from female students (n=35) as opposed to the male students (n=16). When asked what social media platform was most often used for social interaction, we found the majority of students preferred snapchat (n=32).
  • We found that when browsing the internet, most people do not notice or pay attention to the online ads (n=20).
  • The data showed that the SUNY Website and College Board website were most commonly used for college research (n=19/19).
  • Something interesting that we noticed about the data would be that although a majority of students found themselves spending most of their time on snapchat, colleges would have the most success catering to students personally through emails (n=14).
  • Most students found that the cost of tuition is information that they would most want to be made readily available on a college’s social media profile (n=13).
  • When asked their opinion on whether or not there was a general stigma that community colleges are less rigorous and professional than four year colleges, most students said they agreed or strongly agreed (n=26) or remained neutral (n=22).
  • As expected, most students found that the greatest influence in their life when considering colleges would be their family (n=21), but to our surprise there was also a large amount of students who felt that they had no outside influence and they formed their opinions independently (n=20).
  • Finally, when asked what students found most important to have at a college when making their final decision, the majority said that the college would need a wide variety of academic programs (n=14) and that they would need to have quality instructors and professors (n=14).

For their participation in our survey, each participate was put into a raffle for a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. During free time, we pulled a winner. Congratulations Karley Greenman and thank you everyone for helping us with our market research!

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Trace George

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

The annual business idea pitch competition is fast approaching us now, and will be here in about two weeks! By this time, all participants should have already signed up for the competition, and should have at least attended one workshop to be able to participate. If you still haven’t attended a workshop, there is only one more left and it will be happening on April 12th during the common hour in T122, and will be about pitch prep.

This competition would be a great first step to making your dreams come true. One of our very own alum, Trace George, opened up his own business after graduating and has had a lot of success ever since. Trace George opened up the VSP Graphing Group Company in 1995, and his business went from a small sign shop in his garage to the successful business it is today.

According to Business First’s Fast Track 50, George’s business is the 10th fastest growing business here in western New York which is a real achievement. George’s company is also the official graphic provider for the Buffalo Bills, and the Sabres which are both amazing achievements.

Hopefully hearing about all the great things Trace George has accomplished for his business since graduating here inspired you, and made you more motivated to do this pitch competition coming up on April 19th! We hope to see you all there, and can’t wait to hear your business ideas! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the pitch competition, you may contact Lina LaMattina at lmlamattina@genesee.edu.