Countries You Can Travel With Your American Visa

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Summer is coming, and everyone is planning on traveling. But one thing people worry about it all the time is the visa. As an international student, I collected some countries that international students can go without a visa from these countries and only with our American student visa.

Mexico: International students can stay in Mexico for no more than 180 days with an American visa.

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Colombia:Ā International students can stay in Colombia for no more than 180 days with an American visa that will not be expired in 6 months.

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Honduras:Ā International students can stay in HondurasĀ for no more than 30 days with an American visa that will not be expired in 6 months.

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Costa Rica:Ā International students can stay in Costa Rica for no more than 30 days with a used American visa that will not be expired in 6 months.

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Panama:Ā International students can stay in Panama for no more than 30 days with a used American visa.

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Philippines:Ā International students can stay in Philippines for no more than 7 days with an American visa.

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Serbia:Ā International students can stay in SerbiaĀ for no more than 90 days with an American visa.

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Montenegro:Ā International students can stay in Montenegro for no more than 30 days with an American visa, or for the days left for the visa if the visa will be expired in 30 days.

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Albania:Ā International students can stay in Albania for no more than 90 days with a used American visa.

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Dominica:Ā International students can stay in Dominica for no more than 90 days with an American visa.

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Bermuda:Ā International students can stay in Bermuda for no more than 180 days with an American visa or a Canadian visa.

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Since you’ve already had the visa for the United States, let’s not waste it and go to other countries with it. Enjoy your summer more easily!

Qingming Festival

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Qingming Festival is a traditional Chinese festival, which is also the most important festival for sacrifice, and it is 108 days after the winter solstice. The traditional Qingming Festival has been celebrated since Zhou Dynasty, which was about 2,500 years ago. The theme of this festival is to tend graves and have some outdoor activities.

ā€œQingmingā€ was just a name for a solar term at first. Solar terms are 24 points in calendars, and the most famous four terms that everyone knows are vernal equinox (Chunfen), summer solstice (Xiazhi), autumnal equinox (Qiufen), and winter solstice (Dongzhi). But there are actually 20 more terms that match astronomical events and/or natural phenomenon. For example, the rain water (Yushui) is on February 19, which means more rain than snow, and the awakening of insects (Jingzhe) is on March 6, which means hibernating insects awaken. The next coming solar term is the grain rain (Guyu), which means the rain will help the grain grow.

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The traditional customs of this festival are graves tending, fire forbidden, being outdoor, planting trees, and playing with swing, kickball, and polo. The most important aspect is to worship and tend the graves and tombs. On the other hand, everyone has to go outside and have fun. Therefore, this is a really special festival, which involves tears from parting forever and laughs from playing outside.

About the food, it is always different everywhere in China, no matter if itā€™s a festival or not. In Jinnan, people make small loaf of steamed bread with a little walnuts, jujube, and beans in a specific shape, which is a traditional food called “mo” or “bo”. In Shanghai, there is a really healthy food called ā€œqingtuanā€. To make qingtuan, people stir the juice of brome into polished glutinous rice first. After it, they put sweetened bean or jujube paste in the middle as fillings. In the end, they steam this with a special kind of leaves on the bottom of the steamer, so the food smells and tastes fresh eventually. People in Shanghai have this with their special peach blossom porridge together. In some areas, people eat boiled eggs colored in red. There are also a plenty kinds of pastries desserts everywhere.

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Mo or bo

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Qingtuan

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Peach blossom porridge

Studying Abroad at GCC

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In July 2013, I made the decision to come to the United States for college. In April 2014, I got a conditional admission from SUNY Geneseo, which suggested me to come to GCC first for improving my English. In August 2014, I came to this country I had never been in before and started my life at GCC.

Iā€™ve taken a lot of helpful and interesting classes here. The classes I love and Iā€™d definitely suggest are Foundations Academic Success (FYE 100), Ceramics 1 (ART 123), Advertising (BUS 203), Female Role in Film (CIN 242), and Career & Education Planning (CEP 101). As I want to graduate and transfer with Public Relations or Advertising this semester, classes Iā€™ve had before are very beneficial. Also, professors and faculties here are truly helpful.

However, the experience is the point here, which has been more enjoyable and helping me more to be what kind of person I want to be. If you ever used StrengthsFinder to look up your top five strengths, you would probably notice those five strengths have been supporting your life and never changing. It was surprising when I found out my strengths had changed from September 2014 to February 2016. I realized that adventure is the best way to learn. I was a resident assistant at College Village in Spring 2015, and I definitely improved my listening, leadership, and communication skills because of it. I also used to be a DJ for the radio station here and I learnt about communications a lot, as the radio station at GCC is awesome. I also work on campus and it gets me to talk more, write more, and get more ready for my future college and career. I think both classes and all these experiences here is exactly why my strengths have changed, which I also believe Iā€™ve been getting into a better person. This is not a life lesson only from classes, but Iā€™ve been also seeing both cultures, talking to people from different countries, and especially experiencing a different life here. Studying abroad is the most effective way for me to get a better view of the world. Being alone in another country has also made me a stronger person to face to and solve all the problems.

This explains how I believe that, nobody can discover the world for you, and nobody can steal your experience you get for yourself. Study more, see more, and suffer more.

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Food of the Chinese New Year

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After I came to America, I noticed that everyone loves Chinese food, but there actually isnā€™t real Chinese food here. In New York City or some cities in California, there are some amazing restaurants with the real Chinese food there. Besides those, most Chinese food you can see here is not the real Chinese food. So I want to tell you a little common sense about Chinese food.

First, there are six characters of Chinese food, what Chinese people think while theyā€™re cooking their own food or judging othersā€™ food – colors, smell, taste, meaning, decoration, and nutrition. Second, there are many kinds of Chinese food. I heard the favorite food what people from outside of China like are Spring Rolls, dumplings, Chow Mein, Ma Po Tofu, and Sesame Chicken. There are so many kinds of food more that nobody can really put all Chinese food in a menu. Last, food is totally different again in different provinces and areas. The Chinese usually divide Chinese food into 8 main cuisines, which are Sichuan Cuisine, Confusion Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine, Su Cuisine, Min Cuisine, Zhejiang Cuisine, Hui Cuisine, and Hunan Cuisine, are each of them is unique. Besides these 8 main cuisines, there are at least 12 more different cuisines. It is too much to be all shared, so today Iā€™d like to only show you the traditional Chinese food for the Chinese New Year.

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Customs of the Chinese New Year

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Monday, 8 February, 2016 is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. From February 7th to February 13th this year, people donā€™t go to school or work for a week, as an official holiday. In this coming week, Iā€™d like to keep posting and sharing something about the Chinese New Year. For today, let me tell you what we do for the Chinese New Year.

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How to celebrate the New Year in China

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As 2015 comes to an end we all gather together to celebrate the birth of 2016, with families and friends gathering to celebrate and watch the ball drop. All around the world different countries ring in the New Year differently. Here’s some information from Bella about how people celebrate the New Year in China.

-Jordan Reese

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In Hong Kong

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In Beijing

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In Shanghai

In order to protect the environment, fireworks are not allowed all the time. The government will set the fireworks for the New Year, and people are allowed to use fireworks during the period, which is half a month before the Chinese New Year and half a month after the Chinese New Year. But people can watch a lot of beautiful fireworks by the government and many big companies allowed.

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CCTV 1 New Year’s Gala for the Chinese New Year

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CCTV 1 New Year’s Concert for the New Year

The New Year’s Gala for the Chinese New Year is so important that everyone in China watches it every year. Also, for the New Year, CCTV 1 also does a very good concert every year. It is a live show with a lot of famous singers. People usually have dinner during the concert time.

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Then, the final important thing is the dinner! Chinese people do a lot of dinners for every holiday, so children are always most excited for the food!

This is the last blog this year. I’ll see you next semester. Happy New Year, everyone! Enjoy your holidays!

Harbin – The Pearl on the Swan’s Neck

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Iā€™m from a city called Harbin, in China, where is as cold as Batavia, NY. But itā€™s been pretty warm this winter in Batavia, so itā€™s colder in my hometown right now. Iā€™d like to share with you how people have fun in winter there. First, let me show you something about my city.

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My city Harbin (the red part in the second picture) is the capital and the largest city in Heilongjiang Province. Also, the city is the eighth most populous Chinese city and the most populous city inĀ whole Northeast China. Thereā€™re over 9.94 million inhabitants from the city, and a number of people living there who come from towns near Harbin.

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In the 1920s, the city was considered China’s fashion capital since new designs fromĀ ParisĀ andĀ MoscowĀ reached here first before arriving inĀ Shanghai.

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On 22 June 2010, the city was appointed aĀ UNESCOĀ “City of Music” as part of theĀ Creative Cities Network.

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Our city is also called Ice City, Oriental Paris, and Oriental Moscow.

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After I came to GCC, cold weather here made me miss home sometimes. Thinking of what we used to do at home, it even made me miss home more.

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Thereā€™s a place, Ice & Snow World, open to public by tickets about 20 US dollars every year from New Year to whenever the weather gets warm.

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Thereā€™re a lot of ice lanterns and snow sculptures for everyone to see and take photos.

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Also, thereā€™re a lot of fun activities about ice and snow, such as slides made of ice, and skiing with different kinds of funny boards.

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People wear super warm clothes, and just go there to have fun with their families and friends.

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Besides the World, thereā€™re some small parks open for free, also with a lot of fun in there.

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Also, you can see the ice or snow sculptures everywhere by the streets.

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I have to say that the winter is really pretty in our city, which I miss it a lot.

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This is Harbin, China.

The Pearl on the Swan’s Neck.