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Well, Freshmen year got done so quickly and Sophomore already loading………..

Well, Freshmen year got done so quickly and Sophomore already loading………..

It’s been ages without updating my blog, I actually hadn’t forgotten about it, no way. This  is an overly delayed update, I am not sure how I got captivated to overlook posting my words. Well, two months ago I concluded Freshmen year and it’s again just a month away from yet another year. How time flies! Let me take a little step back and glimpse into Freshmen Spring Semester.

Spring Semester

This marked my second semester at LVC and a lot unfolded during the course of this semester. Some of the things nobody would have imagined the naive me would do a year ago happened. This amazing place continues to fascinate me as I realize that I am growing in an exponential way I would personally have doubted too.

Academically,the semester was quite fruitful  in comparison to Fall semester most probably because some adjustments had faded away. I am very much optimistic about my Sophomore year and the rest of my entire college career, being confident that they won’t be major transitional adjustments to impede with my academic goals. One of the major academic decisions I did was changes in my major declarations. I finally settled in an Analytical Finance major  and double minor in Mathematics and Computer and Data Science. I wrestled with what  I am really  passionate about and I realized that I am greatly passionate about developing a skill set that prepares me for careers in the interdisciplinary field of Financial Analytics and Technology/Data Science with particular application to the Banking and Financial Services industry. I am already making minor steps towards this “over-ambitious” dream of mine.  This summer I am working in Information Technology as Information Systems Student Programmer and part-time Student Assistant in Academic Affairs and Institutional Research. The jobs have allowed me to perform tasks and gain experience intimately related to my dream field so they hone skills in me in a tremendous way. I can’t help, but feel that LVC is home and the most amazing place fate had for me. I am unfolding into a person who is certainly better than yesteryear. The overwhelming support of the community at LVC is profound.

Outside of class, I became involved in extra-curricula activities and I will serve as the President of Global Education (2018-2019) , Student Representative in Intercultural and Inclusive Learning (2018-19). I also will continue my membership in Math Club and my favorite fellowship group, the DiscipleMakers (this is where I have met the majority of people whom I can claim to be very  close to me at least now).  A lot of fun activities also happened, I learned skating(which became one of the things I profoundly found intimidating , it is difficult ). We had fun with Global Education members and of particular interest was our International Food Festival (I made some Zimbabwean food it was really really fun but overwhelming), we had a Camping Trip to Swatara, and other miscellaneous activities like Dutchmen Day, Redbook Trips, etc.

One of the biggest event happened in April, the Scholarship Luncheon-an annual event for LVC students with full tuition scholarships to meet in person with their donors . JonnaLynn was present, her and I were selected to make remarks. It was certainly a profound moment for both of us to share our unique stories.

Insights , As was part of my goals, I wanted to develop friendships, I would say I  certainly made some concerted efforts to both gain and impart cultural awareness with my American classmates. In the process I learned quite a lot. I noted that the concept of friendships in the US has different meanings. It is fluid and dynamic. I learned that friendships here assume various gradients of depth and commitment ,  yet be deemed as friendship. Someone you occasionally say hi to can deemed a friend. This is a great departure from what friendship entailed back in Zimbabwe. There friendship was reserved for relationships with greater devotion and more substantial connection, which appears to not be requisite elements of friendship in the States. For this reason, as an International student the majority of your friends are very likely to be International students. I discovered that there are quite a number of meaningful explanations of why this is so. Of course, this is not to say strong friendships cannot be formed with Americans, and neither is it to imply that Americans cannot also relate. I personally have a decent number of friends who are Americans but it is an insight I got in the process.


As I mentioned earlier, I got an opportunity to work as Information Systems Student Programmer in IT and Student Assistant in Institutional Research. These happened to be significantly invaluable opportunities for the ambitious me. I have considerethem as opportunities to learn and advance my ambitions. I think of them as stepping stones for my next Internships and I am hoping and working to land an Internship off-campus next summer. Time has moved so quickly that I have realized that it is just about a month away from another hectic academic year with a full plate in front of me…. Well, I also have been watching World Cup and  watching it from this other side of the World made me reminisce about the past and think about the present and things yet to come. Only four years ago I was watching it from the opposite world this other side unbeknown to  me as a high school student that the next time I would have crossed oceans……Memories from across the oceans.

I am very excited for the new Almond Tree Scholars, both from Zimbabwe (Fatima and Darrell). I can’t wait to see them around campus !!!






Halfway done

Halfway done

It is a blast and unexpected year!
I can’t believe it is almost the end of my second year at LVC. Things go too fast, I have met a lot of good friends and taken many interesting courses that inspire my career. I never thought that I would have a chance to stand in the top of News Museum looking down Pennsylvania Avenue in DC with law class, never thought that I would present in the Inquiry this year, and never thought that I would climb an 800ft mountain to have the most beautiful view. LVC never fails to surprise me with academic and student activities opportunities.

I can’t wait until my junior year at LVC. I am planning for my internship and a cooperated research with my professor. On the other hand, next year will be my third year in college, then one more year and I am done. Four-year seems so long but it turns out too short. As people say ” I am a part of all that I have met”, I have met so many people in LVC and learned a lot from them. Also, I left a part of my youth here, at LVC.

One day when I graduate from LVC, I won’t ever forget the memories in LVC. Those memories will follow me everywhere I go.


International Food Festival 2018

International Food Festival 2018


It was crowded, busy, and exciting!

There were about thirty countries participating in the event this year. I and My hosted the Vietnamese table. After the continuous debate about what we would make, My and I decided to make “Banh bot loc” (transparent cake) which comes from Vietnam’s ancient capital-Hue. Under my expectation, it took us from 2 pm to 12 am the day before the food festival to prepare half of it. We began again on the next day and finished up right before the food festival. It was a tremendous working task. However, My and I enjoyed it so much. Both of us had never made “banh bot loc” before even though it is one of our most tasteful and common food. The preparational stage gives us so much experience of being an authentic Vietnamese, also it brings nostalgic feelings of home.

Even though the cake was not perfect (we made it a little bit chewy), I am glad that many LVC students like it. One of my friends even stopped at our table and helped us advertise the goodness of the cake for other friends. We even run out of food before the end of the day!

This is my second year participating in the food festival. The spirit of the festival never changes. People come here with the absolute willingness to learn about different culture and to have a real experience by enjoying food cooked by natives or study-abroad students or professors. Thanks to the food festival for giving us the chance to introduce our culture through food to many LVC friends and professors.

2017: A personal Reflection

2017: A personal Reflection

We can count only two days and the year is no longer 2017! But 2017, what a year ! It meant a lot to the person I am and yet to become. I feel compelled to provide the meaning of the year we are about to bid farewell from a personal level. 2017 had been the most unique year I ever faced in my entire life so far, it came with tremendous changes to the whole landscape of my life. I was forced to grow, to grow emotionally and intellectually . This growth was influenced by people, people who came in their different fashions in my life. I have a lot of people I can’t even start naming whose impact deserve my sincere appreciation.Hats off to you all!

I am eternally grateful to all those people who realized the potential in me when it was still vague to most people even to myself. Initially, some had no reason to associate with me but that could not stop them from coming into my life, I hope they continue infiltrating other people’s lives as they did to mine. I am a better person today than I were yesteryear or even yesterday. I have met some of the most amazing people with whom am humbled to be associated with, the  list of their names can be tedious. It is important to the self me to note that, at most instances during my 2017, with that great departure from the other of the world  to this other side of the world , changes and adjustments became inevitable .

Some amazing place , somewhere around the world is quietly watching me grow from somewhat a naive young man into a sound, responsible, informed  and wonderful man ready for the realities the world . 2017 had room for all this to culminate. I got exposed to the other side of the world, in biology this could be a different ecosystem that enables a creature to widen its foodweb . Like Apostle Paul in the Bible would question, “What shall we say  then” I will answer that as an expression of gratitude to Almighty God! The Lord has been merciful and good to me.Thank you Oh God!

It is in this year that I saw myself doing first snow sledding . My first trial on the sled board , I guess perhaps made cordination get off my body, I was just moving downhill with incoherent cordination, I could feel my lack of flexibility. I improved though with more trials.

I close my 2017 with some beautiful memories that I will take with me in my entire lifetime. These are memories made for myself.

I pray God provide a blessed  2018 to my family, relatives, friends ,beloved ones and myself!


My First Winter break is here!

My First Winter break is here!

The 14th of December marked the end of my first semester at LVC. It was an eventful semester indeed, and I wish to pen down a rough reflection of the entire semester. The last three weeks had not been funny though, finals were so much in sight and most of my classes had projects and presentations to be completed, and as I sit down to reflect today, I have a deep sense of satisfaction and relief that I saw myself through.

I must admit that in every sense, and virtually everyday of my entire semester, I saw myself attempting to acclimatize, of course it is an ongoing process. Nonetheless, I have grasped the very fundamental basics that I feel will see me thrive in my college career. I have tried to forge relationships with colleagues, faculty and staff here. Hats off to the Global Education Office, with Caitlin at the forefront, for the support, my transition could have never been better than this. I must admit that a lot and sometimes extra efforts were invested to make me, actually the entire group of my fellow International students feel welcome. There are struggles we go through as International students which are natural and inevitable, such struggles as food challenges and navigating social complexities, which with time would be overcomed. By now, most of us have developed a sense of belonging to the great LVC family. I am also glad, however, to note that I have not only gained insights in how to soundly manage my academics, but also across the diverse aspects of college life.

As usual, I have to make  updates of events after the previous blog, and this time I have two major updates. Thanksgiving holiday being the first, I got to go to New Jersey. New Jersey is where my roommate come from, as I said I one of the blogs, we have managed to establish a good relationship with my roommate, and hopefully, we are going to sustain it. As a result, his family invited me to their place over Thanksgiving Break. I spent five days in New Jersey, it had been a pleasure to learn the underlying traditions of Thanksgiving holiday with the Ford family. The exciting thing had been going down to the Atlantic Ocean, this is the beach, but I could not do any fun thing, no one can do this time of the year. It is cold.

As the norm, we have excursions every Saturday, and my last trip saw me in the heart of New York City, perhaps the best in the world. I thought it is massive and overwhelming. Life appears to be so fast in New York, it’s not surprising if one would not really want to spend their whole time living in there, I felt like it can be hard to contain the pressure of a busy life.

It seems like I do not miss anything from home, no I do, and with each passing day, the nostalgia grows. I must admit though, I barely had time during the semester to really spend hours thinking about things in Zimbabwe. This suggests that I haven’t been experiencing any chronic culture shocks, perhaps later or otherwise I will get away with it.

I had been receiving promises about a typical winter in PA literally from everyone I talked to, finally, it has just joined us and I am seeing it for myself. There is a definitely a  great departure from a usual  Zimbabwean winter, temperatures are extremely low. It snows! I had my first snow the weekend into my Finals, as if to mock me and bring finals. I was studying, but no way, and said wait, I have to spare some minutes to see exactly what’s happening. Having grown up in Zimbabwe , with subtropical climate, I had never experienced snow, the fist time was exciting ,to realize the other side of mother nature. Obviously, I have to offer my perspective, I think snow is amazing especially watching it from indoors but not it gets really cold just thought of freezing walking across the campus. I wonder if the temperatures would  better? It is unfortunate that  as of today I am yet to experiment with snow there hasn’t enough so far for slating, sledding, and the likes.

Just as I said in my very first blog, this is the campus that will watch me grow from a naive young man from the countryside of Zimbabwe into a complete and responsible citizen of the world, yes, I am gradually loosing the timidness of yesteryear. I haven’t learned a lot academically so far but I have started building a foundation of an enriched intellect.

I have tried to capture in words the entire semester, but before I put off my pen,  let me point out that it has also been interesting to me how most people have been finding it very captivting that I have found this campus all the way from Zimbabwe and I have had to answer on numerous occassions more or less of a question like ” How did you find or learn about LVC ?”  Maybe it was coincidence,serendipity, providence or rather a destiny or a fate, depends on the day I would always pick one of these words after a long explanation of how I developed an interest and started dreaming of ever getting an opportunity to join a robust US education, how US Embassy in Zimbabwe assisted me in navigating the processses associated with coming to the US for college and how finally LVC afforded the passionate me the opportunity.

Otherwise I am looking forward to Festive holidays, an I wish everyone wonderful Holidays!


Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break

November 30, 2017   Editor: Alex Wang   Year: Freshman  Major: IBS, CDS, GLB

Staying on campus over Thanksgiving break was different. The entire campus was quiet, which was not a bad thing, I was able to get a lot of work done without any distractions. The finals week is getting close, so I was glad that I had few days off to prepare for the upcoming tests.

I was invited to a Thanksgiving party; the Food was fantastic at the party. (I’ve attached few pictures to this post.)

The semester for me at LVC is about to end. I remember people asking me why I choose LVC; I wasn’t sure at the beginning of the year. After few month at LVC, I believe choosing LVC was a great decision.


Top 5 pictures of LVC

Top 5 pictures of LVC

These are the photos I took during my first 3 month at LVC.

LVC has an absolutely gorgeous campus. I am blessed to have chance to study here.

Here are the Top 5 pictures.

Path to the Sports Center.

UG Party


0430 in the afternoon.

0430 in the morning.


Student Worker Projects

Student Worker Projects

At LVC as a student worker, I was assigned to Raspberry Pi project earlier in the year. The plan is to get a Raspberry Pi video recording car moving. Putting the car together is easy. However, the programming part is somewhat confusing. I had to spend a lot of time on SSH commands and configurations.

Another the projects I’ve been working on is a 3d printing project. The goal of the project is to 3D print the entire school. Since no one has done it before, it is going to be quite challenging.

I have been given access to the Faculty Technology room that has an HP sprout system. It is the perfect system for designing and 3d printing projects. With that system, I can accomplish a lot of things that I usually can’t.

I am currently working with the school’s IT department as network support assistant. My job is to set up the internet (Ethernet port. Configuration, testing) for the new admissions building, and troubleshooting. I get to learn things such as tracking down people who violate the LVC internet policy and switch configuration. Also, I get to set up the server and install Windows system on a server.

Presenting at Global coffee hours

was a great experience. I get to do a presentation on my country and to answer various question about Chinese culture.
LVC provides us with a lot of opportunities to express ourselves. With the support of the faculties, I get to experience new things and develop new skills

The campus

The campus

I am Mai Phan, from Hanoi, Vietnam. I am majoring in Global Studies and Politics, and currently a sophomore at Lebanon Valley College.

I just facetimed with my parents in Vietnam today. Normally when they call me, I’m always in my room but today I was in the library studying for the upcoming quiz. After showing them around the bookcases and study room, I did not forget about the view from the library window of the main campus. I know that I should not miss the chance to introduce them with the romantically beautiful and peaceful campus!

This is my second year in LVC but I never forget how amazed and excited I was when I first arrived on LVC campus. I instantly fell in love with the immense green grass, elegant color of flowers, every single tree, and especially Humanities building. It was the summertime when I first been here. Although summer here is not as hot as the summer in Vietnam, but the weather is perfect; it is warm and the sky is blue and clear. When students don’t have class, they are always hanging around, playing sports, and reading books. Compared to student life in Vietnam, this impresses me a lots because we spend most of out time staying indoor.

Then fall comes soon after several mid-term exams. Not sure why I always have the feeling that all the leaves suddenly turn to pumpkin orange after a night, maybe I focus too much on the exams that I ignore the change of nature. Even in Vietnam or in LVC, fall is the love season. It is the time of year when people fall in love with the nature, the weather, and with each other. In addition, people also celebrate Halloween during this time. Halloween decoration is everywhere around the campus. It is fun to laugh at myself when I freak out after seeing a witch puppet in a student apartment’s door.

Right now, just a few days after Halloween 2017, the weather is getting  colder. It is more challenging than ever to be on time for 8AM class. However, if I can make it, I really enjoy the feeling wake up early and walking to Mund for breakfast. It is the time when there is nobody in the campus to distract me. I just love the feeling the cold touching my cheeks, and walking on carpets made by leaves. Moreover, I remembered last year after winter break how magnificent is  the campus covering with snow. I can’t remember how many pictures I took with the pure whiteness of snow. The whole campus is like an elegant lady changing her orange costume to a charming white coat.

Last but not least, after winter is spring, probably the most rainy time in LVC. However, the blooming flowers all around campus extremely impressed me last year. All kinds of flowers including Japanese cherry and almond blossoms are racing to bloom after the cold winter. The whole campus changes its look 180 degrees from a lady to a lively girl. Also it is the time that I have to say goodbye to all of my friends to come back home for summer. Personally, spring to me is really beautiful but sad time of year. It is the time for me to wander around and sum up what I have done after a year in LVC.

When I come back to Vietnam, I think I will remember LVC as a palette with different colors. LVC has different looks every time in a year, but it is always home in America.

Mai Phan

“First Year Experience”

“First Year Experience”

I am currently a freshman at LVC. Since I’m an international student, it is a little difficult for me to understand all the application process, such as when to submit my medical history, and how to select medical care program.

I have received more than 20 very detailed emails during the summer, on how to prepare for the incoming freshman year and pre-departure instructions. From the introduction of the school to series of time management support.

LVC provides pick-up service for all international students.
Once we arrived, international affairs department provided us with temporary beddings, so we don’t have to worry about the night of departure.
We can purchase all the essentials we need from Walmart 2 days after the departure.
Culture shock presentation was effective. I lived in the US for four years, no one ever mentioned culture shock to me. As a result, I had to figure everything out myself. Personally, I believe that to be able to understand Culture Shock is one of the most important things for international students so that they can prevent depression or series of psychological issues.

LVC has provided me with a lot of support. From the beginning of this academic year, I was assigned a few peer mentors and faculty mentors. One of the faculty mentors was the Chief Information Officer of the school; he helped me get a job at the IT department as Network support assistant.

I am currently taking five classes, German 101, Crossing Borders, Microeconomics, Financial Statement Analysis, and a First-Year Experience class aka FYE. College can be challenging, especially the first few weeks of classes. Many students need some time to adapt to the new environment.
I struggled for few weeks. Luckily, I was able to get help from free peer tutors provided by the school.