I’m an An Official Freshman

by Carlos Apodaca

Since I have been here in the USA, I have learned that English as a second language school is never easy. We need time to learn all the ways we can write a sentence and realize the strength that those combinations of words give to the meaning. I can say that this is not an easy task. I have had many problems giving sentences the meaning I wanted to, and as you can see I am not perfect, but I know that through time everyone can master this wonderful language.

Last semester I started an English course at Embry Riddle to improve my English skills and pass an international test in order to enroll this fall as a freshman. I am so happy to say that I accomplished my goal and now I am ready to start college! I, and other international students, had troubles so I know that we will never forget that test. If you passed TOEFL (the test) already, let me tell you that I know how happy and grateful you feel! I certainly went through the same thing. For those who are still stuck at this test, please don’t give up, you will eventually get it. Look into the ERLI program here. It is a big help!

Now that the semester has started at Embry Riddle (a thing that make me so happy), I feel that from now on there will be many good changes in my life. As always, since the time I started here in ERLI, I have never been alone. I have had so many questions about my fully accepted status, my status as an international student, payments methods, and how and which classes I had to choose. Staff, my academic adviser, and the CIPS office were always there to lead me through all these changes. I encourage you if you have any questions about something, ask them, they will be more than happy to help you.

CIPS staff and me

CIPS staff and me

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some days ago a friend asked me if I am ready and fully prepared for what is coming. Of course I said yes without hesitation, but then thought, am I ready? I made a really fast analysis of myself. I realized that no one is totally ready, we are here to keep learning and developing skills, and for internationals students, to keep developing our English skills.

For me, the transition from being in an English course to be actually in a college program is going to be hard and probably I will be frustrated more times than I can imagine. I am saying this because the first step to solve a difficult situation is to accept it. I encourage you to prepare yourself as best as you can before college starts. Through summer I kept preparing myself doing some homework like reading, writing these blogs, listening to very formal audiobooks, and more than anything never giving up on anything.
Attending college is not going to be easy but it will be challenging and this is the beauty of it. We keep improving our skills, becoming better and better until we get at something called “Perfection.”

Don’t let anybody say you cannot do something.

“Whatever you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you are right” – Henry Ford.

I’m here doing it — I’m an official Freshman at Embry-Riddle. Enjoy college!!!

Better Than I Expected — the International Festival

When I first came to Embry-Riddle one semester ago, I was very impressed with the fact that almost 11 percent of the students at this college are foreigners. I thought right away that it was awesome. Then, some months after the semester started, I heard about something called “ International Festival”. At first I did not understand what that title meant, and my first thought was, “ Oh, how cool, may be it is the way they name a party for weekends.” I kept hearing how fun and awesome it was going to be and since I thought there was going to be a party I certainly wanted to go. At that point I decided to ask to one of my English professors what it was about. When I was listening to her describing what “International festival” was, I realized  that I was very wrong and instantly, I wanted to be part of such an event. She said the “International Festival,” is a yearly event coordinated by CIPS office to show and share to all the Prescott community a little bit of the culture around the world. Even with that explanation, I was still curious. The next morning I went to CIPS office seeking more information about it. Andy Fraher and Deborah Parris told me that this event is an opportunity to meet other cultures around the world such as people from UK, Sa

ERAU International festival 2015

ERAU International festival 2015

udi Arabia, India, China, etc. Also, they told me that every country participating has to cook a traditional plate to share at the festival. At that point I had no doubt, I wanted to be a part of such an amazing event.

I started thinking about what kind of food I was going to cook and how I was going to get a costume for the occasion. The same day I received an e-mail from CIPS office telling me that there were more Mexican students willing to participate in the event too. I got so excited because I thought I was going to be the only Mexican in the festival. This event also gave the opportunity to all Mexicans attending Embry-Riddle to meet each other. I can tell you that I was really happy to not be alone. The next couple days we talked every day in other to decide which plate we were going to cook. Also, I invited to my parents who were more than happy to attend and participate at the event.

On the day of the festival I was the first of my friends to arrive and set up our table. It was astonishing for me to see so many different flags hanging on the roof (I did not recognize many of them by the way), a lot students were wearing traditional costumes from their country and for sure there was a lot of food everywhere. The “International Festival” was better than everyone described to me. People begun to arrive and I could see people of all ages. In less than 15 min all the place was crowded. A friend and I were wearing traditional costumes from Mexico while we were serving food to our guess. I personally took the time to go around different countries tables to try their food as well. Without doubt, I can say that it was one of the most fun days I have had here in Prescott since my arrival. When every table ran out of food the show started. Middle Eastern dancers danced, then after they finished, Saudi Arabia guys started to dance with their traditional music, and at the end a little free dancing closed the event.

The “International festival” that Embry Riddle provides to the Prescott community is, at least for me, a wonderful event to bring together pieces of the world at least for couple of hours. When I was in the festival I felt that people are people everywhere. I felt that the only difference between me and them are the traditions and I felt that the world was no longer as huge a place as it looks. Simply amazing!

Student Employment Opportunities

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There are a lot of student jobs available on campus! Being a student employee has its perks such as tons of hours each week, the occasional free lunch, and meeting some interesting people. Additionally, according to student employees I talked to, on-campus jobs are better than off-campus jobs because when you are not busy you can do homework. A few student employees mentioned that having a campus job has taught them how to perform in a professional atmosphere as most campus jobs are office oriented unlike the typical labor-based off-campus position.

Once you arrive on campus you are eligible for one of these jobs. First semester freshman are hired but the campus staff sometimes prefer to hire second semester freshman as they have had a chance to adjust to life in college and are more likely to be able to balance their schedule in their second semester.

A wide range of jobs are open to students. You can be a tutor, grader, IT employee, grounds keeper, lab monitor, lab assistant, tour guide, office filer, summer camp leader, orientation leader, pool employee, and the list goes on! You could even be a student blogger like I am! So if you are interested in getting a job to augment your monthly income get your resume ready and apply today! It is super simple, just check out the student services tab on your Embry Riddle Dashboard to apply.

Thanks for reading!

An Opportunity for a Good Life by Carlos Apodaca, guest blog

My name is Carlos Apodaca, I am an international student from Mexico and a wrestler. I am a guest blogger and would like to share my story.

Three different colleges offered me a scholarship when I finished High School in Rio Rico, AZ. The three scholarships were tempting offers to take, but when I compared the benefits they could give me, choosing became easy. I chose without any doubt the scholarship that wrestling coach KC Rock offered me. Embry-Riddle was the best option for success. Embry-Riddle is not only one of the best in aeronautical sciences, it  also has a strong, welcoming feeling for students from around the world; no matter what color, belief, religion, race, or sexual orientation. In fact, I feel that Embry-Riddle is free of discrimination.

Embry-Riddle welcomed me last semester in their English program known as ERLI that helped me to improve my English skills. I was able to pass the TOEFL test after six months. I cannot find words to describe how kind, warm, and friendly everyone was with me when I arrived, especially the people at CIPS office (Center for International Programs and Services). They were always patient with me and never freaked out, even when I did not fully understand all the paper work I had to turn in, when I gave them the wronCIPSg address and made a very important paper of immigration almost go to the other side of Mexico, or when they couldn’t understand what I was saying in e-mail or when I was talking. I am very thankful for them because otherwise I wouldn’t be here holding in my hands an opportunity that has the potential to change my life for good.

Not long ago I contemplated what Embry-Riddle offers its students and I realized that this college offers an opportunity of a better life for students that work for it. Students attending Embry-Riddle are warriors of body and soul, they want to succeed more than they want to breathe, and they’d rather die than give up. For me Embry-Riddle embodies many things, but mainly it is an opportunity to improve my life, to become a better person, and to get prepared for the world out there. This college gives us the tools to succeed in our lives.

ERAU International festival 2015

ERAU International festival 2015

I  thought that no one was going to take care about me when at first came to the U.S., that everyone was going to leave me out of everything and I thought that I was going to be alone all the time. However, I was mistaken. I have made many good friends that worry when they have not seen me in a while. I feel nostalgic sometimes when I think about my family and friends back in Mexico, but that feeling fades away when I think about the new family that I have right here at Embry-Riddle.

 

Una oportunidad de vida.

Mi nombre es Carlos Apodaca, soy un estudiante internacional de México y practico lucha grecorromana. Me gustaría compartir mi historia con todos ustedes.

Tres diferentes universidades me ofrecieron beca al terminar mis estudios de nivel superior en Rio Rico, AZ. Las tres becas  que se me habían ofrecido eran muy tentadoras, pero al comparar los beneficios que cada una de ellas me podía ofrecer, elegir a que universidad asistir fue una decisión fácil. Elegí sin ningún tipo de duda la beca que el entrenador principal KC Rock me ofreció en primera instancia. Elegir Embry-Riddle como primera opción, creo que es la mejor elección para una vida éxito. Embry-Riddle no es solo la mejor universidad en ciencias aeronáuticas, también es una universidad que se distingue por aceptar e impulsar estudiantes alrededor del mundo a asistan a esta prodigiosa universidad; no importa el color, creencias, religión, raza, u orientación sexual. En esencia, siento que  Embry-Riddle es un colegio donde la discriminación no será  tolerada bajo ninguna circunstancia.

Embry-Riddle me recibió el semestre pasado en un programa de Ingles conocido como ERLI que me ayudo a mejorar en mi Ingles a nivel universidad. Gracias a este curso pude pasar un examen llamado TOEFL en menos de seis meses. Me faltan palabras para describir que tan amables, buena gente, y amistosos toda la comunidad de Embry-Riddle fueron cuando llegue, en especial los trabajadores de la oficina CSPI (Centro y Servicios al Programa Internacional). Todo el tiempo me tuvieron paciencia y nunca se desesperaron, incluso cuando no entendía completamente ningún trámite que se necesitaba hacer para estar totalmente inscrito, incluso cuando les di una dirección incorrecta y mandaron un papel de imigracion casi asta la otra punta de Mexico, o cuando no me entendían al momento de escribir un correo o cunado trababa de entablar un conversación con ellos, siempre me tuvieron paciencia. Estoy muy  agradecido con ellos,  sin esas increíbles personas no estaría aquí escribiendo este blog y sosteniendo en mis manos una oportunidad que tiene el potencial de cambiar mi vida por completo.

No  hace mucho estaba pensando que es lo que Embry-Riddle ofrece a sus estudiantes y llegue a una conclusión; Embry-Ridde ofrece una oportunidad para obtener una mejor calidad de vida a todos aquellos que trabajan duro para obtenerla. Estudiantes que asisten a esta  universidad son guerreros en cuerpo y alma, ellos desean triunfar tanto como desean respirar,  preferirían morir antes de rendirse. Embry-Riddle representa muchas cosas pero principalmente es una oportunidad para mejorar tu calidad de vida, crecer como persona,  y al final pero no menos importante, esta universidad nos da las armas para sobrevivir en el mundo real.

Cuando recién llegue a E.U.A yo pensé que a nadie le  iba a importar, que nadie se iba a preocupar por mi, y que me iban a excluir de los círculos sociales. Sin embargo, estaba equivocado. He hecho muchos amigos que me buscan cuando por algún motivo no me han visto por más de dos días. Algunas veces me siento nostálgico cuando pienso en mi familia, amigos y conocidos que deje en México, pero ese sentimiento desaparece cuando pienso en la nueva familia que encontré aquí en Embry-Riddle.

Half Way Through Summer Courses!

DE__RegisterHere is a quick update for all of our incoming freshman!! We are halfway through the first set of summer courses so if you haven’t registered for the courses you will be taking in the fall now is the time to get on it!!!

If you have been putting it off, that’s okay, it seems intimidating but, the process is really very simple. All returning students actually register online but, for our freshman we highly recommend giving us a call in the Admissions department so we can get you connected with a counselor and/or an academic adviser who can walk you through the process :)

So get started today!!! We look forward to seeing you on campus in the fall and the faster you get registered the easier your first days with us will be!!

The Tales of a First Year Student

If you are anything like me, the anticipation of going into college has you asking a lot of questions. “What will it be like to be on my own?” “Am I going to make close friends?” “Will I have any free time at all?”

I could sit here and try my best to write down my experiences from my Freshman year, but that sounds pretty boring. So instead I made this video! Check it out to see my Freshman experiences and tips!

 

 

As you can see, I had an absolute blast my first year in college. I can’t wait to see what adventures and opportunities I take part in in Fall 2015!

AFROTC Commissioning

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The Air Force ROTC Det 028 commissioned 21 brand new 2nd Lt.s this afternoon! It was a very exciting ceremony that showed once more how excellent the detachment here at Embry-Riddle in Prescott, AZ is. Two distinguished graduates were named at the event and awarded as their proud families stood by. As a cadet here at Embry-Riddle commissioning is one of the most important events in your career, it is the day that you become an officer. After 4 to 5 years of long, hard work, you have achieved the end goal. For this reason it is very inspiring for cadets who are not yet at the point of graduation to attend as well. Watching a commissioning is motivating as you get to see your friends enter a new and exciting stage in their careers.

If you are a cadet here or at another University I strongly encourage you to attend a commissioning ceremony. For those of our potential students who may be reading this, when you are thinking about your future do not loose sight of the end goal. Ensure that you choose a University that has a reputation for excellence in your chosen field. If it is AFROTC and engineering that you decide on then Embry-Riddle’s Prescott campus is the place to be! We look forward to seeing you here in the future. :)

How to Eat Healthy on a College Budget

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If you are like most college students or you are soon to be one of us broke, sleep deprived individuals then here is some information that you might want to know!

This past year, after I came back from Field Training, I committed to eating as healthfully as I could. Something my FTO said to me at FT really stuck and ever since I haven’t been able to eat candy without feeling guilty. So, I turned my health habits around. At first I thought it was going to be super hard to cook with raw veggies, grains, and meats. However, it was just the opposite, I got rid of bread, sugar, processed foods, and most of my processed drinks.

After that I headed to the grocery store and discovered that instead of spending $60 for two weeks of groceries (all processed foods) I could now spend $20!! I bought all fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains. I made an effort to plan out balanced meals for each week and surprisingly I did not have to take another trip to the grocery store!

Since making the switch (I do fall back into my old food habits on occasion) I have felt so much better, had more energy, and I’ve been sleeping better. Not only that but, I am not as broke as I used to be!!! Turns out that eating healthy is better for you and your wallet!!

If you are interested in making the switch to cooking with raw food materials comment below, I will answer any questions you have! Happy savings everyone!!!

The Hardest Goodbyes

Along with graduation, there will come many unwanted and unavoidable goodbyes.

The first will be that one professor. That one professor that has gone out of his or her way to help you too many times to count. That professor that you wouldn’t dare skipping their class because you respect them too much. You have no way of thanking them or telling them how much you appreciated their efforts to assist you through your undergrad. You look up to them, you’ll miss them.

Second will be your squad. Yes, your squad. You know, that group of people that you met freshman year that have seen you at your worst and best. The group of people that know waaaay too much about each other. You can go to them for literally anything. This might arguably be the hardest goodbye. No longer will you be neighbors, a walk away, and there is no way you could ever explain to someone how close you all became.

Third, the best friend. The person who you could never thank enough for putting up with you and your weird tendencies. You admire this person and you’ve spent the better part of your undergrad laughing at whatever life throws at you by their side. Their family is just an extension of your own.  When its time to say goodbye, it’ll hard to imagine life without them their to embarrass you…all the time.

And lastly, Prescott and your old self. Time to move on to bigger and better things. Time for a new adventure. You’ve ultimately grown into yourself in this town and whether you want to admit it or not, you love it and saying goodbye won’t be easy.

Still can’t believe how fast four years went by! I consider myself lucky that I have such hard goodbyes to make. ERAU has truly become a home for me and I know we will meet again.

Blue Eagles Skydiving Team!

ERAU has tons of clubs to join, as seen in Colton’s Vlog awhile ago, but one of the cooler ones (in my opinion) is our skydiving team.blue eagles  Now let me start off by saying I have never skydived, nor do I have the desire to. BUT I am a little biased because my best friend and roommate, Jen, is a part of the team as their outreach chair.  Blue Eagles Skydiving team aims to make skydiving accessible and affordable to all students, alumni, and faculty at here at ERAU and they are successful in doing so!

 

Jen was able to receive her A license from Skydive Phoenix, located in Maricopa, AZ, in just a few months!  jen a licenseOther members on the team are aiming to do the same. The team consists of first timers, experienced divers, and professors. They make trips down to the drop zone together and even have done some vertical wind tunnel training.

This team is such a hit at ERAU because you get both the flying and adrenaline aspects which appeal to most of the students here. As a diver, you start out by doing tandems with a qualified instructor. After that you are free to jump alongside said instructor. Once you get your A license (25 jumps), that allows you to jump at any drop zone! If you are an incoming student and interested in joining, go ahead and like their Facebook page. They have a lot more videos and pictures that I haven’t included that I’m sure will get you hooked. I can’t stress this enough, joining clubs or teams is the best thing you can do here!  You can meet tons of people that have the same interests as you. Look for dates for the Activity Fair at the beginning of every semester!

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