Tag Archives: FISA

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

For most Americans, we think of celebrating the new year on January 1st each year.

However, some cultures, such as Chinese culture, celebrate “a new year” according to a different calendar.

Fontbonne University has a pretty diverse group of cultures and ethnic influences on campus. I love getting to know and talking to many of our International Students. There is an organization on campus called the Fontbonne International Students Alliance (FISA). This is a group that is great for those who are International Students, because it is meant to help International Students transition into life at Fontbonne. Along with this, members share different cultures with each other and come together as a community.

This past Sunday, February 10th, FISA put on a Chinese New Year Dinner that I attended and assisted with.

My Ticket for the Event

I thought that FISA did a fabulous job with the event and the food was delicious (it’s obvious that other people thought the food was scrumptious as well, because it was all gone by the end of the night).

Attendees getting food from the buffet.

There were probably around 70 people or so who attended the event. And from what I could tell, everyone seemed to enjoy the good food and good company.

Dr. Golden, Fontbonne President, giving a Welcome Speech
Students from SECA (Students for the Enhancement of Cultural Awareness) and Others from the Community

FISA Members/Students who helped make the event happen.

Overall, I had a great evening and am glad that there are organizations on our campus that put on events such as this!

Peace, Love, & Happy Chinese New Year!


Hello Fontbonne :)

Today is such a beautiful day! Everyone’s having an awesome time, yes? You better be.

I also believe we all know that SGA (Student Government Association) is sponsoring the Fall Festival TONIGHT in the AMC at 7:00PM. Many organizations will be participating with their very own activities. I, personally, will be with FISA (Fontbonne International Students Alliance) and FISH (Fontbonne in Service and Humility). FISA will have origami and a little scavenger hunt, as FISH will have pumpkin carving and advertising about their big service trips, coming up for next semester. Please come and have fun!

Now I would like to just recap on the interesting things that I did this week. Sunday: A few members from FISH–along with my twin sister, Mary, as a guest–went to The Bridge (a Centenary Methodist Church in downtown) to help serve food! It was pretty fun, and the chefs were awesome. There were three of them, and I think two of them are Alan and one is Steve. Anyways, our members who went were Andrea, Rayne, and Erica. Rayne started the plate with the macaroni pasta (hamburger style), I pass it to Andrea for bread, Erica served salad, and Mary finished it with a slice of cake. Sounds oh-so delicious! After we were finished with serving, Steve said we could eat, too. And yes, I loved the food. :)

Let’s rewind real quick. We did have a small inconvenience before going to the church. Andrea and Rayne already arrived to the place while Erica, Mary, and I had to park in a $5 spot. Unexpectedly, when Erica was paying for it, we were all out of the car and it was still on–with the keys locked inside. A little unfortunate, right? Man, we had a good laugh about that. So I told Andrea and Rayne about it and said that we will come later. Luckily, Erica’s boyfriend, Shay, was able to get her spare key from her dorm room! How awesome is that? :) While we waited, we just talked about all kinds of things, getting to know each other. It wasn’t such a bad experience! Everything turned out okay.

Monday: SAA (Student Alumni Association) had the Brown Bag Lunch with an alumni, Tony Effan. Basically, Tony talked to us about his experiences with Fontbonne and how he got to where he is now as a Wells Fargo Advisor. Pretty neat stuff. I highly recommend students to join SAA because you do get the chance to learn more about career development and about the things you can do to get better jobs.

Tuesday: Gaming2Gether’s Bingo Night! I was supposed to be there for volunteering, but they were pretty set so I just played. 😀 It was really fun! Bingo never gets old. I actually won one game, so I definitely benefited from that night.

Wednesday: No special event for me, but I did go to the Delmar Loop with my awesome buddies, Izzy and Ben. :) We went to Blick Art Materials to buy awesome origami papers for our fall festival activity. Then we decided to stop by Bubble Tea (my favorite!) to eat. Ben kindly paid for our drinks, then Izzy and I paid for our own meals. Sadly, I didn’t really get to eat most of my wonton noodle soup because I ate one piece of the “spicey” crispy chicken that Ben ordered. Why is that bad? Well, I’m pretty sensitive to spicey now, so I can’t eat any form of spiceyness anymore. That also keeps me from eating hot food because it hurts even more. I had my food to-go, so I was able to eat it later.

That’s all for now! Oh, I’m starting my own fundraiser for Dance Marathon by polishing and designing people’s nails: 2 designs for $2, 10 designs for $5. All of the funds will go towards the marathon, so don’t worry! If you would your nails done, just let me know!

Have an AWESOME day!

What’s up for this week?

Hello, everyone:

Today’s blog is just a recap on my week. Well, the one thing that’s actually interesting. On Tuesday, October 16th, FISA had the International Potluck. Each member of our club brought in a dish that they’ve made (or bought) to share with the whole campus. The food was great, but I did wish that we had much more food!

I made Vietnamese sandwiches with my mom, and she also made Vietnamese pudding; Izzy brought fried rice; Ben brought preserved eggs; Ana brought Brazilian chocolate and corn pudding (I wish I could spell the original names, but oh well); Cata brought her homemade lemon pie; Raegene brought Minute Maid Lemonade; and lastly, Carlos brought coconut flan. Delicious, right? Yes, indeed!

So overall, we had a successful event. Everyone loved the food very much. My twin sister, Mary, and our baby brother, Avin, were also there. It was a lovely day, too. There will be another potluck for next semester, so keep on the lookout!

Have a great weekend. :)

Day tour in St. Louis

A one-day trip is FREE in St. Louis?    What’s this for?

It’s a free one-day trip in St. Louis. Because many international students just arrived in St. Louis this year, the Fontbonne International Students Alliance (FISA) plans a day tour for students who are new in St. Louis. We had so much fun because many students have their own mother language, but we only can communicate with each other in English. It’s so interesting, isn’t it?

Last weekend, we started from Forest Park which is a really huge park. Can you believe it? It is 50% larger than Central Park in New York, so we took many pretty pictures over there. Then, we went to the old courthouse which is a really pretty building with many decorations inside. The old courthouse is a part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and it is just for visiting now, but it used to be used as a courthouse. It was also the largest structure in St. Louis until the Gateway Arch was built in 1965. I bet everyone knows the Gateway Arch which is the most well-know sightseeing in St. Louis. When I told my friends I study in St. Louis, they asked me: “Penny, are you in St. Louis? Oh, I know your arch and Cardinals.”  I’m so proud of our arch and cardinals, since it looks like a symbol for St. Louis.

Then, we went up to the Arch, and saw the whole view of St. Louis downtown, it’s so amazing! We saw the Mississippi River, downtown St. Louis, and cardinal’s stadium. After downtown area, we went to the West End which is a very nice neighborhood to enjoy our lunch. The last part but not the least sightseeing point we went to was the Cathedral Basilica which is the biggest and prettiest church I’ve seen.

I loved our one-day trip, since it’s really an abundant trip to make us know more about St. Louis. Thanks to Fontbonne for taking care of students so much, and also thanks to FISA for planning this trip to make everyone have a beautiful memory here.

It’s Monday!

Happy Monday morning, Fontbonne!

Frankly, it’s not too much of a “happy” morning because of the dull, humid weather, but if you’re happy anyway, that’s awesome! I am actually pretty sleepy during this type of day, but I try not to go there.

I just want to mention yesterday’s Culture Crawl, generally known as the St. Louis Tour with the international students. Every year, the International Office organizes a tour around St. Louis for students from other countries to learn about the city and to visit the best places. Our student organization, FISA (Fontbonne International Student Alliance), also sponsors the trip. It was my first time on the trip, so I definitely learned A LOT, and I’ve lived here my entire life! I’ve never even seen these amazing areas, but thank goodness I got the chance to.

In the tour, we visited Forest Park and its beautiful spots such as the Grand Basin, where we took pictures. Then we went around to the Art Hill area and took more pictures, past the Art Museum, the zoo, the Science Center, and many other fabulous buildings. Unexpectedly, our bus driver actually became our tour guide when she found out that we had international students on board. Her name is Teresa, and she did an awesome job! She knew so much about St. Louis.

Afterwards, Teresa took us to the Downtown area. Since we had some time, Teresa was able to show us the Soulard Farmer’s Market (which was not a part of the tour but it’s a bonus!) and told us its history as well. Next, she took us to the City Garden, and we took pictures near the interesting “waterfall,” then we walked towards another fountain that had green water flowing out (too cool). Behind the fountain we have the Old Courthouse. It was beautiful and there was so much history within the courthouse. I got to see a few objects that people used from the past, such as an old automobile! Very nice displays. Everyone took many pictures everywhere we went.

Next stop, the awesome Arch! I’ve been to the Arch many, many times, but I never get tired of it. It was pretty fun when we got to the very top. I took so many pictures and everyone loved getting their pictures taken together. I love it. By that time, we were pretty hungry so we went to Bar Louie for some lunch. Good stuff! But at first, we had to wait for them to actually set up the tables for all of us even though our dear president, Izzy, already called ahead of time that we were coming. Oh well. We all ate, and off we went to the Cathedral. I was speechless when we arrived there. I must have been so oblivious to the great things we have here. The Cathedral is absolutely beautiful, inside and outside. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside of a building that made me felt so humble. I really appreciated and admired the place. I got a little chance to thank God for the wonderful trip and the chance to meet so many people. We all had a great time.

Of course, we were coming to an end of the tour. Teresa took us all back  to Fontbonne, and I was able to get a people to buy our FISA t-shirts! Well, they paid ahead of time because I need time to paint them myself. Even so, I’m just so happy that I went on the tour!

Nice week.

Good morning, people!

Today, I just want to talk about how my week went. When I thought about it, I realized how busy I am. Isn’t that awesome? (Sure, sure.)

On Monday,  I missed two of my morning classes so I could take my dear mother to the doctor for a check-up. It’s been a while since she had one, and she hasn’t been feeling well. Before that, I took my younger sister, Nikki, to school then I had to drop off my psychology take-home quiz into my professor’s mailbox (I didn’t want to lose points!) on campus. I got home and we got ready to go to the clinic, along with my baby brother, Avin.

The clinic is Family Care Health Center, and they are wonderful. Everyone was friendly, the services were great, and the doctor was truly generous. The nurse who helped us was Chauntae–who is my twin sister’s boyfriend’s mom–and she is awesome. Anyway, after the whole check-up and all, mom turned out to be okay. She just needs to rest more, but we’re going back next month so Dr. Glick can tell us if there’s anything wrong. Oh, and the kind doctor actually gave Avin a little surprise: a blue car toy. Lucky little guy :)

So then, we got home and I had to do a few things around the house and all. Eventually, my twin sister, Mary came home from school then she took me to school for my afternoon/evening class. That’s all for Monday. For Tuesday, I took my algebra test. I did pretty decent, I guess. But that’s nothing special. Afterwards, I just went towards Medaille and saw one of my friends, Rayne. We chatted for a bit then I saw Ben, another friend of mine. We all just talked for a bit then Rayne left for her class. Ben and I went to DSAC for lunch, and he told me he was going to take a few international students to the galleria so they could buy formal attire for the President’s annual dinner reception. Exciting! So I asked him if I could tag along since I was free. So we went around 2pm. The students we went with were Jun (Maple), Ricki, and Robert. They’re actually some of the international students we have. When we got to the mall, Maple and I separated from the guys. I helped her pick out a dress and shoes. It took a little while because it was hard to find the right stuff. Finally, we went back to school for our FISA meeting (sadly, we were a bit late, but we made it!). We played a little game call The Name Game. That was pretty fun 😀 Afterwards, another international student name Gerry did a presentation on his home country, Mongolia. Now that was educational! Unfortunately, I had class so I left before he could finish. Better than nothing though.

That same night I went to the Interfaith Group night, then I had my FISH meeting! Isn’t that something else? By the time I was done, it was already 9:30pm. Wow, oh, wow. Now, I usually park near the shuttle bus parking lot, so I had to get a ride with Angelica, FISH’s president. Thank goodness for her help! Then I picked up my mom from work. That’s all.

On Wednesday, the main thing was FISH’s tent event for water crisis. Right after I dropped Mommy and Avin off at work, I had to go to Schnucks to buy 4 boxes of capri suns for the event! I thought I was going to miss class though. Luckily, I made it :) The tent event went really well. The event was focused on world water crisis, which specifically points toward other countries who don’t have access to clean water. Our plan is to collect old shoes from people to send to the Shoeman Water Projects organization so they can fund those shoes for water projects that could help those countries get cleaner water. Hopefully we will get a full bin of shoes! The bin is located right outside of Student Affairs office. We would really appreciate everyone’s help!

Thursday and Friday weren’t really much, so don’t worry about them (ha ha). I just went to classes and had to work after classes on Friday. Today, (Saturday, September 15th) my cousin, Lena, had a birthday party for her daughter, Jaelynn. She is now 3 years old! The party was at Chuck E. Cheese, so it was really fun to watch them play. My younger siblings, Nikki and Avin (9 and 4 year olds), won a total of 250 tickets! Very nice, eh? I took plenty of memorable pictures. So there you have it. I had a pretty busy, but fun week. Thanks for letting me type so much! :)) Hope you had an awesome week as well!

WELCOME to the FALL 2012 Semester!

Hello, fellow Fontbonne students and bloggers! My name is Sean Pellegrini, and I am a new “Real Life at Fontbonne Blogger”! I hope that some day I could meet you. I am a sophomore Psychology major and I LOVE this school. Fontbonne is like another home. I am from Chicago (yes, actually from there on the South Side). I chose to come to Fontbonne because it is a small, accredited university in what I have heard to be a very nice area. Personally, I feel special for being a part of the Fontbonne family. I was able to join several clubs here last year, but I have been particularly active the most in FLARE, Fontbonne’s (Straight and LGBT Alliance for Respect and Equality). Please check out the club! We have a new President this year, Ms. Jes Stevens. I would like to extend my thanks to her for continuing the legacy of FLARE. Aside from being an active member in FLARE, I occasionally go to meetings for FISA, Fontbonne’s International Students Association. This is actually one of Fontbonne’s larger clubs, and if you like to experience different cultures, this is the club for you! I hope you all have a very fun but studious semester! If you are a freshman or recent transfer student, I would personally like to welcome you to our fabulous Fontbonne family. If you ever see me around, feel free to say “hey!” Thanks for reading. Go Griffins!

End of semester..How about next year?

Can you believe it? It’s already the end of the spring 2012 semester! Wow, my freshman year of college has flown by so fast. And I’ll tell ya, I’ve had great experiences with the campus, organizations, and friends!

For the 2012-2013 year, I have a goal of focusing 90% of my time into my schoolwork. I get distracted easily, so I have a hard time doing some of my homework. Aside from my academic life, I’m also a part of some of Fontbonne’s organizations. I will be the marketing officer for FISA (Fontbonne International Students Alliance) and the special events chair person for FISH (Fontbonne  in Service and Humility). I will also be joining Students for Life, SAA (Student Alumni Association), Campus Ministry, and FLARE (Fontbonne LGBT Alliance for Respect and Equality). Last but not least, I will continue to work hard on my artwork to improve my skills.

Overall, I will definitely put forth great, great, great effort into the next school year and gain even more experiences! :)

Upcoming International Events!

Are you the type of person who is open to any culture, ethnicity, and values? Or maybe you love to try different delicacies or activities from all over the world? Well, guess what?

Fontbonne International Students Alliance (FISA) will be hosting two exciting events in March! First, we have the International Potluck and different students will bring in their home country’s food. There would be a variety from Taiwan, Chile, Brazil, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and so many more! Come and enjoy delicious meals that you may not be able to try later :) This event will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 4 pm on the first floor of Medaille Hall (AMC). You may even win a $5 Schnucks gift card if you’d like to bring in something you made!

Our other event is the Western African Dance Night. I know there are people out there who love to dance. How about trying out Western African Style? I bet they have some awesome moves. But one thing: Donate to Participate! This event is specifically held to help Fontbonne in Service and Humility (FISH)’s group in their trip to Africa! So if you’d like to join the dance, you have to donate. This event will be on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 7:00pm in the DSAC Aerobics Studio. Please come, have fun and support!

Diversity is awesome! I wouldn’t want to just hang with people from my own country alone. I love to meet different people and learn about their cultures. It wouldn’t hurt, right? Be open-minded to things. You’ll make others feel secured and happy. I’m sure you’d be happy as well :)

Let’s Blog :)

Hey everyone, I’m finally getting back into blogging. To start off, I am happy to be back in school. My classes so far are interesting and very educational. Not too long ago, we had the Chinese New Year Dinner at the Mandarin House which was a wonderful event! It’s great to meet so many different ethnicities in one school :) Don’t you love diversity? I sure do!

Anyway, I’m a part of Fontbonne’s International Student Association now and it’s a great opportunity to meet other international students. Of course, anyone is welcomed. Fortunately for me, I got to know Isabella (Izzy) Liu, Toan Vu, Sydney, and many others. There are some exciting events coming up with the organization, so I hope everyone will participate in them!

I guess that will be all for now. Have a great rest of the week! 😀