Thanksgiving is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in November. During the proceeding four-days, Americans would gather for feasting, have reunions with friends and families, watch football games, and travel. You might plan on having turkey for dinner or staying up late for the Black Friday sales, but do you really know why we are celebrating this “Turkey Day?”

1. The OriginThe_First_Thanksgiving_cph.3g04961

The “First Thanksgiving” is widely recognized to be celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. It was originally established as a harvest festival and a reminder to Christians that we should thank God for His many blessings. It became an official Federal holiday in 1863 during the Civil War.

2. The Food

Roasted turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash, cranberry sauce, and bread are fairly standard dishes for most families and groups for a Thanksgiving meal. Pies are usually served as a dessert at the end of the meal. Popular pie flavors are pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, and apple. Turkeys are in such high demand during this time that it is not uncommon for people to preorder them.

3. The Turkey Wishbone97404112

After dinner, some families may remove the wishbone from the turkey’s chest. Two people, each take one end of the bone, make a wish, and pull at the same time. Whoever ends up getting the larger piece of the bone will have their wish come true!

4. The Thanksgiving Parade

You can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. This is an extremely popular parade in New York City that is viewed by millions every year.If you want to go outside, attend a local Thanksgiving parade! We do not have one in Corvallis, but this year, Corvallis is having the 30th Christmas Parade on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The parade will travel north on Fourth Street from Washington Street and end at Jackson Street.

5. #GivingTuesday


While we are enjoying all this good food and spending all our money on the sales that follow Thanksgiving, lets take a second to think about the less fortunate. There are many people out there who are not fortunate enough to have feasts on Thanksgiving. Join the rest of America in the #GivingTuesday movement. On the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, we begin the season of giving by giving to our community. This can be anything from donating money to a nonprofit organization, volunteering in the community, or spreading awareness to the people around you. This is just another way for us to give thanks by helping those in need. Be thankful for what you have, and give back.



With finals coming up soon, you’re probably feeling a lot of pressure. Studying all night, rushing to meet deadlines and giving presentations can make your life feel out of control. We all know that stress is bad for us, so what can you do to relieve some of it?


Get Enough Sleep

Getting plenty of sleep every night doesn’t just help you feel better – you will actually think better too! Students who don’t get enough sleep – or don’t sleep well – have more physical and psychological problems than students who get enough high quality sleep. Make sure you include sleep time in your study schedule and go to bed when it’s time.


Exercising can help your body release chemicals that make you feel good and relaxed. As a bonus, it also helps you sleep better. Dixon Recreation Center is open 6 AM to 12 midnight on weekdays. After you’ve finished working out, you can relax in the hot tub!


Just taking a few deep breaths can release some anxiety and help you get mentally prepared for the challenges of being a student. Try to empty your mind and just focus on your breath. Some breathing exercises require you to sit or lie down, but others can be done anywhere, anytime. Check this link for instructions for 3 exercises:

Go to the Mind Spa

At OSU, all students can use a special relaxation room called the Mind Spa – and it’s free! This room is provided by Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

1. What is a “mind spa”?

A normal spa helps with physical relaxation, and the Mind Spa helps you relax your mind. You can reserve this room, for your private use, for up to one hour.

2. What can I do there?

The Mind Spa has CDs of relaxing music, a meditation space, a light therapy lamp, a wonderful massage chair and a computer.

You can see everything by checking out the Mind Spa Menu on their website:


3. How can a computer help me relax?

The computer in the Mind Spa has several programs on it to help you learn relaxation techniques. Some of these are guided meditations; others use biofeedback (through finger sensors) to play games which help with focus and breathing.

4. I want to make an appointment!

Call CAPS at 541-737-2131 and say “I’d like to make a reservation in the Mind Spa, please.” They will help you find an available time.

Good luck in your efforts to stay relaxed and healthy during college finals week. If you have more questions or are going through a difficult time, don’t hesitate to come see me! Visit the Welcome Desk and ask for an appointment with Emily Lawton.



All images courtesy of OSU Counseling and Psychological Services (


It’s always gratifying to see a student’s progress at the end of their time at Oregon State University. Kurdman Mizory, who began in the INTO Oregon State University General English program with little confidence in her English, just graduated with her Masters degree! We sat down with Kurdman to learn more about her experiences.

“I don’t know if you remember, but [my English] was horrible! I had a hard time communicating with people,” Kurdman told us. “INTO OSU was the first step for me to improve my English. When I came to INTO OSU, they taught me how to improve it.”

Warren, from INTO OSU, was happy to run into her on campus recently; they had a chance to catch up and she even pulled her diploma out of her bag and showed him! Kurdman with Diploma copy

Her M.S. is in Animal Science, the same major as the undergraduate degree that she earned in Iraq. A portion of her degree program revolved around her thesis project: working with turkeys at an OSU poultry farm, testing to see what kinds of diets impact turkeys in different ways. Warren asked for a photo of her on the farm, but she unfortunately only had photos of the turkeys, not of her with the turkeys! 1947482_631787060219646_1441685489_n

Warren has known Kurdman since she arrived in Corvallis in February of 2011. She found a host family soon after arriving and for the past three years has lived with them. “They were so good to me. They’ve been like my parents. It will be hard to not see them anymore,” she said.

But Kurdman explained she’s still excited to go home: “I feel really good to go back. To my home, to my normal life, to my family, to my friends.”

She has a job lined up teaching animal science at a local university. She’ll also be returning to a home with her eleven siblings!

We are sad to see her go, but hopeful that she’ll return to Iraq for a while, then come back to OSU for her Ph.D., something she hopes to do in the near future.

Good luck, Kurdman!

February is known to many as the month of love in the US. On February 14th, Valentine’s Day brings lots of couples together, and we know that some students have or want to have romantic relationships while they’re in the US. Since dating and relationships may be different here compared to your home country, we’ve put together a brief guide to help make sure any relationship you have is safe and happy!

INTO students at OSU

Asking someone out

This is when you want to ask another person on a date. Either a man or a woman can do the asking. It’s good to choose a specific activity. A common first date is having coffee together. If someone asks you on a date, it’s ok to say no if you’re not interested.

If the first date goes well, you can ask for another date. If it does not go well, or one person indicates that they do not want another date, do not pressure them or make them feel bad for saying no to a second date.

Personal space

People commonly have ‘personal space,’ which is the space close to their body. Many Americans do not like other people to be in that personal space. If you notice that someone is moving away from you or turning their body away, you might be getting too close. Remember that you might be making someone uncomfortable.

Who pays?

It’s very common for each person to pay for their own meal and expenses on dates. If you want to pay for the other person, just offer. If your date offers to pay for you, it’s OK to refuse. You have the right to pay for your own expenses if you don’t feel comfortable allowing them to pay for you.

We’re “just dating”

Even if you’ve been seeing the person often, don’t assume that you’re exclusive or that they’re your boyfriend/girlfriend. Many people, especially during college, date several people at the same time. It’s also good to move slowly in a relationship. Entering a serious relationship with someone too soon is sometimes a bad idea. Get to know the person well before you decide you want them to be your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Saying the “L” word

Don’t tell someone you love them too soon! Love is serious and should not be rushed. It can ruin a good relationship by making things move too quickly. Take your time and only say it if you’re sure.

If the other person says “No”

Consent = permission. If someone you’re dating or hanging out with says “no” to a kiss or other physical contact, that means you should not attempt to do anything physical with them. If you try to force or pressure them into physical contact, it may be considered harassment or assault, which can lead to prison time and deportation.

A person must be sober to give consent. This means you should not try to kiss or have sex with someone who is drunk or on drugs.

And remember, if you’ve given your consent, you can always take it back. You can always change your mind.

If something bad happened to you

Sexual assault is when someone forces you to engage in sexual activity with them. If you think it has happened to you, free and confidential resources are available at OSU:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 
500 Snell Hall

Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS)
500 Snell Hall

Student Health Services
201 Plageman Building

Some fun date ideas

There are lots things to do around Corvallis. We already mentioned that coffee is a great date, but you could go to Francesco’s Gelato in downtown Corvallis, where you can get coffee, gelato and snacks. You could go bowling or play billiards in the OSU Memorial Union Basement. You could even take a trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium for a unique experience and some clam chowder!

Be safe and good luck!

While dating in the US may be different than in your home country and there might be a lot to learn, it should be fun and healthy. If you have sensitive questions, you can ask Emily Lawton, INTO OSU’s Care and Conduct Coordinator. She’s happy to help! Visit the ILLC Welcome Desk to make an appointment with her.


What a journey! In 2009, INTO OSU welcomed its first group of Pathway students. On Saturday, June 15th, 35 of them graduated from OSU, along with 35 graduate Pathway students! We hope to see more graduates next year, and every year to come! Congratulations, guys!

We threw a little party to congratulate them. Check out photos from the celebration and from the Commencement ceremony here.

In the spring of 2011, Jessica Kim attended a lecture by the best guest speaker she had ever seen. Jim Marryman, the CEO of Oregon Freeze Dry, visited Oregon State University in Corvallis to share his experiences with the university’s International Affairs Club. He started his presentation by telling a true story about the issues he faced with global transactions.

As part of his freeze-dried food business, Marryman ordered broccoli from a farm in the People’s Republic of China. When the product arrived in the US, the average size of the broccoli was far too small. He flew back to China and met the farmers. This farm was accustomed to shipping very small broccoli – a specialty for the Japanese market. It was hard to explain to them that Americans want fully-grown broccoli. After sharing a cigarette with the Chinese farmers, he took a pack of cigarettes and placed it on the field next to the broccoli, saying “When it’s the same size as a cigarette pack, then ship it to the United States.”

The International Affairs Club at Oregon State University, founded in spring term of 2010, aims to bring together students who are interested in politics, international economics and other international news. The Club is supported by the College of Business, the University Honors College and the College of Liberal Arts.

The International Affairs Club is a place where international students and domestic students can communicate and share experiences and knowledge with each other. Blake Hendricks, the president of the club, said he likes the club because it is “a good opportunity to build connections and enjoy the opportunity for professional development.”  Former INTO OSU Pathway student Van Wong, from China, is the club’s treasurer. Wong says being a part of the International Affairs Club, combined with the benefits of the Pathway Program, has helped him succeed in school and contributed to his professional development. He’s becoming acclimated to American academics, an essential part of success at the university.

The International Affairs Club frequently invites interesting guest speakers such as Jim Marryman to campus, visits places like the Columbia Sportswear headquarters and examines the business process from the inside. A future event may include a visit from the founder of Dutch Bros. coffee shops.

Being a part of the International Affairs Club brings students together every other Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union building. The club is eager to have new members and welcomes everyone. If you’d like to join,

-Written by Simon Zhernakov

intl-testim-710x2204The INTO OSU Student Success Association (IOSSA) is a new student group on campus dedicated to helping YOU as a current INTO OSU student! It was founded by 3 former INTO OSU students who are all now studying at OSU.

After they came up with this idea, they came to INTO OSU’s Student Engagement Coordinator Casey Glick for some help setting it all up. They created 10 positions, each with distinct roles, and filled those positions with a diverse group of students from Turkey, Japan and more! Activities that the IOSSA will carry out include going to campus events, helping students communicate with their academic advisors, meet other students and make great campus connections. INTO OSU is proud to have such a great group of INTO OSU alums. Good luck!

For more information about the IOSSA, visit them on Facebook!

The latest INTO OSU Movie Making film is complete! View it here:

Take down notice: Every effort has been made to obtain rights and permission for any elements of this movie that may be protected by copyright. If anyone has reason to believe otherwise, please contact us at 541-737-2464 or and the movie will be removed from the website.

Want to visit Seattle? It’s a big, fun city – and INTO OSU is heading up there at the end of May! We’ll spend two nights in a downtown hotel and all transportation is included. Plus, we’ll visit the Space Needle and go to a Mariner’s professional baseball game (included in the price). You can’t get any more American than that! 

Click here for photos from our 2011 Seattle trip!

Sign-up: open from April 1 through April 26 at the ILLC Welcome Desk

Price: $350

Trip dates:
Depart 8am on May 25
Return 5pm on May 27