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Information for New Comers

2015 CSSA 新生手册

posted Sep 10, 2015, 1:40 PM by Xiang Xu   [ updated Sep 10, 2015, 1:42 PM ]


Learn to Cook

posted May 25, 2012, 9:42 AM by Yongli Wang   [ updated May 25, 2012, 9:48 AM ]

For more information, please check:




posted Sep 23, 2011, 9:40 PM by Yongli Wang

Chinese graduate students needed for research survey

posted Jul 19, 2011, 9:41 AM by Yongli Wang

To whom it may concern:

My name is Kate Coveney and I am currently a student at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.  I am participating in a study abroad program through the Alliance for Global Education in Shanghai.  As a component of our program, we are required to complete a capstone research project.  For me project, I am researching the decision of Chinese students to attend graduate school in the United States.  I am having some difficulties gathering survey results, and it would be very helpful if you could possibly distribute the survey link below to Chinese graduate students at your institution.  Thank you for your consideration!

Survey Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FWF5Q9N

Thanks, Kate Coveney

Int'l Student Adjustment Study

posted Jul 15, 2011, 2:13 PM by Yongli Wang

正准备前往美国,是否既期待又对不确定的未来感到些许的不安?您可知‭ ‬Swagler‭ & ‬Ellis‭ (‬2003‭) ‬的研究发现留学生在美国适应的好坏与个人英文能力无关,反而有个更重要的因素。想知道吗?


我们目前正在做一个留美学生的学术研究,如果您是今年即将留美的新生,我们诚挚地邀请您填答一份(约10分钟)的匿名网路问卷‭ ‬。完成问卷之后,您将会立即收到一份『准备前往美国居住与求学』的行前须知。内容包含:赴美前准备清单、学期初的心理调适方法、送礼点子及心情故事等。我们也会提供第一学期,适应上的帮助。而且还有往后抽美金$50元的现金预付卡‭ (‬Gift card‭) ‬的机会。想暸解细节,以下是本研究的连结网址:


posted Jun 28, 2011, 8:11 AM by Yongli Wang   [ updated Jun 28, 2011, 9:19 AM ]

Written by Yan Zhou, one of the most kindhearted fellows in NU.

1). Northwestern Housing


ABBOTT HALL - 710 N. Lake Shore Drive

Abbott Hall is Northwestern's Chicago campus graduate housing facility. Studios and one bedroom apartments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please visit the Web site below for further information.
Phone: (847) 491-5127
Fax: (847) 467- 2748

WORCESTER HOUSE - 244 E. Pearson St.

(This housing is not managed by Northwestern graduate housing.)

Northwestern Memorial Hospital owns an apartment building close to campus in which students are welcome to live. This building consists of studio, one and two bedroom units. Management for this building is provided by a contracted property management company that has an office located on-site.If you are interested in leasing an apartment at Worcester House, contact:
Merrily Smith
Leasing Manager



Advantages: Convenient, nice neighborhood

Disadvantages: Expensive, one month deposit and 9-12 month required

Studio: $633-$1043

One bedroom: $1187-$1280

2). Rent info. can be found at Craigslist or chicagoreader



Expensive but nice neighborhood, normally one year lease is required

3). Chinatown

Share 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom ($300-500 each) with roommates.

Advantage: not expensive, convenient for Chinese food (esp for those who don’t cook), Red line from Chinatown to Chicago station (10 min) and 10 min walk to NU Medical school, Business school or Law school on Chicago campus

Disadvantage: not very safe during the late night


4). Close to UIC campus

From UIC campus to NU campus is about 30 min by CTA (blue line to Jackson and transfer to red line)

Roommates info. can be found at


about $400-500 each

How to join in the meal plan

posted Jun 27, 2011, 1:44 PM by Yongli Wang   [ updated Jun 27, 2011, 2:29 PM by Northwestern CSSA ]

Written by Zhenyu Hou, who is one of the most reliable men in NU

The meal plan is provided by northwestern CSSA and sponsored by

Hunan Spring (847-328-8082) internet access: http://nwucssa.org/hunanspring
Marcopolo (847-763-1848) internet access: http://nwucssa.org/marcopolo
527 Cafe (847-332-2233). internet access: http://nwucssa.org/davis527cafe

Ordering process:

1) Create an account

  1. Sign-up for each restaurant is separate and can be done though NUCSSA website.
  2. After sign-up, there will not be a confirmation letter sent out. Just go back and check if you are able to sign in using your credential.

2) Account balance
  1.  Deposit should be made on-site to the person in charge of each restaurant. Both cash and personal check are accepted. Ask to find the person in  charge of each restaurant when picking up your lunch.
  2.  You account balance should be kept above -$9 to be able to order successfully

3) Order
  1. Order should be made on-line before 10am for lunch to be delivered that day. You can make an order a week in advance.
  2. If you happen to forget order before 10am, you  can make a phone order through phone number of each restaurant after 11am. But this is not encouraged.

4) Pick up
  1. Lunches are delivered at 12pm each week day to entrance of Mudd library (Tech library).
  2. Lunches should be picked up between 12pm-12:30pm, otherwise we have the right to confiscate your lunch.
  3. If you choose to dine on-site, please take care of your left-overs and clean the table after you finished.

The meal plan service is a non-profit service. It has served northwestern community for over five years and is well received by our customers. In order to keep this service alive please be responsible when using the service:
  1. be on time when ordering and picking up;
  2. be quiet and avoiding disturbing the library patrons;
  3. clean up any left-overs after you dine on site.

Tips for new-comers

posted Jun 25, 2011, 9:45 PM by Yongli Wang

               written by Donghai Gai


Americans are very friendly. They tend to greet each other with a smile, sometimes a handshake, and a friendly “Hello, how are you?” (which is not a question about your health) or “What's up?” Such a greeting is very common, and does not always require an answer. If an American friend greets you with “Hi, what's going on?” and walks away, do not feel offended, it is a popular way of greeting. Also, the common phrase “See you later” is not an invitation for a visit, but a way to say “goodbye.” Americans also are very informal and address each other by their first names from the time they meet, even with elders and people of authority. Do not feel uncomfortable when someone asks you to use his/her first name, it is customary. If you are in doubt about how to address someone, you should first use the formal name and wait for him or her to suggest that you use the first name.


As a rule, gifts are given to relatives and close friends. They are sometimes given to people with whom one has a casual but friendly relationship, such as a host or hostess, but it is not necessary or even common for gifts to be given to such people. Gifts are not usually given to teachers or others who hold official positions. The offering of gifts in these situations is sometimes interpreted as a possibly improper effort to gain favorable treatment from that person.

Body language 

Keep in mind that unspoken signals by others may not mean what you think. Various gestures are automatic and vary from culture to culture. For example, burping after a meal in America is something that one needs to excuse himself or herself for doing. While in other countries, burping may be seen as a complement to the cook. If a person's words and gestures do not seem to match, it would be wise to ask the individual.


Casual dress is appropriate for the classroom. Students will, however, dress more formally for certain class presentations. Casual dress is also appropriate for visits in people's homes, shopping or movie theatres. You might dress more formally for a special dinner or a special event at the University.

Personal hygiene 

To most Americans, personal hygiene is very important. They shower and wash their hair daily and wear freshly cleaned clothes each day. Natural body odors are considered unpleasant and offensive, so deodorants, colognes and other toiletries are used often.


Americans are very time conscious and place high value on promptness. Classes generally start on time. If you are going to be more than five or 10 minutes late for a meeting or an appointment, you should telephone to let the other party know you will be late.


The U.S. monetary system follows the decimal system. The basic unit is the dollar, the symbol for which is “$.” The most widely used bills are in denominations of $1, $5, $10 and $20. Occasionally, a bill of $50 or $100 may be seen. Each dollar can be divided into 100 cents. Currency in the form of a coin is: 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime) and 25 cents (quarter). There are some other coins, such as the 50-cent coin or the dollar coin, but they are rarely seen.

Value of a Dollar 

Here are the average prices for common items:
  • cup of coffee, $1
  • hamburger, fries and drink, $5 to $10
  • lunch at a restaurant, $8 to $20
  • hotel/motel room, $50 and up
  • movie theater (cinema), $5 to $10
  • gasoline (1 gallon), $2.58 to $3.20
  • haircut (woman), $20
  • haircut (man), $10
  • postage stamp for letter delivery in United States, $.39 cents
  • postage stamp for letter delivery outside of United States, $.80 cents (for first ounce, for additional ounces, rates vary by destination)

Sales Tax 

Most states in the United States, including Missouri, charge a sales tax on tangible personal property and services, such as clothing, restaurant and fast food restaurant meals, services (haircutting), newspapers, books, toiletries etc. Sales taxes vary from state to state, but average 5 percent to 7 percent in most places. Sales taxes are added at the cash register, so be prepared for your bill to be more than the price tag on an item.


Tipping, also known as gratuity, is giving a small amount of money to another person for a service. These are the most often tipped services:
  • waiter/waitress, 20 percent of food bill
  • porters, $1 to $2 per bag
  • barbers/hairdressers, 15 percent of bill
  • room service at a hotel, $1 to $2
  • food delivery persons, $1 or more

You should never tip police officers, physicians, government employees or University employees. It may be interpreted as a bribe, which is illegal. You do not tip bus drivers, theatre ushers, museum guides, salespeople, employees at fast food restaurants or hotel clerks.

Dealing with culture shock 

Culture shock refers to an individual's reaction to living in a new environment. Some of the things that you are used to in your own culture, may be very different in the United States: language, customs and traditions, holidays, values, behaviors and foods. It is common and even expected for international students and visitors to feel confused and frustrated when they enter another culture. The following are some tips on how to cope with culture shock:
Listen to what others are saying and try to understand what is going on around you.
Never hesitate to ask questions if you do not understand what is being said or the situation you are in.
Observe how people behave in different situations, but do not make judgments based on your own cultural values.
Develop friendships with Americans, they can help explain what you do not understand.
Develop friendships with other international students, they can share their experiences and ways to overcome culture shock.
Read newspapers and magazines and watch movies — they provide good examples of American culture.
Seek help from a professional counselor to deal with emotional problems. Counselors can help you put your problems in perspective; consulting a counselor is a common practice in the United States and does not mean you are “crazy.”
Show a sense of humor. Laughing at your own mistakes will ease your anxiety.

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