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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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Terms you should know before coming to IU page 3

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Guide to international services page 4

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Mental health services for international students page 11

AN INDIANA DAILY STUDENT SPECIAL PUBLICATION


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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

IDS FILE PHOTO D-Force dance group members applaud and wave at the audience as the 2014 Spring Festival comes to a close Feb. 7 at the IU Auditorium. D-Force performed two dances - one traditional and the other modern - at the annual event organized by the IU Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Learn about the different resources offered by IU’s Office of International Services.

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Take a look at the restaurants on Fourth Street, which offer Tibetan, Chinese, Korean, Indian food and more

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Read about Lucky Seven, a club for students who use their expensive cars to form a community away from home

Find out the most common home countries of international students on the IU campus. Look at the ways international students take part in different cultural activities at IU.

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Hello and welcome to Indiana University! Coming to a new country and a new school can be a difficult challenge, but IU provides different programs and resources to help you succeed in your new surroundings. Here at IU Student Media and at the Indiana Daily Student, we work to keep you informed about what’s going on on campus and in the Bloomington community. You can pick up a paper every Monday and Thursday, read our coverage at idsnews.com and follow us on social media to keep up-to-

date on everything you need to know. We’ve prepared this guide for you as you begin your time at IU — giving you the lowdown on what the Office of International Services can do for you, the culture centers on campus, how Counseling and Psychological Services can help with the transition and more. IU has a large campus with a huge student population. It can be intimidating at first, but it starts to feel like home before you know it. Welcome to campus! I, along with the rest of the Indiana Daily Student staff,

wish you all the best of luck as you start your college career here at IU. Annie Aguiar IDS Summer Editor-in-Chief


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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Just F.Y.I.

IDS FILE PHOTO

Here are a few key terms that are useful to know around campus, so try and get familiar. Don’t worry, there will not be a test. Syllabus A written schedule that lays out the upcoming semester for a class. Professors will usually include this on the course’s online website and will base their class schedule off of it for the entire semester. Office hours Times where students can visit a professor at their office to ask questions about grades, homework or other classrelated subjects. Professors will usually include the times and locations in the syllabus. Memorial Union The largest building on campus where students can go to eat, study, buy books and more. The Indiana Memorial Union’s address is 900 E. 7th St.

Intramural Recreational sports organized within a school. Students can sign up and play various sports on set times and days throughout the week. SRSC The Student Recreational Sports Center is located on Law Lane. A membership here is included in your tuition, and activities here range from classes to weightlifting and cardio rooms. Dead week The week of class before final exams. Not really dead, but makes you feel that way. AI An associate instructor, usually a graduate student, who assists professors in lectures and discussions. RA

Resident assistants are upperclassmen, peer leaders that live on each floor of residence halls. The resident assistants can assist with adjusting to college, give you advice and more. IUPD vs BPD The IUPD is the University’s police department while the BPD is the city of Bloomington’s police department. Little Five Abbreviation for the Little 500 bicycle race which takes place in April. There are two separate races, one for the men’s teams and one for the women’s teams. UITS University Information Technology Services. UITS provides computer and technology-related services to those on the IU campus, uits.iu.edu.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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JOIN US FOR THE BEST IN MUSIC AND DANCE!

19 20 SEASON

Nov. 10, 13, 16

Feb. 7, 8, 14, 15

Apr. 3, 4

Q&A: Office of International Services offers new student advice By Jaden Amos jamamos@iu.edu | @jadenamos

Sept. 20, 21, 27, 28

Dec. 5, 6, 7, 8

Feb. 28, 29, Mar. 6, 7

Apr. 11

Oct. 11, 12

Dec. 14

Mar. 28

Apr. 18

Four operas, three ballets, and a new concert series! View the full season, and order your tickets today at operaballet.indiana.edu. Learn about the many musical opportunities you can enjoy—most are FREE: music.indiana.edu/events.

ENROLLIN IN A MUSIC MUSIC COURSE ENROLL COURSE Round out your life with great non-major music courses. Visit music.indiana.edu/generalstudies.

PERFORM IN AN ENSEMBLE Did you play an instrument or sing in high school? Want to continue performing? Check out the Marching Hundred, the Singing Hoosiers, and more at music.indiana.edu/degrees/undergraduate/ minors/nonmajor.shtml.

music.indiana.edu

We spoke with Mai-Lin Poon, associate director of international student life, about the Office of International Services and different ways to help international students get involved with the university. Indiana Daily Student: What is the biggest thing you see international students struggle with? Poon: Not being close to family and friends. And, you know, moving across an ocean for four years. I think that's pretty incredible and courageous, especially if they've never been to the U.S. I don't think I could do it. Gosh, I am so in awe of our international students with what they accomplish here. What services does the Office of International Students offer other than providing help with student visas? I would say a big chunk of our resources is being able to provide answers to questions about work authorization, what documents you fill out or travel questions. I think that’s a large chunk, but we help with everything from emergencies to social programming and support. Our office also has a passport facility. So for students who are domestic students thinking they're studying abroad and they need their passport, or have questions about getting their picture taken or things

like that, they can come in and use our office as well.

TOP The IU Office of International Services is located at 400 E. 7th St. The OIS can help international students get involved with university life. | IDS FILE PHOTO

And then what advice would you give to an international student?

RIGHT Mai-Lin Poon is the associate director of international student life. | COURTESY

I would say, and I think this kind of goes for all incoming first-year students, is being open to new experiences and not being afraid of trying something. Trying to make friends and making those connections is tough because everyone is going through it.

for incoming or potential students. They can answer the questions such as, ‘How did you choose IU?’, and ‘What's the hardest transition point for you.‘ They are such a wonderful group. You'll see them during orientation, you'll see them throughout the year.

What is the International Student Ambassadors program? It’s a program where we have current international students answer questions

Is there anything else you would want incoming international students to know? I guess confer resources and services that students

use. For example, food ordering, what apps to use. You know, having the B-Town Menus app and making sure they have the DoubleMap app for the buses, which are really popular. Also the apps if the students want to ride the scooters.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

IUPD Chief Jill Lees shares safety advice for school year By Jaden Amos jamamos@iu.edu | @jadenamos

Moving to a big campus such as IU can pose many new opportunities and risks for students. The Indiana Daily Student talked to IUPD Police Chief Jill Lees about ways to stay safe at IU. IDS: Do you consider IU and Bloomington safe? Lees: Yes, but I think that people have an opportunity to be victimized anywhere if they don’t follow general safety rules. Safe communities and areas can turn not safe if you put yourself at risk. Crime cannot occur without opportunity.

What can people do to not put themselves at risk? 1. Remember the LifeLine Law. Make sure you get help for someone that’s in crisis. 2. Go out in groups and leave with that group. 3. Confirm your Uber. 4. Charge your phone. You are in class all day and go out Friday night without charging your phone. What if something happens? You can’t call someone or call 911 if your phone is dead. 6. Take pictures of your property and your serial numbers. Register your bicycle with campus. 7. Communicate with your roommate. Make sure you know where your room-

mate is going. The more people can look out for each other, the less the crime can occur. 8. Any time you're walking on campus, make sure you stay in a well-lit area or stay with someone. You could always call the Safety Escort. Also, we’ve been pushing the Guardian App, which can help you in different situations. 9. No matter where you’re at, if you see something, say something. Especially if it’s suspicious people on campus or you’ve witnessed some sort of crime. How can you stay safe once you’ve moved off campus?

Living off campus is just like living in any city, you have to be cautious. Be very cautious with keeping your door locked. Make sure that people who are in your house are supposed to be there. What advice do you have for nervous parents? Make sure you like and follow us on social media so you can feel better connected with the local law enforcement that will be serving your children on the IU campus and know the services we offer. You can know those phone numbers and have your child know those. Parents should communicate

COURTESY PHOTO IUPD Chief Jill Lees

with their children, so they can talk through certain situations with their children or monitor what their child

needs while they are away at school. I want parents to know that we are there to help.

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All IU students with a valid ID have access to RS facilities and programs. You’ve already paid your student activity fee– now enjoy the benefits: • Two Facilities–SRSC & Intramural Center provide unlimited options!

• Cardio/circuit and strength gyms

• Cardio/circuit and strength gyms

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• 9 racquetball/wallyball courts, squash courts & table tennis

• More-private strength & cardio studios

• Multiple cardio/circuit & strength gyms

• 10 basketball/volleyball courts

• Seven racquetball/wallyball courts, two squash courts, & table tennis

• Two recreational swimming pools

• Royer pool and diving well

• Five basketball/volleyball courts

• Racquetball/squash/wallyball courts

• Indoor walking/jogging/running track

• Two multipurpose gyms

• Basketball & volleyball courts

• Two multipurpose gyms

• Walking/jogging/running track

• Open use dance studio

• The Counsilman/Billingsley Aquatic Center (Olympic-sized pool/diving well)

• Table tennis & badminton courts

• Group Exercise/Yoga & Pilates Studio

• Indoor walking/jogging/running track

• Equipment checkout & short-term lockers

• Free equipment check-out

• Free equipment check-out


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

Get familiar with IU's Cultural Centers By Claire Peters clapete@iu.edu | @claire_peterss

With a student population of almost 50,000, IU’s campus has numerous cultures and identities. These six cultural centers provide education opportunities and help students feel at home on campus. Asian Culture Center The Asian Culture Center is an important resource for IU’s over three thousand Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The center supports students and educates others on Asian

and Pacific Islander cultures. It runs events and programs throughout the semester at their location on 807 E. 10th St. and across campus. The center offers academic support services, including language learning programs and cultural programs. LGBTQ+ Culture Center With IU named as one of the most LGBTQ friendly campuses in the nation by Campus Pride, the culture center provides resources such as mentoring programs, private counseling services and weekly free HIV testing. The center also has a library

7 full of books, movies, CDs and zines on gender and sexuality. Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center supports IU’s black population. It focuses on the recruitment and retention of black students through student development seminars, an academic support center and a partnership with Counseling and Psychological Services. The center also offers cultural events for students to get involved in such as the annual fish fry and discussion and panels for Black History Month. La Casa Latino Cultural Center Founded 45 years ago, the La Casa Latino Cultural

IDS FILE PHOTO

Several students line up to grab traditional Latin food Oct. 31, 2016, during the Dia de los Muertos event in the La Casa Cultural Center.

a website that provides the latest news on legislation affecting DACA recipients and guides for how to renew DACA requests.

Center works with the Latino population of IU. Center staff supports students and parents, providing them plenty of resources, such as guides for the FAFSA and scholarship application translated into Spanish. The center also helps DACA students with

First Nations Education and Cultural Center Opening in 2007, the

First Nations Education and Cultural Center supports American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian students, faculty and staff. It focuses on building a community of Native students and support the awareness of the students and their culture. There is programming to help students learn such as lunch time speakers’ series with Native experts, an annual Native film series and academic advising. They host IU’s annual Traditional Powwow, which attracts hundreds of people every year to view traditional performances with dancing and drum groups. Vendors also sell handcrafted items and a variety of food. Similar to other centers on campus, they offer personal counseling and academic advising.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

Sharing cultures Students from around the world come to IU to learn and share experiences. Here’s a look at some of the ways people from diverse backgrounds have engaged with the campus and community over the years.

IDS FILE PHOTO 2013 Students celebrate Holi, a Hindu festival that celebrates the beginning of spring, by covering each other with brightly-colored powered dye. The annual event is sponsored by the Asian Culture Center.

1954 Two students performing a dance at a meeting of IU’s Slavic Club.

IDS FILE PHOTO 2016 Rocky Dawuni performs “Afro Roots” music at the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. Dawuni is a Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter from Ghana. Each year, the Lotus hosts artists from around the world who perform at venues throughout Bloomington. This year’s event is Sept. 26 – 29. For more information, visit lotusfest.org.

ARBUTUS FILE PHOTO 1967 Through the International Sisterhood Program, students from around the world developed friendships with American students.

IDS FILE PHOTO 2008 Members of the Japanese Student Association perform a soran-bushi dance – a traditional fisherman’s dance praying for a good haul of fish – during a Lunar Year celebration at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium. The event was hosted by the IU Asian Culture Center to celebrate the year of the rat.


INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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IDS FILE PHOTO 2013 Mufarrah Musaeva and Nader Osama Kokandy dance together in the Uzbek Dance Medley during the Navruz Festival. The Persian, Iranian and Central Asian New Year Celebration featured music, dance and food and was organized by the Navruz Student Association.

ARBUTUS FILE PHOTO 2018 Students pose for a group photo in front of a green screen with an assortment of flags from around the world as props during the World’s Fare that took place Nov. 9 in the Indiana Memorial Union’s Alumni Hall. The event celebrates international culture through art, dance and music.

IU ARCHIVES 1948 Then-President Herman B Wells speaks with a student from India. Wells traveled the world and was instrumental in expanding IU’s global perspective and expanding its international study programs.

ARBUTUS FILE PHOTO 2013 Malaysian students share their traditional food with attendees at the World’s Fare in the Indiana Memorial Union. The annual event is an opportunity for students from around the world to share their different cultures through activities, food and entertainment.

IU ARCHIVES 1944 Members of IU’s Cosmopolitan Club pose on the steps of the Indiana Memorial Union. The club was founded in 1916 to foster understanding between students from all countries and promote international cooperation and peace.

IDS FILE PHOTO 2015 Halley Mote takes a photo of the calligraphy on her arm after Yang Zeying finished writing “happiness” in Chinese. Yang (left), along with Liao Xin and Song Lang, are members of IU Chinese Calligraphy Club. They were one of many groups participating in IU’s annual Culture Fest. This year’s Culture Fest will take place during Welcome Week. For more information, visit, https://fye.indiana.edu/welcome-Week/events.


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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

Fourth Street has international eateries

From IDS Reports

Bloomington's Fourth Street offers a glimpse into a diverse community through a variety of ethnic and international restaurants. While not the only options around town, Fourth Street restaurants are close to campus and concentrated in a single strip of downtown Bloomington, making it a simple matter of walking down the street to scout out the options.

Anyetsang’s Little Tibet Restaurant Serving Tibetan, Thai and Indian cuisine in a restored house on Fourth Street. 415 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 331-0122 Best Taste Chinese cuisine in downtown Bloomington. 109 W. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47404 (812) 822-1737

Anatolia Mediterranean and Turkish dishes and cuisine. 405 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 334-2991

Btown Gyros Gyros, falafels, plus other Mediterranean foods, located within the Fourth Street Oriental International

Market. 408 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 333-1396

409 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 339-2735 My Thai

Burma Garden Burmese cuisine with a variety of noodles, specialty pho noodles. 413 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 339-7334 Do Asian Fusion Cuisine Korean and Japanese cuisine. 404 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 333-7470 Korea Restaurant Korean cuisine.

Thai restaurant serving a variety of dishes. 402 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 333-3993 Siam House Thai cuisine. 430 E. 4th St. Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 331-1233 Taste of India Indian cuisine, familyowned restaurant with lunch buffet. 316 E. 4th St.

IDS FILE PHOTO

Anatolia Restaurant is a Turkish restaurant on Fourth Street. It's one of many international food options in Bloomington.

Bloomington, IN 47408 (812) 333-1399 This list is not exclusive, and there are a variety of

ethnic and international restaurants available throughout Bloomington. -Dominick Jean

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

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CAPS offers programs to help students adjust By Jaden Amos jamamos@iu.edu | @jadenamos

Adjusting to college is a difficult process, and it can be especially difficult if your adjustment includes moving to a different country. IU’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services offers counseling and workshops for students needing help with the transition. CAPS Associate Director Chris Meno said anxiety, sadness and crying are all normal elements of transition, and students should all be kind to themselves. “Expect that with any transition, there is

going to be stress for a period of time,” Meno said. According to a study conducted by the Journal of American College Health, international students are less likely to be aware of the resources available and also less likely to utilize resources available. CAPS provides services in English, Spanish and Mandarin for students who feel more comfortable speaking a native language. There is both individual and group counseling available, and it offers numerous workshops,

IDS FILE PHOTO

Counseling and Psychological Services is located at the IU Health Center on Jordan Avenue. CAPS is available every weekday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., according to the center's website.

counseling and services both in-person and online. Some are free, but others cost money. Workshops offered

in the past year included topics such as “Adjusting to College”, “Mindfulness Meditation” and “Living

Social.” Some of the group counseling sessions are focused on transgender students, students of color and

students with chronic illnesses. All students receive two free CAPS individual counseling sessions each semester. Rates for all following sessions are less than $65. Along with these services, CAPS has “Let’s Talk: A Multicultural Outreach Program." This program is also offered in English, Mandarin and Spanish. These are walk-in sessions with a diverse group of counselors. "Let's Talk" is offered several places around campus, and all of these sessions are free.

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

LWhere U Cstudent K YdriversSofEexpensive V E Ncars

T

fit in rather than stand out By Yue Sun sun12@iu.edu

COURTESY PHOTO

IU student Longjie Lin drives a BMW i8 and has done modifications to it. Lin founded the expensive car club Lucky Seven.

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he shiny white BMW i8 slid into the parking lot in front of the Thai restaurant. The driver’s door flew up and a young man stepped out in fitted black pants and leather jacket, his dark hair slicked up. Longjie Lin, an IU student from Wenzhou, China, came to have a quick bite before his meeting with members of Lucky Seven, the luxury car club he founded six months ago. “Look at that high-end BMW,” a passerby said, voice tinged with subtle bitterness. Lin was out of earshot for those comments. But he wouldn’t care even if he heard them. In this small Midwestern city, such uninvited attention to Lin and his luxurious sports car is almost guaranteed. He is used to it. In Lucky Seven, more

than 30 members — mostly Chinese with a couple American students — drive a nice or nicely modified car. As the founder, Lin recruited all members by himself. The process was exclusive and by invitation only. “We don’t want others to think that we are just a group of people showing off,” he said. “But there are some unspoken requirements. You’ll either have to be able to afford a nice car or really know and love your car to have made nice modifications to it.” It doesn’t matter how much the car costs, Lin said. Passion is the key. “We don’t want people who are just rich enough to afford a nice car,” he said. There are three BMW i8s in the club, including Lin’s. Members affectionately call them butterflies because their

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019 flip-up doors resemble wings. One of them cost $160,000, one of the club’s most expensive. An average family in Bloomington would have to save for more than three years without any expenses to afford a brand-new BMW i8. While many students are burdened with immense student loans and juggling multiple jobs to afford rent and car payments, they can’t help but wonder about these BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Lamborghinis, Corvettes, Porsches. These cars, sometimes worth more than enough to pay for their college educations — who drives them? Lin and his friends account for the lion’s share on campus. People say the students who drive these cars are stuck-up rich kids and must

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be using daddy’s money, IU freshman Justin Duckett said. He takes photos for the club periodically and has befriended the members. But the cars are more than a status symbol for the club members. They are a distraction from the boredom in Bloomington and a way to meet like-minded people. When it comes to stares or snarky remarks, their motto is simple: Haters gonna hate. That never stops them from going about their lives on luxurious wheels. * * * IU student Hao Yu joined Lucky Seven in his freshman year. He drives a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It’s less expensive compared to other cars in the club, but still beyond most college students’

price point. Yu said he knows the negative images linked to them — somepeople just hate rich people. “American students have a different money mindset,” Yu said. “They try to save money to pay for their own tuition and don’t have that much spare money. My parents try to cater to my hobbies as long as they can afford them.” Unlike a lot of privileged Chinese students driving fancy cars in the California and New York, Yu and Lin said their car club is simpler and focused more on their common interests — cars — instead of family wealth and other implications behind it. “We only talk about cars, really,” Yu said. “If you look at our Instagrams, we rarely post photos of us and the car. It’s usually just photos of

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cars.” Lin said he never asked about family backgrounds when recruiting new members. “We don’t want to allow vanity in the team,” he said. “As long as you’re in, everybody is equal.” The number of club members doubled in six months and still growing. They organize regular events, such as lakeside barbecues and races at tracks.

“We don’t want others to think that we are just a group of people showing off.” Longjie Lin, sophomore

In the early stage of the Lucky Seven, the dozen

members split up into little groups of social circles, making it hard for Lin to hold everyone together as a whole. As members started to know one another, small friend groups merge into bigger ones, and members are more willing to participate in group activities. It means a lot to him when everyone is excited and actually wants to come to their events, Lin said. “It’s fulfilling to see a gang of people having same interests gather around,” he said. “The club does bring joy to people.” Lin had an idea of creating his own car club when he was writing his college applications. But his passion for cars traced back to his childhood, when he rode on the passenger seat of his dad’s white BMW i8. His dad would

point at cars on the street to teach him how to tell different sports cars apart and assess them. When he first came to IU, lots of things didn’t pan out as he expected. He chose IU for its reputable Kelley School of Business but failed to get in. He had to settle for the management program in the Paul H. O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Later he found out the second reason he chose Indiana, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, didn’t allow private cars to drive and race on the tracks. In the sparsely populated town with few places to shop or entertain himself, he was bored instantly and felt lost and stuck in the middle of nowhere. He started to connect with

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MATTHIEU PICARD OF THE ARBUTUS STAFF

LEFT A BMW i8 is driven down SR-45/46 on the way to a Lucky Seven meet Oct. 28, 2018. RIGHT A BMW M6 is driven down SR-45/46 on the way to the Lucky Seven meet up.

other Chinese students by creating groups on social media, mainly WeChat, the app most Chinese students use. He created a Chinese freshmen group, Willkie Quadrangle residents group, Zhejiang Province group, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds group and more.

“Chinese students are all in this very small circle linked by all the WeChat groups,” Lin said. “There’s no one I don’t know or I can’t reach through friends.” Then he founded the car club. He reached out to the headquarter of Lucky Seven Club, a high-end car club

based in Beijing consisting of more than 400 social elites from different fields. He discussed terms with the headquarter and founded the Bloomington chapter as the leader. Six months later, this car club has become central to his life.

“It enriches my life, gives me a sense of belonging, and helped me find more friends to play cars with,” Lin said. For 18-year-olds, starting life in a foreign country without friends can be daunting. Different languages, different foods, different cultures — these huge gaps in every as-

pects of life make it harder for these young people to adapt. Many Chinese undergraduates studying at IU come from big cities abundant in entertainment. In Bloomington, there are fewer distractions. As college freshmen juggle their first time living alone and figuring out their personalities and values, international students can get lost. They are out of their comfort zone and don’t know how to fit in. Being in a foreign country only accents the sense of loneliness. “My first year here I felt so depressed,” Yu said, “I just wanted to stay home, because I didn’t want to socialize and didn’t know what I was supposed to do.” He tried to befriend local students through a fra-

ternity and a baseball team. Most people were nice, but he couldn’t fit in because he didn’t know or understand certain cultural references. “I have not watched any of the cartoons they talked about,” Yu said. “And they haven’t seen any of the shows I watched.” In Lucky Seven, Yu met people who come from similar backgrounds who share the same interests. “At first I just wanted to meet more people,” Yu said. “Some have had cars for longer and know more about cars. I learned a lot by watching them care for their cars and modify them.” Lin didn’t like parties or alcohol. With his car enthusiast friends, he found his place. The club functions as a

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT GUIDE 2019 bridge, Yu said. It connects people. * * * Lin’s car is more than a vehicle for him – it’s beautiful, it’s speedy and it’s worth the money. The $90,000 BMW never comes short of both lovers and haters. Teenage girls on a school bus once waved at him while he was waiting for the signal to turn green. He waved back and saw giggles and screams broke out silently behind the windows. He pretended he didn’t see the drama and drove away. He felt more embarrassed than flattered. But it always feels good when people come up and tell him he has a nice car. Duckett, the club’s pho-

tographer, comes from a small town in Tennessee. He can sense the differences between him and these Chinese students whose slim-cut slacks draw a sharp contrast to his own sweatpants.

“My first year here I felt so depressed. I just wanted to stay home because I didn’t want to socialize and didn’t kow what I was supposed to do.” Hao Yu, freshman

He personally believes in the American ideal of being self-made, and he’s currently paying off his Nissan Sentra

15 SR loans. Still, Duckett thinks these Chinese students aim to succeed, and luxurious cars help them have a more positive mindset. It’s important to be able to feel successful if one wants to succeed, Duckett said. A nice car must be essential to that feeling for those Chinese students. Once a white guy spat at Lin. Another time, he was in his friend’s red Porsche Cayenne on the way to a vehicle maintenance store when a white guy coming from the opposite direction flipped them off in his car, out of the blue. His friend and him were confused but not bothered. “Why should I care?” Lin said. “These things don’t really affect my life. I drove on and my life continued.” Lin has a vision for Lucky

Seven. He doesn’t want it to be merely for fun and making friends but wants to build a sustainable network with far-reaching benefits that link back to the original Lucky Seven in China. “The current Chinese members in Beijing are already social elites and successful businessmen,” Lin said. “When we go back to China, we can still be active as members and share the existing resources. As we have fun as a group, we are also paving the way for future potentials.” Speaking of what Lucky Seven means to him, Lin said he is happier now. “It’s just my life now,” he said. “I spend a lot of time with my members. Besides school, I come to hang out with these people. I just go

COURTESY PHOTO

A brand new BMW i8 costs about $148,000. IU sophomore Longjie Lin's used one is cheaper, but aftermarket modifications can boost the car’s value.

with the flows.” In their minds, they are no different from any other Chinese students, worried about school and struggling to understand English. When exams approach, Lin and his friends are getting busy with school. They study until late night at the libraries

like everyone else. The only difference is they drive home in their expensive cars. Some interviews in this story were conducted in Chinese and translated by reporter Yue Sun. This story originally ran in the IDS April 30, 2019.

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Get the lowdown on what the Office of International Services can do for you. Find out about the culture centers on IU's campus. Learn how Co...

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