International Hour on WRMU

WRMU is the only jazz station that I have ever listened to. I have always been a mainstream chart music kind of person. I realized that WRMU has garnered many listeners from the Alliance area and that these listeners are real smooth jazz fans. What WRMU also provides is a platform for media students to … Read more

WRMU is the only jazz station that I have ever listened to. I have always been a mainstream chart music kind of person. I realized that WRMU has garnered many listeners from the Alliance area and that these listeners are real smooth jazz fans. What WRMU also provides is a platform for media students to explore the world of radio. WRMU has many student DJs. Some of them do it because it is part of their audio class requirement while others do it because they are passionate about it.

I was given a huge opportunity to host my own show after completing my basic level audio class last year. As a member of the Association of International Students (AIS), I was asked to host the AIS International Hour due to my radio experience. I took the offer and now, a year later, I am still at it. As president of AIS, the radio show meant so much more to me because it is a chance for me to share Mount Union’s diversity and let our listeners know of our international student body.

Each week, the AIS International Hour includes some of the following:

  • Focus on one particular country and share facts about that country.
  • Play music from the country of the week … because it is a radio show after all!
  • Feature a guest from that particular country to share an insider’s perspective.
  • Dish out fun facts about the country.

and towards the end of the program,

  • Confirm or dismiss stereotypes placed upon that selected country.

The show is a good chance for listeners to learn more about a different country every week and also to discover new music from that country.  So far, the International Hour has featured Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Germany and Spain.

The AIS International Hour is on WRMU 91.1 FM every Thursday at 9 p.m.

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

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New York was amazing!

I returned from my fall break trip to New York with a heavy heart. It has only been a few months since I had left my hometown of Penang, and being a city boy, I loved every bit of New York City; the traffic, the buildings, the noise and even the rude people.

Yes I realized that I am a city boy after all. Even though it may be more stressful, I somehow like being in the fray.

It was a really short trip. We (a group of 25 international students) managed to cover quite a few sites in our brief visit to the Big Apple. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and the Empire State Building… all in one day.

It was my second trip to the city that never sleeps. I was pretty indifferent when the bus approached Manhattan. But what I loved about arriving at New York City was watching the reactions of my peers who were about to visit arguably the most famous city in the world for the first time. Some were ecstatic, others speechless and one started playing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” from her iPhone. Priceless.

The one thing that really caught my attention this time around was the diversity of NYC. Everywhere I went, I heard different languages being spoken by different people. Even in Chinatown, where one would assume the common language to be Mandarin Chinese, I heard at least five different dialects of Chinese. All of which I have never heard of. That is strange for me…because I know three dialects. It is amazing how these people come from all over the world to make a living and could all coexist in one big city. Not to be stereotypical, but I also noticed a pattern in how certain groups of people have certain jobs; especially in the Times Square area. I will not, however, specify the groups and match them to the particular jobs that I’ve taken notice of.

I felt pretty sad when we left New York. But I made a promise to myself that one day I will return to New York. It wouldn’t even matter what the reason is for my return. In the meantime, it is back to Alliance for me, but hey, Alliance is a nice place too.

Till next time, New York.

Goodbye. Adiós. 再见. Selamat Tinggal.

Off to Nueva York!

Off to Nueva York!

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There’s just something about New York that really draws me to it.

I’ve been to New York before. A short trip before I came to Mount Union. I figured, since I was going to transit at JFK International Airport, I might as well spend a few days at the Big Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, Alliance is pretty cool. Alliance is laid back and quiet; peaceful if I may say so myself. There’s just something about New York City that I really love. I mean, who doesn’t love New York, right?

Maybe it’s the skyscrapers. Maybe it’s just how modern the entire city is.

Every fall break, the Center for Global Education at Mount Union plans a trip to the city that never sleeps for the international students of Mount Union. This year is no different.

I have never been on one of these trips myself. Since coming to America, most of my trips to famous American cities were by myself. I enjoyed travelling by myself. I control everything.

I do realize that travelling with a big group of friends could be fun as well. That’s why this time around, I took up the offer as soon as I heard about it. So yes, New York, here I come!

This trip, I plan to cover as many landmarks as I can. Armed with my ever faithful Nikon, my goal for Fall break is to take about 500 (yes, 500) pictures. It shouldn’t be too hard, I’ve once taken 2,000 pictures when I went to Xi’an, China for a week. New York should be a lot easier.

This can only mean that my upcoming blog post(s) will feature pictures from my New York trip. Hopefully, I can capture the moments instead of just the scenery. I prefer moments. They mean so much more than just plain pictures.

The buildings. The traffic. The fast-paced lifestyle. So New York.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m just meant to be a big city boy after all.

A Stroll in Downtown Alliance.

A Stroll in Downtown Alliance.

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I had suspected, for the longest time, that the University of Mount Union has been the center of Alliance. When I first came to Mount Union in January 2011, my first impression of Alliance was that it was a tiny city that revolves around our campus. I’m sure I speak for many of the international students (if not all of them) when I say that we did not know of the existence of downtown Alliance.

A few weeks ago, my housemate (also an international student) asked me to take him downtown so that he could take pictures for a class project. I agreed to do it because I was interested in photography as well. I have been downtown before. The last time I had been there was to get my driving license from the BMV.

I couldn’t help but feel as if I had traveled back in time. The city had old buildings and shops that reminded me of America in the late 60′s, even though I have never really seen 60′s America in real life (no kidding). Recently, I’ve been very interested in old things. A better term to use would be “retro” but you know what I mean. It was a real treat for me, coming from a country with so much history and heritage, to walk around Downtown Alliance and just soaking up the feeling of being in a city that has character.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the modern world, but somehow Downtown Alliance just feels so much nicer than the entire stretch of State Street; there’s character and history within each and every corner or Downtown Alliance.

We are running out of warm days here in Ohio and it is such a shame that many international students here have not seen the Alliance that was before the main focus shifted to State Street. I should really take them there before it snows. Come to think of it, Alliance when it is snowing will also be a good photographic experience.

There is just one thing that creeps me out about Downtown Alliance… where are the people?

About Me

About Me

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This is something new. I have only read the Mount Union blog only a handful of times since coming here over a year ago, but when the opportunity for me to be a blogger came I just couldn’t resist. So I jumped on the opportunity and now I am on board. I have been blogging for many years now. I still blog at my personal site.

Here at the Mount Union blog, my aim is to bring an international student’s perspective into the fray. I want to share my experiences as a foreign student and also to give the international community a voice. I think the presence of the international students here on campus allows for a cultural exchange that could further bridge the gap between people from around the world.

I grew up on the island state of Penang in Malaysia. It’s a beautiful place that’s rich in history, culture and my personal obsession, food. There is so much to share about my home state itself, but let’s save that for some other time. I came to Mount Union as a transfer student. Currently majoring in media studies and minoring in Spanish, I hope that when I graduate, I will be able to get into the media business (leaning towards radio). I am a social network addict, I play a multitude of sports and I love taking pictures.

My position as President of Mount Union’s Association of International Students is partially what motivated me to blog here. I feel that I have a duty to all the international students to create a bridge that links the local community and the local students at Mount Union to the international community. I also host the International Hour every Thursdays at 9 p.m. on WRMU (shameless plug). I want to create a better understanding of our different cultures.

I think this is enough of an introduction. But before I go, there is something I have always wanted to do…

The name is Ng… Ivan Ng.

Okay so maybe that didn’t turn out as well as 007.