Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Taking an online class, good or nah? by Amandine

Are you thinking about taking an online class next semester?
Taking an online class at MiraCosta as an International Student is totally possible.
The only limitation is that you can't take more than 3 units online class per semester.

Are you hesitating taking one?
I already took many online classes and here list of things to consider.

  • You have to have access to a computer: your own laptop or the library's computers! Be familiar with a platform (Blackboard) is a must.

  • Be organized and willing to learn, it is easy to fell behind... it requires a lot of self motivation.

  •  You are free to decide when it's time to work and you can get comfortable at home or outside. It is a lot of flexibility.

  • You don't get to meet your classmates, your teacher or have a study group.

  • You can communicate with your teacher by email .. and expect a fast answer.

  • It is a lot of reading.

  • And a lot of writing.

  • But I least you don't loose time in transportation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

L.A. AutoShow

I was at Los Angeles for the L.A. AutoShow. Look at this beautiful car!

This one was very nice too!

How to become an International Student at MiraCosta College? by Amandine

This is a simple and detailed way to understand how you can go from your country to a MiraCosta classroom.

STEP1: Mail the International Student Application and the support documents listed here.
Mail them at the following adress:
MiraCosta College
IIP, #12A1 Barnard DriveOceanside, CA 92056
United States

STEP2: MiraCosta receive your mail and process it.  MiraCosta mail you back a official approval letter and the I-20 (needed for the visa)

STEP3: You apply to the US embassy of your country for a U.S. student visa.

STEP4: You arrive in the U.S. and you come to MiraCosta College

STEP5: You take English and Math assessment test. You will also meet the academic counselor.

STEP6: You will be able to register for classes.

STEP7: You attempt to class.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Welcome Day 2016 and Interview! by Amandine

Tuesday,  it was the WELCOME DAY.

This event welcome student that are going to attend college for the very first time.
They did a tour of the campus and visited the different building and the different services that MiraCosta has. It was nice to see different faces.

I also met a new student Irery, 41 years old that accepted to answer to my question:

Are you a new student at MiraCosta?
Yes, it is the first time I am going to attempt college.

What did you learn the most from the tour and the visit of the campus?
People are really helpful here, it is a place where people can success and there are even facilities for kids. I liked the fact that there are a lot of informations and resources on the campus, you can see people are happy here.

Do you feel ready to study?

What do you fear the most?
I fear to fail!

Do you think that if you have a problem or a specific need you can find the right service or person to talk?
Yes, there will always be someone to help and I feel comfortable to ask.

  This is Jodi and Lisa, they both work at MiraCosta and they attempted the event to present their department (Student Equity and Testing Services)

This is Augustina, also international student and Aisha. They both accompanied student in the tour to introduce the campus to the new students.

Then the new student shared a lunch (already gone in the photo)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Orientation Fall 2016

Today is orientation for Fall 2016 for the new international student!
So many people!

Can you see your flag?
This is Sayaka from the International Office!
It is a lovely women and can help you with your questions!

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Getty Museum by Amandine

Have you ever heard about the Getty Museum?

It is located in Los Angeles and it is an AMAZING museum!
It is free and the only thing that you have to pay is the parking and it is a flat price for the day.

I went to the Getty Museum on summer 2015, and if you are in an art major, or interested by art or just a little bit curious, this place is for you! The Getty Museum has many galleries that you can see, so you can spend the whole day there if you want to see everything.

Once you arrive at the museum, you visit will start by a tram ride from the parking to the museum where you can admire the amazing view. It is so relaxing and beautiful!

At the museum, you will have many galleries with different exhibitions. You can check them out here (look at Getty Center). You will also be able to enjoy the outdoor sculpture and impressive architecture.

At the museum, do not forget to grab a brochure (if you wish in your language) I swear it would make your life easier (exhibition room, plan of the museum, information)

Be careful, sometime you can't pictures so be aware and ask the staff. Also they have a beautiful garden, a shop where you can buy souvenirs and also some coffee cart where you can buy a lemonade or a ice cream and a restaurant. You can also come with your own lunch.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Get an international experience! by Amandine

You've always dreamed about doing an internship in the U.S.A and have an international experience? Well, your dream might become true!

The Institute of International Education for Global Experience and Training (GET) is giving a new opportunity to student all around the world to participate to an internship is the U.S.A!

For who?

If you are an undergraduate or a graduate student, recent college graduate or a young professionals and you want to get international experience and contribute to research in fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, improve your English and spend some time in the U.S.A..

What I am going to do?

Depending on the field you are interested in, the opportunities are going to be different but unique. It is going to be an unforgettable learning experience.  The opportunities include hands-on research, laboratory time, mentorship, industry-focused lectures, and site visits to companies and organizations relevant or influential to a specific field and a lot more!

Opportunities are full time, requiring 30-40 hours of work per week, and can range from six weeks to six months in duration Besides the research and the opportunities related to your field of study/interest, you and the other participants will go to museum exhibit, field trip to the U.S landmarks, recreational activities, theater, musical productions, national holiday events... 

How cool! You get to meet new people and to be immersed in the American culture!

You want to learn more about this opportunity? READ MORE about it HERE

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to get your U.S driver license? by Amandine

Yes, it's possible for an international student to get a U.S license driver if you are over 18!

Driving in the U.S can be very different from driving in your home country, and so the rules and laws can be very different. Also each states in the U.S have different laws, so I you plan to do a road trip in another state, make sure you read about the differences to not get a ticket!

Here are the step to follow:

STEP 1. Make an appointment before going to the DMV office.
Click here to find an office near you.  Click on the location you want and then go on Make an appointment and choose Office Visit Appointment Fill the form with you information.

STEP 2. Study for the written test. You can get a handbook in English or your language to study at the DMV or online. You have 36 questions and you can make up to 3 mistakes. Practice for the test here, here and here.

STEP 3. The day of the appointment. COME EARLIER: it is always crowed so plan ahead mainly if you planned to do something else during your day. Come prepared with all your documents and money to pay fees.You will need: your passport, I-20, I-94, $35 in cash or card.
Once in the DMV, you will fill a form (Form DL 44) with your information, you will be given a number, you will pass a vision test, you will have your fingerprint and your photo taken. You can ask to pass the test in your own language if you wish.

STEP 4. The test. You will be called to pass the test on a screen. You will start your test and answer the question. Once you are done, you will know if you passed it or no. If you passed, you will be delivered a receipt which is valid for 1 year to pass to behind-the-wheel test.

STEP 5. Schedule a driving testClick here to find an office near you. Click on the location you want and then go on "Make an appointment" and choose Behind-the-Wheel Drive Test Fill the form with you information and the receipt received from the DMV.

STEP 6. The driving test.
Once you arrive at the office, go to the right service (driving test). You will wait in a lane. Once it is your turn at the window, give all the document they are requiring INCLUDING the receipt from the written test. They will give you a document that you will put on the dashboard of your card.
Then you will be called and you will have to go get your car on the parking and bring it where DMV examiners are.
It takes 15-20 minutes. An examiner will come to you, and ask you do some basic stuff, like turn on your lights, your right signal...
While you drive, the examiner will grade you, DON'T look at their sheet, it is not because they write something that you did something wrong and FOCUS on your driving. They also write what you did right.

PS: if you rent a car, or borrow a car from someone to pass the driving test the car HAS TO BE insured.

STEP 7. Got it!
At the end of the drive, you examiner will tell you if you passed or not, what you did right or wrong.
If you pass the test, you will be givenan interim license valid for 90days until you recive your new photo license in the mail.

If you want to see what at driving test looks like, click here
Maiko also blogged about U.S license driver, check out here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Time to pick my class! by Amandine

At the end of each semester, we have to enroll for the next semester and pick our classes.

What classes should I take?

It is not an obligation but it is recommended for every new and continuig student to see a counselor. The counselor will help you plan for your next semesters.

You can take any classes that you want. The best is to take the classes that you NEED to tranfer or graduate and once you know your major and where you want to tranfer, it is so easy!

You pick your classes from Plan A if you are not planning to transfer and only want to graduate from MiraCosta
You pick your classes from Plan B if you want to transfer to a CSU.
You pick your classes from Plan C if you are not sure either you want to transfer to a UC or a CSU.

Now I know what classes to take, how do I enroll?

Use the online SURF catalog here  or the paper catalog that you can find on campus to know when and what time the class is starting and also the name of your teacher.

Step 1. Search your classes by subject, for example: art

Then a list of classes is going show. Here they are all the same, except the day, time and teacher.

For example, I want to choose the first class

Step 2. Click on select.
Then you are enrolled!! Re-do the exact same thing to select your other class and make that there is no time conflict between your classes.

If you don't want to take the class you enrolled anymore or you want to take a different one, you can drop it.
In SURF, click on My Academics > Drop > Select the class you want to drop > Finish.

If you still need help, the International Office can help you.

Monday, May 30, 2016

I want a Bachelor Degree but what's that? by Amandine

Certificate Degree, Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree.. I am pretty sure you've already heard about it ... but what's that ?

The U.S education system is way different than the one in our country. Well, I have to admit that when I started to apply at MiraCosta I was still a little bit confused and lost about which degree I should get.

As you might know from my previous post, my major is Graphic Design. MiraCosta College is a Community College and provide the Associate Degree that is necessary for a Bachelor Degree that I can get at a University like San Diego State University.
So I will go 2 years at MiraCosta (it can take longer, but it's not a problem) + 2 years at a University to get a Bachelor Degree. It is also called Transfer to a 4-Years Institution.

The cool thing with going to Community College instead of going four years of university is that you save 2 years of university tuition as Universities are way more expensive.

Still confused? Don't worry, I've got you covered!
Take a look at the image I've made.

The Finals are coming soon! by Amandine

 The Spring semester is soon to be over!

I am exited about it but I still focus for my Finals.
What's cool is that during the Finals period the MiraCosta Library and the Writing Center has extended hours so I can study longer (and get a good grade).

Here a list of my Finals assignments, so you get an idea of the amount of work. I already started working on them.

An essay to type for my Geology class
An letter to type to a company for my English class
A last project (a chandelier) for my Art class
An essay type and a quiz for my History Class.

Wish me luck!

PS : I went to the Art Gallery of MiraCosta last week because I gave one of my projects for the exhibition. Look how cool it is!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Applying to MiraCosta is easy! By Amandine

Hi everyone!

I know that the US system is really different from our home countries.
This is a slide that I realized, I hope it will make it simplier for you to understand the steps.

If you have any question, feel free to let a comment below or to send an email here.

ONCE YOU SEND EVERYTHING TO MIRACOSTA, you will receive a package including your I-20. You are good to go for your interview at the embassy and get your visa!

Monday, April 18, 2016

How do I choose my major? by Amandine

Hello everyone!

When I decided I wanted to study at MiraCosta, I knew I would be studying Graphic Design.  Since I was little, I always liked to draw, to go museums and art shows. Then one day I started drawing on my computer with Photoshop and it became a passion! I decided I wanted it to be my dream job.

To start applying college and  be a student in the U.S you have to choose a major.

What is a major?
A major is a discipline that you study as a focus area.  It becomes the name on your college degree.  The United States has a lot of different majors!  You can have a major like Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, Dance, Business, History, Art, or Recording Arts.  Check HERE all the major available at MiraCosta.

How do I choose my major?
Choose a discipline that you like, something that you are interested in. It could be a passion, a a topic related to a dream job.

If you are not sure of your major, no panic! You can change your major at anytime!  At MiraCosta, you can meet with professional career counselors and academic counselors to help you choose your major.   The Career Center as many resources to explore the perfect major for you.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

When it is time to apply to a California State University, Don't Worry. I got you covered. By Sarah

Tips on How to Apply to a University in California

1. Go on the website of the school you would like to transfer to - you will get the information to get your application started.

Different California State Universities have different application requirements in regards to international students. For example, CSU Fullerton requires international students to use the domestic application, whereas most other CSUs require international transfers to use the international application. Thus, it is important to look at each university's website before applying.

2.  Go to CSU Mentor to complete your application. Tap APPLY and then hit International Admission Application - start your application.

All CSU's use the same platform for the application process. This makes it easy for you to apply to multiple CSUs as the provided information gets saved so that you don't have to fill out every single application.

3. Go to a Transfer Workshop or Talk to a Transfer Counselor

Transfer applications have become more complex and allow less room for mistakes. Therefore, it's mandatory that you have somebody double-check your application!

Try to get an appointment with a counselor way in advance of the application deadline as they go quick! If you happen to get no appointment, don't worry, MiraCosta hosts 3-4 transfer workshops a week during the CSU/UC application period. The transfer workshops aren't as good as a one-on-one counseling appointment, but they'll enough to get you set. 

4 Tips to Navigate Through MiraCosta College by Sarah

1. Speak to a Counselor EVERY Semester

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I can tell you from experience that taking a class that is not on your educational plan is a terrible waste of time and money! Even though you might feel plenty familiar with you're academic plan and all the classes that you've left to take, have a second person, ideally a counselor, look over your schedule each semester.  It is easy to lose track, especially if you decide to drop a class last-minute to replace it with another one, but it only takes fifteen minutes to talk to a counselor, and you can save lot of money as well as many hours of studying for an unnecessary class.

2. If you Plan to Transfer: Go to the Transfer Center!


So many students do not get accepted to the University they apply for because they do not go to the transfer center before they apply. This is because the transfer center has information you don't have... they have statistics on what majors are more likely to get accepted and they can look over your application to make sure you filled in all the correct information.

3. Don't Buy Your Books in the Book Store
The book store at every college, including MiraCosta College, is going to charge MORE than most other places you can buy books from. So look online and use websites, such as or to buy your textbooks cheaper. This saves you a lot of money and after the semester is completed, you can resell your books for more money online than the book store would pay you.

4. Use the Writing Center
Help Help A Brotha Out animated GIF

As an international student taking college-level courses in America you might want to use all the resources that the MiraCosta provides. English 100 was a challenge for me in my first semester at MiraCosta, but I mastered it with help from the Writing Center. The Writing Center provides you with students that are qualified to help you with the writing assignments that you have for ANY of your classes. That's right, it doesn't need to be an assignment for English, it can be an essay for biology or politics that you are getting help with.

With these four tips you are ready to start college at MiraCosta!