International students adjust to colder weather

Lan Anh (Rosie) Ong

Weather in the Quad Cities in the beginning of October brings temperatures at 55℉ with a low of 43℉ at night. This presents a challenge for international students, who might not have experienced the cold and snowy weather before. 
“Last week it was beautiful at a very high 70℉ and warmer. The weather changed this week and it’s a bit cooler,” Xong Sony Yang, director at the office of international student and scholar services (OISSS), said. “Now, [on Thursday] it’s 55℉, and yesterday, it rained all day. And this morning it rained.” 
These changes made it difficult for international students, especially those from South East Asia and Africa, to adapt to the weather on campus. 
Junior Etta Brooks, an international student from Liberia, said that she had a lot of struggles with the winter two years ago when she first experienced the cold weather at Augie. 
“I remember when I first came to Augie, I had a very hard time getting a coat or winter jacket because I actually came late on campus almost everything was completed. I did not go shopping for winter clothes so it was so cold for me,” Brooks said.
“[Luckily], one of my professors, [whose] name is Jake, gave me a winter coat as a gift for me. This gift has helped me deal with the cold at that time,” Brooks said.
“The first thing I suggested is always checking the weather before leaving your house and putting on outfits according to the weather,” Brooks said. 
“Don’t be afraid to bundle up. It might make you feel weird and big to wear a lot of layers but it’s okay and better than getting frostbite,” junior Brielle Jackson, a global ambassador (GA), said.
Sony Yang also suggested some self-care tips for international students to stay healthy during the cold. These include not waiting until you are sick to take care of yourself, getting enough sleep, getting plenty of water and nutrition and keeping yourself warm when going outside.
“The best medicine for international students who get sick due to the cold weather is a cup of soup or a nice hot beverage,” Sony Yang said. “In addition to that, one big thing is we have the Genesis clinic on campus now. Students can make an appointment or walk in to see the doctor.”
To be well-prepared for the cold weather, he joined the coat shopping trip event held by OISSS to buy some winter coats, but he ended up expressing little satisfaction with the trip. 
“There were some expectations that there will be a handful of international students and it would be able to get some proper winter clothes. In reality, there are just me, a couple of my friends and two GAs on the trip. At Target and Kohl’s, there are just autumn clothing and not any serious winter clothes to buy,” first-year Rei Aoki, international student from Japan, said.
[The trip] could have been better if it was more carefully planned. For example, they could have canceled the trip once they know there would be few people are going,” Aoki said. 
Aoki suggested a way that Augustana could do to keep their students who live in Westerlin Residence Hall warm during the winter.
“A point that could be improved would be the air conditioning in my room. The temperature is set at 73℉, which is pretty cold for me. I might want it to be at least 3-5 degrees or even 10 degrees higher, which makes it more comfortable for me to stay in my room,” Aoki said.