Winter is most definitely here! For many international students this can both exciting and nerve-racking. You may have heard how cold and dark it can be during Michigan winters. Well, this is true but…it is also amazingly beautiful! The morning after a new snowfall turns the rooftops pure white can be amazingly peaceful.

Still, there’s no denying that the days are shorter and the sun rarely makes an appearance during the winter.  The darker and colder periods of the year can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder or “SAD.” SAD is a medical condition that can cause students to have less energy and in some cases, be depressed.

OISS put on its third Life in the US event entitled Coping with the “Winter Blues” in November and invited a staff member from the MSU Counseling Center to come speak to students with tips on how to manage SAD. Over 75 students packed the International Center, Room 303 and had many good questions, from what to wear during winter to how they can help fend off depression.

Some tips for winter that Talitha passed along to the engaged group of students included:

  • Make sure you wear winter clothes to help manage the cold. These include a hat, scarf, coat, gloves, and proper boots.
  • Avoid over-eating and be sure to eat healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables with proper nutrients.
  • Utilize the “light box” at the MSU counseling center to help simulate the sunlight you get at other times of the year.
  • If you are feeling down or are experiencing anxiety as the winter season goes along, you can utilize the Counseling Center to help you manage such feelings.

The Counseling Center provides services for students at no cost and is entirely confidential. Their website can be found here:

Life in the US will be making its highly anticipated return on January 26th from 11:30-12:30. The winter theme will continue with our session on “Warming up to Michigan.”

Representatives from MSU libraries will be on hand to talk about Michigan-specific facts and culture. There will also be a winter fashion show for those still looking for the perfect winter attire!

Registration is required and lunch will be provided!

Please register here: