University of Minnesota International students learn how to survive the winter

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Minnesotans are right in the middle of the Minnesota State Fair, so is it too early to start thinking about winter? Probably not, if you have never experienced a Minnesota winter before. 

During a workshop Monday at the University of Minnesota, new international students got a lesson in surviving the winter. 

“Do not underestimate the cold. That was my biggest mistake. I was like, ‘It's fine, I'm from Russia, I can do this.’ Dude, it is so cold, it's so cold,” one student leader told dozens of international students gathered at Bruininks Hall. 

Upperclassmen and student leaders led the new students through a presentation featuring Olaf from the movie "Frozen." They also showed off their warm layers during a fashion show to the song “Let it go.”

“We have students from all over the world. We have students from really hot countries and they don't really know how cold it gets until it's actually really cold,” said Azhar Akesh, an upperclassman from Kazakhstan. 

There are about 1,500 new international students at the U of M this year, coming from more than 100 countries including China, India and Brazil. 

The workshop covered everything from where to shop for warm clothing, to a reminder that the United States uses Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. 

“It helps us know how to deal with this long winter. Because we have never seen this long winter lasting in our country,” said Ruide Xie, a new U of M student from China. 

“Winter can be fun; there are a lot of activities to do outdoors,” said Chen Kun, a new U of M student from China.

“It's very important because if you don't prepare very well for the winter, you'll get sick and you won't have a good time in college,” said Dong Shangyu, a new U of M student from China.

“I lived in Saudi Arabia, so this weather right now is like winter for me. I'm already dressed in layers,” said Murad Aslam, a new U of M student from Pakistan. 

Student leaders also taught the new international students about “Gopher Way,” the University’s system of tunnels and skyways.