2020 Spartan Leadership & Career Conference

Join the Spartan Leadership and Career Conference! Learn how to refine your leadership skills and utilize them to lead yourself to a successful career. Register in Handshake to receive the full agenda with all of the Zoom links.  

Conference Information:

  •  Theme: Leadership in a Virtual World
  • Date and Time: Friday, October 9 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. (You don’t need to commit to the entire day; come and go as your schedule allows.)

Schedule: Check Handshake for the latest updates as more sessions are being added!

    • Keynote Speaker – Itza Sanchez, eBay
    • Employer panel (10:15 AM) – including representatives from Lockheed Martin, Texas Instruments, and HPE
    • Alumni Panel (11:15 AM) – including representatives from City of San Jose, Verizon Media, Dublin Unified School District, and BrightTALK, UK
    • Breakout sessions starting at 1:30, 2:45 and 3:30 PM on a variety of leadership topics including:
      • Networking: Finding Connections in a Virtual World – presented by Enterprise Holdings
      • How to Operate a City Remotely – presented by City of San Jose
      • Why not me? Understanding how Impostor Syndrome Stunts our Leadership Potential – presented by the Engineering Student Success Center
      • Unconscious Bias
      • Personal Brand – Designing your X-Factor by Reggie Waterman

This event is sponsored by Student Involvement and the Career Center.   Learn more about Handshake.


Flu Shots

Flu season is just around the corner, and we want to make sure that you’re prepared with information regarding flu shots. International students on our insurance plan can receive free flu shots through an Aetna network provider or pharmacy. View Aetna 2020 Flu Shot brochure.

How can I get a flu shot?

  • Make an appointment with your network primary care doctor, OR
  • Visit one of the Aetna network pharmacies, OR
  • Walk in or schedule a flu shot at MinuteClinic at select CVS Pharmacy and Target locations

Have your insurance ID card ready BEFORE you go to get a flu shot. See our blog post to learn how to get your digital Insurance ID card.

How do I find a network primary care doctor?

For more information on staying healthy through the flu season and for flu prevention tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at CDC.gov/flu

Questions about your insurance?

  • For specific questions about your benefits, call Aetna at 1-877-480-4168
  • For general questions or if you’re not sure who to contact, email the ISSS main desk at international-office@sjsu.edu 

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!


2020 Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge

Written by Brisdy Carillo Vega, Student Lead, Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC)


Get involved in the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge this semester! The SVIC is a business ideas competition hosted every year where students are given the opportunity to showcase their innovative idea to a wide range of investors, industry leaders, members of the community, and SJSU faculty. Registration to participate will open on Oct. 22 via our website, sjsu.edu/svic

This year we are also using the Piazza platform to connect to students. It is a great way for students to meet others and to foster ideas for the event. To sign up follow the link: piazza.com/sjsu/fall2020/f20 (password: SVIC2020)

You can always reach the SVIC team at svic@sjsu.edu and we do have office hours on Mondays and Thursdays from 5 – 6pm via Zoom. Don’t forget to download the SVIC flyer and keep the following important dates in mind:

  • Submissions Open October 22-November 5
  • Finalist Notification: November 17
  • Finalist Showcase: December 1

We hope to see you at the event!

Student Spotlight: Hungyeh (Alvin) Lin

Alvin Lin

Hung Yeh (Alvin) Lin

Major: Computer Science, BS

Home Town: Taipei, Taiwan

Alvin is the undergraduate recipient of the 2020 Louie Barozzi International Scholarship.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to initiate a start-up to mitigate the gap of education between the rich and the poor using technology.

What types of activities are you involved in at SJSU or in your community?

I am involved in programming competitions and research work with CS professors.

What is something you want others to know about your hometown, home country, or culture?

Many people love boba, but few know where it comes from. Yes, it is from Taiwan, and there are thousands of boba shops in Taiwan. Come to Taiwan, and you will never regret it.

What do you enjoy most about SJSU?

What I love about SJSU is that the school gym is so huge and full of professional equipment. I always spend one to two hours in the gym before class. Sometimes, I meet friends or make friends in the gym. Working out really relieves my tension from the coursework.

Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?

My favorite spot on campus is the 6th, 7th, and 8th floor in the library. The library is so quiet, and it has a very beautiful view that I can focus on studying and take a break when I am tired.

What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or SJSU?

I wish I would have known that there are abundant resources on campus, such as professors, clubs, and classmates. I always feel surprised when I talk to people on campus because many of them are doing really cool things and I would never discover it if I did not talk to them. For example, I did not know there was a AI club until I talked to a CS professor. Hence, I wish I would have talked to every person I met although it is almost impossible. But trust me, you will find out that everyone is your friend, and they can help succeed on campus.

What message do you have for our Global Spartan community?

Slow down and enjoy the school life. Make friends and help others because they will come back and help you as well.

Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival Celebrations

The Mid-Autumn Festival–or “Moon Festival” as it is often called–is celebrated by many cultures across Asia. We have asked four of our international students to share about how they celebrate this festival in their home country. Enjoy their stories!

Zhongqiu (China) written by Haojun Song

Haojun Song

The mid-autumn festival is one of the three most important days in a year along with the spring festival and dragon boat festival in China. It is not only a moon appreciation festival and eating mooncake, instead, it has also been becoming a significant social event within recent centuries. A mid-autumn festival in a sense is very similar to the format of Christmas, a reunion of the family with the present (mooncakes) exchanging. The importance of the festival is about the reunion and the reason the date was chosen is because the ancients think the moon is the roundest on that day in the lunar calendar. The roundest circle means flawless, and it contains the greatest wish people have for the family reunion with everyone. 

The mid-autumn festival had always been my favorite festival as a child. Having one day off without going to school, eating mooncakes while watching the festival special TV show with my family, and competing with my friends on social media to compare who got the roundest moon picture. It used to be a festival that had mooncake outdoors with poetries and tea, and it started to gradually change to indoor within the decade. 

The mooncake is the most important piece of the jigsaw puzzle of the festival. The mooncake from my family had to be purchased from China’s time-honored brand (more than centuries history). My whole family will go mooncakes shopping together and each person will choose 2-3 different flavors they like as well as some gift sets for friends or other families. The mooncake exchange is the most exciting part, similar to the Christmas gift exchange in western culture, we will meet with friends, other distant families and give them the mooncakes as a standard gift. At the same time, our family will get a couple of huge boxes of mooncakes. And it’s great to see if the boxes contain my favorite flavor, otherwise, I will only eat the few boxes I bought myself.

Besides those, watching the special festival TV show on national television is great. Everyone celebrates the moon festival together, and at that time, it feels like every single family is connected through the small TV. You can hear the same TV sound coming out of every window, and we are doing the same thing together. The moon festival has changed to about family connection instead of moon-worshiping anymore!

Photo Credit: Zane Lam Tzyy Sin | Wikimedia Commons | License details

Tsukimi (Japan) written by Haruka Ogawa

Hello, this is Haruka and I am an international student from Japan. Today, I would like to introduce the moon festival and cultures in Japan.

We call the event which is watching the full moon in the middle of fall “Tsukimi” (月見). We see the full moon and eat Tsukimi dango (circle shape mochi) on the fifteenth day and eight months on the traditional Japanese calendar to appreciate the beautiful moon in the fall. We call that night as “Jyugoya” (十五夜). On Tsukimi day, we have traditions to put Tsukimi dango besides the window with Susuki (a specific plant we put with Tsukimi dango in my culture). 

In my culture, we believe that there are rabbits on the moon because, on Tsukimi day, we can see the rabbit shape on the surface of the full moon. Therefore, we believe that rabbits are living on the moon.  

I remember that I made Tsukimi dango on the fifteenth moon day to celebrate the beautiful moon when I was in kindergarten and learned how we celebrate and appreciate the beautiful moon and fall seasons in Japanese tradition. I hope you enjoy learning about the moon festival and traditions in Japan and I would love to learn about the moon festival in your cultures too!

Image from Openclipart

Chuseok (Korea) written by Hazel Choi

Hazel Choi

The Mid-Autumn Festival is called Chuseok in Korea, and it is one of Korea’s biggest holidays. This is similar to Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. During this holiday, Koreans usually visit family members and gather to make special dishes, such as Songpyeon (half-moon rice cake), and Japchae, Bulgogi, or Buchimgae (vegetable pancake). They spend time with their families and hold memorial services to honor their ancestors during Chuseok holidays. 

My family usually meets the day before Chuseok and cooks together. Then, our relatives visit us the next day. One of the reasons I waited every year is that adults usually give pocket money to children on this day. (It varies from family to family, but my family gave me pocket money for Chuseok as well!). We also visit my grandfather’s grave, bringing dishes we made, fruit, traditional liquor, and flowers.

Photo Credit: Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Jeon Han) | License details

Tet Trung Thu (Vietnam) written by Mindy Trieu

Mindy Trieu

I celebrated my first Moon Festival when I was four. Days before the festival, my neighbor kids and I used to make tons of paper-based elephants, horses, and unicorns. We would share the toys and play some war games during the mid-autumn day. In the evening when the moon was just high, parents would ask us to come home to worship our ancestors with mooncakes, fruit, tea, and wine. 

My first lantern was a little, very beautiful candle-lit butterfly. Near my house was a big park. At night, we would show off our lanterns, chase around, and sing popular Viet songs about the moon goddess and moon boy. The adults would also gather around the area to drink tea and chat while enjoying the bright, full moon.

Around town, you could hear loud, happy sounds of lion dances. The dances were meant to bring luck, prosperity, and happiness for everyone. You could see the lights of hundreds of lanterns, many of which were let flow on the river or fly on the sky. The lanterns carried our wishes and made them become true, they said. You could then smell the mooncakes from every corner. There are two types of mooncakes: sticky and grilled. I just like the yummy salted egg yolk in the middle.

Time flies and before I realized it, I haven’t celebrated the festival in this traditional way for about fifteen years. I wonder, would it be a good idea if this year, a 24-year-old me go buy a lantern and celebrate my first full moon in the U.S., away from home?…

My family going to see the lanterns at last year’s Moon Festival. (Source: Mindy Trieu)

Do you have a holiday or festival from your culture that you’d like to share about? Email us at isss-programs@sjsu.edu