It's hard to believe that another school year is coming to an end!  It seems like just yesterday we were introducing you to a new crop of writers, and now we're saying goodbye, wishing some of them good luck in their post-graduation futures, and some of them a happy summer spent pursuing internships and other new experiences.  Thanks to them for a great year filled with great insights, and thanks to you for reading, commenting and participating.

In honor of a great 2011-2012 school year, we'll spend this week looking back at the year and some of our favorite posts (in case you missed them!).  First off, our top 5 most read posts of the year...

5. How Old is Too Old to Start College?

Is there such thing as being too old to start college? Ryan thought he might be too old to start over, but quickly learned that non-traditional students are more traditional than he thought.
At AMINEF, when the counselor found out that I was 21, she assumed that I was applying for a graduate program. It was a funny misunderstanding, but at that exact moment, it struck me that I may be too old to start over pursuing my studies at a new college.

4. A Chinese Student's Story of Job-Hunting in the US

In this video, Qian shows off her talent for videography, as well as the story of a Chinese student's path to finding internships in America.

(Also check out Olena's discussion of her own experience looking for internships, and what she wishes she'd known before she started)

3. American Culture: Out of the Movies and Into Daily Reality

What happens when the dream of being in America meets the reality? Cristiana explores how well an immersion in American pop culture prepares you to actually arrive in America.
When a salesman in a fish market asked me ?How are you doing, sweetie I was thrilled and amazed. It felt as if he had just emerged from the TV screen and spoke to me, or I had just crawled into the TV and met him.

2. 10 Ways Being a Student in the US is Different Than in Russia

Anna shares some of the things she's had to get used to about American academics. It's a list that includes everything from the number of classes (way fewer) to the prevalence of students ...umm... "collaborating" (way less).
Many Russian professors require that students take notes during the lecture or seminar. They often tell students what exactly to write down, and if they see someone is not taking notes they may ask the student to leave the classroom. In an American classroom it?s usually your choice what you want to write down or not.

1. On Being an African in the US: Navigating an Endless Web of Stereotypes

Simba takes a personal and insightful look at being African in the U.S., sharing some of the hurtful stereotypes he's encountered and thinking about why they persist.
While these comments  all made me cringe inwardly in disbelief,  none of them topped a remark I received while eating in the college dining hall early this semester, when somebody (Let?s call him Boy Z) remarked, ?It must hurt you to see people throwing away food when so many people in Africa are starving.?

(Take a look also at the comments and responses, which are equally enlightening and interesting)

There you go. Your favorite posts of the past school year. Tomorrow I'll be getting a little less democratic and sharing MY favorite posts of the school year!