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Topiary Garden–a Great Place to Refresh Yourself

Does this picture remind you of Edward Scissorhands? Do you feel it’s a pity that you cannot go into the movie? Luckily the Topiary Garden is a perfect place to go. And it’s right here in downtown Columbus!

When I temporarily lived with my host family at the beginning of the school year, they took my friends and me to the Topiary Garden on a sunny afternoon. It’s a really nice and quiet place for you to relax and enjoy the sunshine.  It is an amazing place full of beauty.

Why not make a schedule and go for a walk by yourself?!

 The following is the description from Columbus Recreation & Parks Department website.

Situated in downtown Discovery District, the Topiary Garden Park sits on the remnants of the Old Deaf School Park.  Though it has become affectionately known as the Topiary Garden Park, the park land actually dates back to the early 19th century, when it was a dormitory and campus for the adjacent Deaf School.  Today, the Topiary Garden in Old Deaf School Park is the only public park of its kind, not only in Ohio, but in the world as well. The Topiary Garden is a living recreation of Gorges Seurat’s famous post-Impressionist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte.

The idea for the topiary garden was conceived and sculpted in 1989 by Columbus artist James T. Mason and his wife Elaine, also an artist.  The pond is meant to represent the River Seine was installed in late 1989, as were the artificial hills.  In the years since its creation, the Topiary Garden has appeared in a multitude of magazines, periodicals, books, and documentaries including Life, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, and programs aired on the BBC.

The Topiary Garden Park is open daily from dawn until dusk, and admission is free to all visitors.  April through November is the recommended time for viewing the garden, as the park is blooming in full. Don’t forget to stop at the point of “As He Saw It,” the marked location that represents how Seurat saw the scene as he was painting it.


New Life, New Challenges

This is the fourth week since I’ve arrived in the U.S. Classes began on August 22 so that I have met all the professors teaching the courses I’m enrolled in. Life is tremendously busy, including for us international students. We had so many orientations, workshops, seminars as well as welcome parties at the beginning of the semester. Class schedule at Ohio State is different from last year since we transferred from quarter to semester. OSU used to have 3 quarters for one academic year. But now it has 2 semesters and each semester is divided into 2 seven week sessions. So, it’s definitely a challenge. However, group projects have made assignments very interesting and efficient. As a new arrival, I would like to give several hints to international students. I hope that they can be helpful for new international students getting accustomed to new surroundings here.

Do you need a pickup and temporary accommodation?

If you don’t know anyone to pick you up when you arrive at Port Columbus airport and need temporary accommodations for a few days before you can move into your apartment, you can contact IFI for help. IFI volunteers are so nice and helpful! My friends and I lived in a volunteer’s house for a few days. The hostess drove us to Chase Bank and AT&T to get our bank account and cell phone numbers set up. We had a good time together and I truly appreciate their kindness and assistance.

Come to U.S. several days earlier before your orientation begins.

Some people suffer from time lag when they travel to another country. I came from China so I had to turn my biological clock 12 hours backward. Luckily I seemed to adjust to the Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) after a goodnight sleep on my first day arrival. You need to open your bank account and get a SIM card for your cell phone. You also prefer to buy furniture for your apartment unless it’s provided already by the apartment complex. Thus it’s a good idea to come to Columbus at least 4 days earlier before orientation begins.

I need to go to campus for another workshop now. I’ll write about academic stuff and other interesting events in the following blogs.

Ohio State football games are on the way. GO BUCKEYES! ! !



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