Things to do in Michigan Over Winter Break

Winter break has finally begun! Now that finals are over you can rest peacefully without nightmares of sleeping through your alarm for that 7:00 a.m. final or the “battery dead” symbol flashing just as you hit “=” on your T-89 calculator. Whether you are traveling or staying in the mitten this holiday season, you can finally take a deep (cold) breath and unwind!

For those of you staying in Michigan (and were too busy studying to plan a fun, action packed winter break) we thought we would get together a list of exciting events that are happening throughout the next few weeks!   Check out the list below and if you attend any, let us know how the events were on our Facebook page here.

Happy Holidays from GTRI!


Home for the Holidays with Helen Welch | Concert

Friday, December 19, 2014, 8pm.

Dawson Auditorium, Adrian College Holiday music that warms the heart. Helen Welch, vocalist. Ticketed events.


Holiday Kalamazoo Indoor Flea & Farmers Market

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Special Holiday Market! Come check out the market for some great deals and great merchandise! Choose from lots of holiday items, new and used items, handcrafted items, fresh and local foods, and much more! 75 booths available! Hours: 8am-3pm in Main Expo.


Annie | Theatre Performance

December 16 – 21

Leapin’ Lizards! The world’s best-loved musical returns! Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin, this production of Annie will be a brand-new incarnation of the iconic original. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other orphans, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of New York. In a series of adventures, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Featuring book and score by Tony Award® winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as It’s the Hard-knock Life, Easy Street, and the eternal anthem of optimism, Tomorrow.


All I Want For Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Detroit apparel, handmade jewelry, artisan food products, custom artwork, prom dresses, lace front wigs, and more. Twenty-five local vendors. Convenient, free parking. Live, holiday music and live art demonstrations. Free admission.



The Nutcracker | DeVos Performance Hall

December 12 – 21

Grand Rapids Ballet dazzles with an extravagant production of The Nutcracker. Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday performance at 2pm. December 12-14 and 19-21.


Hot New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31, 2014 – Janruary 1, 2015

Hot New Year’s Eve Celebration will host a ball drop at midnight. Live entertainment will include Cobra Starship, The Outer Vibe, Dyllan Murray, and Grand Rapids Got Talent winner, Fire Alarm. There will be a warming tent with free hot chocolate and coffee for all who pass through. Starts at 7pm.


Midnight on Main | New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31, 2014 – Janruary 1, 2015

You need to be here to ring in the New Year! This New Year’s Eve, there’s no better place to be than in Downtown Midland! It’s Midnight on Main, but the party begins long before midnight with a full schedule of entertainment and activities. The event features four heated tents, 10 bars, food vendors, Michigan’s largest ball drop and an exciting fireworks display. End the year on a high note and celebrate in style at Midnight on Main! The event is held on Main Street, from Gordon Street to Townsend Street, in Downtown Midland. Ticketed event for ages 21+. Information and tickets available at the website link.




For more events visit

Student Spotlight: Sangeeth Sudharaka Pushewalage


Sangeeth Sudharaka Pushewalage is originally from Sri Lanka.  He left his country for the Sangeeth.PushewalageSangeeth.Pushewalagefirst time to come to Michigan for college.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and finance.  Sangeeth is now starting to pursue his Master of Science in accounting in fall 2014 at Grand Valley State University.  He is currently the only Sri Lankan student at his University.

Sangeeth is currently on OPT, which will be expiring in December 2014.  He will be eligible for CPT as soon as he starts his graduate program in the fall.

The number one reason Sangeeth chose Grand Valley to pursue his Master’s Degree is because of Grand Valley’s positive reputation for their Seidman Business School.  Sangeeth received a scholarship to fund his tuition expenses.  Grand Valley was a smart choice for Sangeeth because Grand Valley is the best value school, has a supportive international student program and his credits transferred easily.

Sangeeth has had difficulties in finding an internship being an international student.  He has been previously told by employers that he has all the qualifications for a specific job but these companies were hesitant to hire him.  They would not have been able to hire him as a full time employee after giving him an internship.  Some employers even rejected interviewing him because they knew they would have to sponsor him for an H1-B visa.


Eventually Sangeeth was able to land an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Detroit.  Having completed that internship, he is currently waiting to begin his next internship with Perrigo Company in Allegan, Mich.

Sangeeth has adjusted to the cold Michigan weather, but misses the year round warm weather in Sri Lanka.  “Being the only child in my family makes me miss my parents a lot,” Sangeeth said after being asked about what he misses about home. He misses hanging out with his friends as well.

Sangeeth’s hobbies include listening to music, playing basketball, shooting pool and hanging out with his friends.  He also likes to research about new technological products in the market.

Sangeeth Pushewalage

Sangeeth Pushewalage


Sangeeth has visited many beautiful places within Sri Lanka including Hunnas Falls, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa.  He also got the chance to explore the United States when he came here for school.  Sangeeth got the opportunity to travel to Chicago and Anaheim, California with his fraternity Beta Alpha Psi.  He also trained in Tampa, Florida for his internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Sangeeth plans to stay in Michigan.  He has adjusted to the environment of West Michigan after living there for a few years.  He has also made a lot of friends in the area.  Sangeeth wants to give back to West Michigan by working there. Sangeeth.Pushewalage

Sangeeth will seek a job in Michigan to start after he receives his masters in January 2016.