Welcome to our UB Ambassablog! Check back each week for our new posts answering some of your frequently asked questions and get to know our ambassadors!
The first few days of my summer break I was in Toronto, Canada. Toronto is a 3-hour drive from Buffalo and is an amazing place to visit. If you are from India, you will need a Canadian Tourist/Visitor visa to cross the Canadian border. The weather in Toronto is pretty much the same as Buffalo. Hence it was pretty warm and most of my days were spent in touring downtown and exploring the various attractions it has to offer. A few of them were,
Distillery district: This is a small pedestrian-only picturesque neighborhood east of Toronto downtown. It is a historical site and displays some of the best preserved 1800s style architecture. It’s a one stop destination to dine, explore the vintage boutiques or go for a Segway tour. I loved spending one of my evenings here.
Ripley’s aquarium: Visiting Ripley’s is a must if you are touring Toronto. It is located close to CN towers and boasts of around 20000 aquatic animals. It takes around 2-3 hours to cover the whole place and gives you the literal feel of being underwater. Some of my summer’s best clicks have been taken here.
Eaton Center: If you love to shop, this is the place for you! It has some of the best outlets for chocolate, wine and clothing. You can literally get lost here and you need a solid 4-5 hours minimum to get a feel of this place. There is a huge food court and it sports some of the best décor: beautiful lights, a humongous Christmas tree, 12-15 feet tall reindeers and much more.
Butterfly Conservatory: Located near Niagara Falls Botanical Parks, this conservatory has almost 2000 butterflies. It has a self-guided tour amidst tropical plants and few of the rarest butterfly species. These butterflies are extremely friendly and will often come sit on your head or shoulder. The whole place is gorgeous and it’s like a small tropical island in itself.
Casa Loma: Casa Loma is a historical mansion which has been preserved since the early 1900s. Its interior is lavish and extremely well maintained. There is a huge garden, central hall, wine cellar, private suites, servant quarters, stable, tunnel connecting the castle and the stables, etc. This place is definitely worth a visit if you like exploring ancient architecture and are curious to know how the nobility lived during their prosperous times.
Apart from this I visited city hall, small parks, tulip gardens, the Royal Ontario Museum and much more. The short distance from UB also makes it easily accessible. Toronto is a beautiful city with so many avenues to explore and fill your days with.
Doesn’t everyone love summer? It’s the best time for traveling, hitting the beaches, showing that great body you prepared for. I love summer because I can finally reunite with my parents after a long year of study in another nation, because I can steam off after one year of hard-working in college and because it’s a reward to me for moving forward one step closer to my dream!
But! It does not mean I could relax or else my brain would shut off itself. This summer, instead of finding new internship, which I knew it’s hard for me since I just finished all my general education courses, I decided to take on new skills by going to Learning Center. As a result, I learnt a lot about coding, about Java and the possibilities of my future career are opened up more! I also got a chance to meet new people, make more meaningful connections.
Everyone told me that I’m crazy for doing this, “why taking classes in the summer? You should relax and hangout with your family more.” Rather, I think I’m preparing myself for a new semester; but I don’t think myself as a nerd, I also have many plans to travel as well. With two months to spend for summer, I already travelled three beautiful places in my countries, Da Lat, Da Nang and Vung Tau (which is the hometown of one of my friend, Lily, another ambassador). I got a chance to reconnect with friends from my high school. It was such a great experience that I would never forget.
So tell me what did you do for this summer?
I just ended my amazing trip back to my home country and now I’m back to Buffalo. I love the summer weather here! It’s not too hot that enough for me to feeling to go out every day to enjoy the sunshine. Since it’s now the time when most of the students going home so UB is less busy than usual, however, it doesn’t mean that it’s boring to stay over the summer, there’re still a lot of stuffs going on.
Summer class – this may sound scary but for some reasons, you may need to take it. I’m taking a summer class too and I feel it the pressure is less than in the Fall or Spring since we just take one or two classes in the summer. Obviously, it’s completely optional but if you want to make it easier in the spring or the fall, it might be a choice. To find more information about summer class: https://ubthissummer.buffalo.edu/
Getting bored? Check these out!
You missed your favorite movies when they were on show? Then you should come and watch SA’s summer movies. And, guess what? They are all free! All you need to do is checking the showing time and joining in. Just remember to grab some popcorn before you go.
Want to go somewhere further?
ISSS Office will offer you summer trips with 6 different destinations throughout the season. You can have fun at Darien Lake Amusement Park or go hiking to observe beautiful views. For more information, visit https://www.buffalo.edu/international-student-and-scholar-services/workshops-trips-events/trips---activities/summer-trips.html
There is more!
Most of the events in Buffalo are in the summer such as Food Truck Tuesday, Erie County Fair, etc. Therefore, just have fun before the school year begins.
See you next time!
It is half way through my internship in Shanghai. I got a little bit more free time to explore this beautiful city. I always like to go to a museum when I go to a new city because the best way to know about one city is to go to the local museums and see the history and culture landscape.
There are many museums in Shanghai with different exhibitions. I went to the Shanghai Urban Planning museum, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai Power Station of Art, and China Art Museum. My favorite ones are Shanghai Art Museum and China Art Museum.
There are many history art crafts in the Shanghai Art Museum from Shang Dynasty (The first dynasty that has the records) or even earlier than that. The first floor is ancient Bronze. The whole first floor is for Bonze exhibition. Most of them are 鼎 (Ding), which is a bronze that has tripod on the bottom. I followed a tour guide and listen to the history behind each one. Ding was used in multiple places and they are like cups and bowls for ancient Chinese people. Some of them are for meat and some of them are for wine. Another exhibition that I really like is the Money exhibition. It is fascinated to see how money changed over time and different dynasties have their own way of making money. We have been using coins as currency and we did not have the paper money until Song Dynasty.
China Art Museum was the old China Pavilion in the world EXPO in Shanghai (2010). The whole building looks like a huge Ding and it also looks like a traditional Chinese Character. It was empty on the first two floors because the EXPO is over now but I saw a lot of paintings like Chinese paintings and oil paintings in this museum.
I enjoyed this experience and I learned a lot by visiting the museums.
Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying the summer and soaking in as much vitamin D as possible! It’s almost the end of June and there are less than two months left till you come to UB! I am really excited to meet you all! Quite a few of you have emailed me regarding what you should carry with you when coming to UB and how to prepare for the next year. So I tried to cover most of your questions in this post.
The most important thing is the documentation. Make sure you carry your I-20, visa, passport and any other documentation mentioned in your I-20 packet. If you have any medication which you need to take regularly, make sure you carry it and your doctor’s prescription.
Apart from medication, if there any personal use products that you need regularly, carry a few sets of those. Although, I am pretty sure you will find it here in the US, it is good to have a few extra sets just in case.
For clothing, you can bring your regular jeans, shorts, T-shirts, etc with you. Along with that, I would recommend you to carry at least one set of formal clothing and one set of traditional/ethnic wear. You might need the former for career fairs, interviews, etc and the latter for many of the cultural events organized by the UB Student Association.
For books, pens, pencils, stationery, etc you can buy all that after coming here. Your respective professors will guide you regarding any materials required for the class. For laptops and electronics, you can purchase them after coming to UB or back home. If you do buy them back home, make sure you have the proper adapter for US plugs which might be a little different than the ones back home. When booking your flights, make sure you confirm your baggage allowances with the airline for all legs of the journey. Read all the dos and don’ts for international flights available on the website.
A last few quick reminders. Make sure you sign up for the international student orientation! It will equip you well for a life here at UB as well as in the US. Be excited and feel free to reach out to us!
I’ve just came back in Vietnam and now I’m enjoying my time with my family and friends. It’s currently very hot that I just want to stay inside and have the AC on. Although I’m having some fun, I kinda miss the US, especially UB. I will be back in Buffalo on the 4th of July to take summer course so I can’t wait. In this blog, I will just tell you guys what I’m doing in my home country.
First thing first, renew my US Visa
Since US Visa for Vietnamese students expire in 1 year, I have to renew it yearly. Since I don’t have to be interviewed, the process for renewing US Visa is pretty easy. However, I had to be very careful about sorting the documents out. For me, in order to get the new Visa, I must have:
· A passport showing that I’m back in Vietnam
· The original version of i-20 with the signature of UB before I go back
· UB transcript
· A paid SEVIS
· A fee for renewing visa
· And a 5x5 photo of me
After submitting all the documents, they delivered the visa and all my documents back in a week. Everything is easy and straight forward if you follow step by step what they say on US embassy website of your country. Please be aware that I’m just sharing my experience of renewing my visa and the process is different in every country, if you have any problem please just contact UB or your country’s US embassy.
Just have fun!
All I wanted to do when I get back in Vietnam is spending as much time as I can with my family. They are very surprised by my cooking skill, it’s much better than last time I’ve been with them. The independent life without my family in the US makes me become a better one; I cleaned up my stuffs right after I finished doing something, I helped my mom with the dishes and laundry, etc. My parents are very happy and they said it was worth for sending me to the US so I can get a better education and better personality.
I also did some travelling this summer, mostly in Vietnam. I travelled to Da Lat and Phu Quoc island and did have some really good time. The other thing I did have a lot was Vietnamese food, I missed them so much that I had different kinds of food everyday.
One more interesting thing I did was that I met up with one of my student. He’s going to be UB student class of 2022. His major is mechanical engineering. He’s very excited to meet all the new friends at UB.
I hope you guys have a great summer and for those who are having big exams, I wish you all the best. I will see you in July with more updates when I’m back in Buffalo! Bye!
Even though this is my third summer in college, it still reminds me how I was so excited about going to study at University at Buffalo.
I remember about how I ran around my hometown, literally screamed to the whole neighborhood that I was accepted to college in the U.S! At that time, I kept contact with my ambassador, Peter, and asked him everything about the school. At that time, realizing I had 3 months to prepare and prepare for college, I knew that I had to travel around the U.S to my heart content.
Besides travelling, I had time to prepare for my college. I had to go through the process of getting visa and health forms like everybody, especially the interview. Getting the visa for college was like an adventure for me, it was somewhat exciting yet tense; it included the documentation check, then I had to re-check again and again to see if I had everything prepared for the Embassy and the interview. I was told to keep my head cool, calm and answer with a smile during the interview; just this small advice was the greatest contribution to that successful interview.
During the packing time before going to the U.S., I was overly worried about what I need to bring for my new dorm, even more so for my mother. We bought tons of thing without realizing that they could be easily purchased at Buffalo, from warm clothes to toothpastes. In the end, I had two full luggage bags at exactly 50 pounds, giving me hard time to bring them along with me. However, one thing I always remember to pack in my luggage in preparing for my 4-year long trip is local food! It is incredibly hard to find my hometown snacks here in Buffalo.
Summer is always the best time to recharge or relax yourself and get more experiences outside of college. Some people choose to do travel because we get 3 months of vacation as students but others might choose to do something that is related to studying. As a rising junior, I decided to do an internship.
It was a long process for me to find the right internship that will boost my resume in the future. At first, I was looking for internships related to Human Resources or Marketing but it was competitive since I did not have a lot experiences in both concentrations. I got either rejected or nothing from the companies that I applied. When I was about to give up on doing an internship this summer, a summer school contacted me and told me that I got the program assistant position in a summer school in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I will be in charge of administration and a little bit accounting stuff. I immediately said yes to this offer.
It started right after I went back to China. My day looks like this: I wake up at 8am every morning and head to my work around 8:30. Get to my office at 9am. I have new assigned projects everyday depending on how the courses going different teaching assistant may have different printing request according to the professors. Every Thursday I need to check the receipts and make sure the money amount is correct for this week for any spending. We have our weekly meeting on Fridays to talk about what we did and reflect on our performances.
Besides work, I also walked around Shanghai during the weekends. I went to WaiTan and Oriental Pearl Tower. Everything is different now compared to 8 years ago when I first came. Moreover, I plan to go to Shanghai Disney Resort and more sightseeing next week.
Spring is here in Buffalo and we are looking forward to the end of another academic year. All the ambassadors had a really great time interacting with all the prospective students. We enjoyed answering your questions and getting to know you. Although, rest assured! We are still here for you and will be in touch with you throughout summer! So keep those questions coming.
Until then a few reminders, if you haven’t done so yet, like our Facebook page. We regularly post updates and give you a sneak peek in the life at UB. We also have a snapchat and weibo! The best way to prepare for Fall is by getting to know more about UB! Ask a lot of questions! Even if you feel they are a little weird. We have all been there, done that! Look through the videos we have posted on all of our social media. Find out more about Buffalo and what it has to offer. I spent a lot of time researching about UB and Buffalo during the summer!
One pro tip for all of you: Be prepared! For many of you, this might be the first time you will be staying away from home so start packing early! Three months can seem like a long time but summer flies, and it's already time to leave for school! The best way to ensure that you pack all the necessary items is by making a list of what all you use during the day. Also bring lots of snacks from home! You might also want to carry a few of your favorite posters or pictures to make you feel at home. Personally, I carried my favorite blanket and one of my favorite soft toy! The winters in Buffalo are pretty cold but I would suggest that you buy all your winter gear after coming to the US. There are a lot of options and its much cheaper here.
The best advice that I can give you is don’t stress about the academics! Spend your summer travelling, learning a new hobby or doing something you love. Spend quality time with your friends and family because believe me you will miss them a lot. You might also want to learn cooking! It is a great way to relax and will make you feel less homesick. The earlier you start experimenting with cooking the better your food will taste by the time you come here!
So a last few reminders, please pay your tuition and housing deposit if you have not yet done so! Both are on a rolling basis but you might not get a guaranteed place on campus if you further delay it. Be on the lookout for emails from the ambassadors as well as the international admissions office. We will keep updating you about to-dos, packing essentials and other important information. Don’t forget to register for orientation! This year the orientation is from 21st August to 24th August. It is necessary for all international students to attend this orientation. It will cover a lot of important aspects about living in the US, registering for classes, etc You don’t want to miss it!
So, goodbye for now! Have an amazing summer!
Finals are coming! This time around, I would be stressed to death by all the deadlines and projects. Staying in the library and eating on spot are my favorite things to do. Haha I'm just kidding!
Normally I wander around Facebook, check out events that UB Late Night and other student associations offer. Sometimes they will have a study session with your friends along with snacks and food. Other clubs such as AASU (Asian American Student Association) held a Spa event, where I enjoyed nourishing my skin, having hand massage, or even getting my nails done. Not only that, UB even brings in Dog Therapy! I always go because who doesn't love dogs!
Other International SA clubs like VSA, PERMIAS, MASA, FASA, etc. around this time also promotes their clubs and especially give out free food too!
There are also many things to do off-campus as well. Downtown is a great place to sightsee whenever I have free time. Other places such as Walden Galleria, Elmwood street (they have lots of gift stores that sell cool stuffs) is a must-go destination.
Canalside is my favorite place; in the summer, it is very active. They hold concerts, camping, public events all the time.
Also in April, some Student Associations start organizing banquet too! So if you want to dress up to your heart content and be fabulous, definitely get your friends to come with you. I went to multiple banquets and each of them has different themes; I even won a price just by going here, they have raffle tickets where you can even win a big TV.
When I first got to UB, I was so amazed by the diversity of the food here. There are so many choices for me at anything time of the day. After 2 years staying here, to be honest, I’m sure that there are some kind of food on campus that I have not tried yet.
There are 3 main dining halls located in 3 living complexes which are Crossroad Culinary Center (or we usually call it C3, located in Ellicott), Governor Dining Center, and Dining Hall on South Campus. The largest and most popular place is C3. These halls provide us great food from all over the world like ramen, kungpao shrimp, and vegan curry. The exciting part here is that the food changes every day so the students never feel boring about it. Also, there is an event every week holding within the dining hall so I never stop being surprised. I freaked out once on Halloween in 2016 when they had scaring actors going around to scare people. It was such an experience! The quality of the food, of course, is extraordinary.
To be honest, it will take me a whole day to write about the all the food on campus. I have to emphasize that you will almost every kind of food on campus (still missing Vietnamese food but it’s still fine for me haha). The Campus Dining and Shops offer you every-thing; from a burger, a sub, a sandwich, a bloody good plate of pasta to a bowl of salad if you’re vegan or vegetarian. We even have sushi if you are craving for that. You can find your famous brand of food like Tim Hortons, Starbucks, or Jamba Juice. If you are Asian and craving for the authentic food, you can go to The Commons. There you can find Chinese, Korean, or Indian food. Or you just want some boba tea? Kungfu Tea is right there for you.
Have your mom’s recipe? You can make it right in your dorm.
Before cooking, you will need to buy all the ingredients first. Every Saturday, UB will offer you bus route to go to your favorite grocery store in town like Walmart, Wegmans, Tops, or Target. My favorite one is Wegmans because they have fresh veggies and fruits every day. Such great food! The lounge in your dorm has one oven and stove and one microwave, which can make up a basic kitchen for you. It was a great time for me during spring break that I cooked with my friends in the dorm. It increased our bonding time and we got to know each other more.
If I missed anything, here is a video for you to know more about UB food: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qdawgdh204
See you next time!
UB is a huge campus with numerous services on campus including tutor services, bus services, legal services etc and most of them are free to UB students. The services that helped me a lot was the writing center in Baldy. This Is a place where you can improve your writing skills. I went to writing center a lot when I had essay assignments last year and the tutors there helped me edit my essays.
Not every students have a car here, so bus is what most students choose at UB.
The Stampede runs between North Campus, South Campus, and Downtown Campus.So you don’t need to worry about the transportation at school! Besides regular school bus, there are also bus services to bring students to the mall and markets during the weekend, which provides much conveniences for students who do not own a vehicle. Here is the bus school: https://www.buffalo.edu/parking/getting-around-UB/bus/bus-schedules.html
I mentioned the writing center above, but there are more tutor services in the residence halls. Tutors have office hours in Ellicott Complex, Governors Complex, and Goodyear Hall. Tutors are all from different majors like Chemistry, Biology, Math, and Engineering so that they can serve more students. Different department may have their own tutor services, such as, school of management have their own tutoring center for the students who need help with classes like Accounting and Economics. Here is more information about tutoring services on campus: http://engineering.buffalo.edu/home/academics/undergrad/advisement/tutoring.html
Campus Living is a big part of UB life.UB offers residence halls on both North Campus and South Campus, which is open and welcome for everyone. Campus living values the safety on campus so if you live on campus, only your card can swipe into your building. They also work with University Police to provide a safety place for all the students. http://www.buffalo.edu/campusliving.html
International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS):
ISSS is like a friend to international students, they are the ones that organize international student orientations and they are the ones that deal with all the immigration documents. If you have any questions about your visa,I20 or any other visa-related questions, they are the first one who you want to go to. https://www.buffalo.edu/international-student-and-scholar-services.html
You can find and do everything in 1 Capen, from paying for your tuition, to getting your transcripts. It is the heart of Capen hall. 1 Capen is the second phase of the Heart of the Campus (HOTC) project, the UB 2020 initiative to enhance the student learning experience by creating “learning landscapes” in the center of the academic spine. https://1capen.buffalo.edu/
I don't know how you all unwind but I've never been one of those to be able to just study all the time. I have always needed extra curricular involvement to stay focused. My parents never believe me, but every time I've been heavily involved in extra curricular activities, I have fared better in my academics. Well, to each their own.
Now, whatever you may have/have not been involved in back in your home country, you will realize that UB basically pushes you to do things outside of your comfort and get involved in activities that take you away from your books and classes. So if there's anything that you love doing or would like to experiment with, UB is the place to be.
With over 250 clubs ranging from soccer to archery, you can easily find your calling here. So for those of you who may be interested in playing sports while here, don't worry. UB has some competitive sports teams in soccer, american football, lacrosse, swimming, rugby, ice hockey, field hockey, and even cricket.
If club sports isn't your thing, you can easily go the ice skating center right near north campus or head downtown to dabble a little with ice skating and take funny videos of your friends as they fall and hurt their bottoms (along with their elbows and palms).
UB is a Division 1 university (that means UB's sports teams are a part of the highest level of intercollegiate athletics). Therefore, a lot of sporting events and matches take place on our campus and all UB students get free entry to all the home games.
It's not that complicated to be part of a D-1 team. One of my friends in my first year got interested in rowing and ended up practicing with the rowing team. She eventually made it the university rowing team and competed all around the country. She used to wake up at 5 o'clock every morning, but never complained because she enjoyed every bit of it.
Not only that, UB has an annual tradition of Oozefest where EVERY student can make their own team and compete against other teams in a competitive and dirty yet friendly game of mud volleyball.
But if sports are not for you (just like they are not for me), you can take advantage of the hundreds of other clubs on campus. All of these clubs come under the Undergraduate Student Association whose sole purpose is to enrich your student experience during your years at UB.
I was always an avid debater and public speaker back in my high school, so when I came here, I ended up joining the mock trial team on campus. That led me to meet some of the smartest and most talented people I have ever come across and introduced me to critical thinking skills that no classroom ever could. I also got a chance to travel to tournaments and make friends from across the country.
Other than that, I have been extremely active with the consulting club. It's for students interested in pursuing a career in consulting after graduation. With this club, I got a chance to compete against Ivy League universities (and beat them) in case competitions.
These clubs aren't only a great way to learn a new hobby or practice an existing one; they're also an amazing way to get leadership experience. You can get elected to be on the executive board of a club you like and manage all the club's affairs - right from recruiting, managing funds, organizing events, coordinating competitions. It helps so much when you are applying for jobs or filling out applications for graduate school to be able to talk about these leadership experiences that you can have while at UB.
If you realize after reading all this, that you have commitment issues and wouldn't be able to commit to a single club or team, don't worry - UB got you covered.
UB has a lot of events that you can attend that are open to all students. There are music concerts in Fall (Fall Fest) and in spring (Spring Fest). There are distinguished speakers that come in every semester. In the past, UB has hosted Barack Obama, John Oliver, Dalai Lama, John Legend, Hillary Clinton, Steve Wozniak, Trevor Noah, and many more. Not only that, Student Association also organizes International Fiesta, a dance competition for all the international clubs on campus. It's a huge event and one of my favorite UB traditions.
I always get confused whenever I write these blogs: should I tell you everything and get you extra excited for when you arrive in August, or should I not tell you anything and let you get surprised when you arrive?
So I compromise: I tell you enough to get you excited but leave enough for you to figure out for yourself and get surprised. So keep reading and keep learning because however much you think you may know, UB will always surprise you.
One of the early exciting moments about college is UB's seasonal orientation, especially the international orientation! When I knew I wanted to go to University at Buffalo, first thing that I said to my roommate “We should definitely attend orientation! Just fly a few days early before school starts so we can explore Buffalo! And it will start a week before school begin.” With the help of my then ambassador, he was Peter, we were able to find out pretty much everything about UB online, where to sign up, about the fee (it is billed in your EBill), and everything that we needed was on International Admission site! And I must say it was an extremely valuable time for me! I made lots of friends during those days and am still hanging out with them till now.
During the orientation, it includes lots of important processes that I feel grateful for going. There are many documents that I needed to submit at the time and I could take it over long time to do during the semester. I also got to go around the campus and get to know the map because the school is really big (Honestly, first few times I always got lost) There are always transportation between the North Campus and South Campus by Stampedes, and I even went to the Downtown just because the train station is in South Campus. Besides there are lots of activities around too, I found Twilight Fest to be a good time to make friends and impress everyone! I didn’t need to worry about being hungry, there is food at all the dining centers, such as C3, Good year Hall, and Governor Hall. I also got to access your room earlier than other people, choose my favorite bed in the room. It was one of the advantage that I got for coming to UB earlier. And if you’re wondering about going to the campus from airport, I used Lyft/Uber to get a ride to UB, and it costs around $20 only! I always choose to book my flight at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).
When I first received my I-20, I was so excited, I immediately went to the U.S Embassy to apply for my visa; and as soon as I got my visa, I booked the flight right after. There are many things that you should take note when you pack your luggage: bring on your plane your electronics and expensive items, always prepare with you bring-on luggage some pairs of clothes, first-aid medicines. I always brought my hometown favorite food because I wasn’t able to find them here.
When you pack things for your dorm, you don’t have to worry because there are lots of stores around UB that will provide you almost everything you need, such as Walmart, Target, Wegmans, etc.
If you have any questions about orientation, feel free to reach out to your ambassador!
One of my favorite parts of attending university in the United State is having an approximately week-long break in every semester. Thanksgiving break and Spring break are the time designed for students to visit their family or reduce stress from all of the midterms and school work. Therefore, my advice to you is that use these opportunities wisely to travel everywhere you can if you want to get the most out of your college life here. The key to success in the university in the United State is not only having a perfect GPA, but you should have many extracurricular activities while maintaining a well GPA and learn to how to balance your life while taking on every opportunity.
I traveled around 11 different cities in this 4 years, and I would like to share some travel tips with you. If you don't know where you should go, I strongly recommend you to consider warm places such as Miami, Orlando, Cancun, Puerto Rico, California, Panama as your top choice. Spring break is in the mid to late March normally and the weather during this time could still be a little harsh. Therefore, pick a warm destination could be the smart decision to get out of this weather for a week. If the temperature is not what you concern about, then you could go to New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Las Vegas are some top places as well. However, if you think all of those places are too far, and you just want to go somewhere that is close and fun to visit, then Toronto would definitely be the best choice. There are about 2 hours of driving distance from Buffalo, and you can find many things to do and good food to get there.
If you are planning on going somewhere on the break, you really need to book the ticket and hotel as early as possible. Because all of the schools in the States have the break in the mid to late November and March, and the price could go up significantly.
Speaking from my own experience, I love to travel with a couple of my good friends, and I normally would plan out the itinerary for each day. Because I am the type of person need to plan and organize everything out before doing that thing, otherwise, I might get a little frustrated on the trip. For example, I'm going to Costa Rica for Spring break this year, and this is through a study abroad course provided from the School of Management.
We will visit some companies and university while staying in the local host family there. The purpose of this trip is discovering how different political, geographical and historical factors have shaped different cultures, as well as developing an appreciation of global and diversity mindset. Even school has provided a detailed itinerary, I still did some research and plan out the things I want to do in my free time there. The website I often use to plan my trip is TripAdvisor, and you can find some popular things to do and place to visit in the city you travel.
Lastly, the most important thing about traveling is the safety. Our International Student Scholar Service department always provide some workshops and send out emails regarding travel tips and safety issues. I strongly recommend you to take a look and pay attention to the important things you might ignore due to the cultural difference, and it never hurts to learn more. I hope you learned a little about planning your trips in the college and I hope you are looking forward to having them. Please do not hesitate to ask your Ambassador about anything I didn't address clearly.
Never think that Buffalo is a boring place to live. There are tons of cool things we can do during the time staying here. During 2 years in Buffalo, I've got a list of favorite places and restaurants that I would love to recommend for you all. There're even places that when I visited, it was only me (and probably my friends) there so it was a cool experience.
How is the weather here?
First, let's talk a little bit about the weather in Buffalo. For me, I love the summer here. I stayed in Buffalo last summer and it was fantastic. It never got too hot but cool enough to let you not to wear layers. About the winter? For those of you who come from tropical climate, you will be a little bit surprised by the intensity of the snow at first; however, you will get used to it after all. I can say that I did survive through 2 winters so it will be fine (haha). But anyway, it's not a big problem at all because I did have some fun playing with the snow with my roommates. Just remember to get some layers on when playing in the snow.
What's around Buffalo?
There's a bunch of places that I always hang-out with my friends at weekends. One of my favorite place in Buffalo is Elmwood Avenue. It's a street fulfill of cool stores and restaurants and coffee shops. On some Saturdays, we have brunch in one of the food place of Elmwood and just walk on the street to look at those cool local stores; and sometimes, I buy some cute little things there. Also, I can do fine dining at some evenings in that area. I've got my best Thai restaurant, Taste of Siam, there.
Well, it will be a mistake if I forget to mention about the Niagara Falls. It's just 30 minutes drive from campus. It might sound crazy but the Falls just looks great in the winter when a part of it got frozen (again, make sure you get some layers on when you want to visit it in the winter). I've been to Niagara Falls 3 times, twice in the summer and once in the winter. It would be better if you go in the summer because some of the attraction activities will close in the winter; for example, getting on the boat through the Falls. It's a must to visit Niagara Falls when you attend UB. Oh, remember to get your squad with you!
What else can I do?
I've been to 2 museums in Buffalo, which are Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site; well, I know it might sound boring for you guys, but trust me, you will gain some knowledge that not everyone knows about Buffalo. The ticket price is affordable (5 dollars per person if you're a student). You don't need to show them your UB ID, just tell them you're from UB. I did learn a lot about Buffalo by visiting there.
And don't worry! UB got your back!
The Office of International Student and Scholar Service (ISSS) will offer you some trips to hangout with your gangs when you're really confused of where you should visit in Buffalo. In the Fall, you might have a chance to go hiking in Letchwood Park (one and a half hour drive from UB), or they might offer you to go ice-skating at Canal Site in the winter, etc. They even give you a chance to go to an Orchestra in Buffalo. I did it once, even though it's not my style (I'm sorry) but I can say that it was such an experience!
That is pretty much about my experience beyond campus in Buffalo. Obviously, there're a thousand more things to do in Buffalo that I have not mentioned. I will just leave it there for you guys decide yourself. Have fun guys :)!
College is very different from high school, you get all the freedom you possibly could get in the lifetime. I am going to share with you some of my personal experience including how to pick your professors, American classroom experience, changing majors, registering classes, research and study tips.
Choosing the right professor for your course can be very nerve-racking. Why? Because you are going to stuck with that professor for the entire semester. But here are some tips to help you make the best out of your professor research.
● I usually seek advice from upper classmates who have already taken the class.
● Rate My Professor is your go-to professor review site (it’s like when you buying a product from Amazon you gotta check what others have to say about it)
Some professors only teach in a certain semester, so there might be times where you need that one course to graduate and there is only one available professor. It happened to me before. I had to take CSE 113 in order to get into the major next semester, the professor was horrible but I had no choice but giving my best in that class. You still have to try your best in the class no matter which professor you are taking with.
American Classroom Experience
Most of the classes require you to participate. You will find the “participation point” on your syllabus. It shows that you are engaging with the professor and enjoying the course materials. Throughout my college career, I can’t say I have actively participated in all my classes, but for the classes I like, I would make sure the professor knows my name by the 3rd week of school. Make sure your professor knows you well so it would be so much easier if you ever need to ask for recommendation letters.
I was admitted into UB with the undecided major, however, I decided to do business in the second semester of freshman year. I remember I just walked into the School of Management building Jacobs and spoke to one of the advisors to indicate my decision. I became Intended Business student after that and started taking business prerequisites the next semester. If you ever want to explore different majors and wonder what you should do, I would say make appointments with that department advisor and they will guide you from here.
You can start registering courses for the next semester during mid- November or mid-March. You will get a specific enrollment date on your UB HUB. It goes by the credits, the more credits you have, the earlier date you will be assigned to. On the day of enrollment, I would suggest you wake up before 7 am to get into the classes you need! Remember hundreds of students are trying to get into the class you want! Have your Plan B if you don't get into the class you prefer. Also, the first week of school is the “add-drop” period which means there will be available spots if someone drops.
UB is a research university. Many faculties do research at UB while teaching classes. One of your professors is probably doing some research on the side. You can do research with your professors if they have one, or check out this website it has all the information you need if you are looking into participating in a research. http://www.buffalo.edu/home/research.html
Last but not least, I got some study tips for you. It’s very important to find the most suitable study method for yourself. You should find a location where you can concentrate. I prefer Lockwood library 4th or 5th floor over Capen library 2nd floor when I study alone. Lockwood is so much quiet and a has more traditional library settings. I would prefer Capen 2nd floor if I need to study with a group of friends. You can book a study room 3 days in advance! What's more, DON’T WAIT TILL THE NIGHT BEFORE TO STUDY. It works for high school but it certainly doesn’t work if you have 3 exams in 2 days during finals week. So start early and make study plans for yourself.
Some people can study a couple hours before the exam and still get a good grade, these people are natural test takers. Some people study for 3 days and still bomb the exam. Whether you are the test taker or not, take some time to explore your most effective study method and trust me the hard work will pay off! I wish you all a successful freshman year!
This is going to be an introduction and some of my experience living off campus (North). I hope to cover some of your concerns. Should you have any questions that I didn't mention in this blog, please do not hesitate to email your ambassador.
I lived in Governors complex in my freshman year. If you don't know what that is, you could refer to the last blog written by Shreya where she did a great job of introducing on-campus housing as well as the surrounding area. In my sophomore year, I lived in the Greiner Hall which is the newest building on campus that is only available for Sophomores. Then, I decided to move off campus for following reasons. 1. It's relatively cheaper to live off campus than on-campus. 2. There are bigger and more convenient kitchens for me to cook daily. 3. Most apartments and housings are pet-friendly off campus so I could have a dog or cat if I want to.
According to my experience, living off campus is very safe and affordable. I have never heard of any significant incidents that have happened in the neighborhood. Also, you do not have to have a car to live off campus, because of most of the apartments close to school have free shuttles. The shuttles usually run to school back and forth from morning to night on the weekdays. On the weekends, shuttles usually run less frequently to school, however, they go to grocery stores so you can go shopping for the next week. If you are planning on getting a car at some point while you are going to school here, there are a lot more housing options for you in the neighborhood.
Even though I enjoyed living off campus, I strongly recommend you to take the opportunity to live on-campus first, then move off campus if you think it's necessary. Living in the residence halls is one of the best ways to make friends and get involved with the school when you just get here. It's like living in a small community when you live in the dorm and most people make their best friends through there.
This is my second year of living on campus and I just signed up for another year. Want to know why? Keep reading.
My first year of dorm life was spent in the cozy little Freshman housing called Governors complex. I signed up for the Academies living learning community (now called Experiential Learning Centre) and was assigned a double room which I shared with one other roommate. This year I am living in Ellicott which is another dormitory on North Campus. It is not compulsory to live on campus but I like the convenience of reaching all my classes in under fifteen minutes (if I am running late! ;-P) and having access to food till 3 am. Both north and south campus have their own specialties. On North you have the student Union and really cool restaurant chains like Au Bon Pain, Pistachio’s, Tim Hortons, etc. Stores like Tops, Family dollar, Walgreens, are at five minutes from the dorms on South Campus. If you are an engineering or arts and sciences major, you will be having most of your classes on North campus. And if you are a nursing or biomedical sciences major you will have quite a few classes on South campus. So, it is better to choose a residence hall according to where most of your classes are. But, it is not necessary because there are buses to each campus every five minutes. You have the option of choosing a single, double, triple room or quad. You also get to choose your roommates or go for random assignment. I didn’t choose my freshman year roommate but we still had an amazing time together! The residence halls are well furnished and provide various other facilities. There are academic help centers, printing area, gyms, lounges, dining centers and much more. Every hallway has one Resident Advisor (RA). RAs are current students whose main job is to facilitate a good experience for campus residents. They organize movie nights, game nights, creative programs and activities throughout the year to help residents de-stress and socialize. I love the chill and movie night because it’s the perfect stress buster after a long day at school.
P.S The RAs make really great smoothies!
One question that definitely bugs a majority of international students is "How and Where can we work on campus"? And the answer to that is very simple: "However and wherever you want"
Now this may sound lackadaisical of me but in fact, once you figure out what the general requirements of different jobs are and what their hiring process is, you can easily find something that you like doing and work on campus.
A lot of international students work in campus dining, as student assistants in various offices, as teaching assistants/research assistants, RAs (Resident Advisers) or in UB Information Technology.
Just because you're international, don't for a second think that you cannot work on campus. International students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours week on campus (they cannot work off-campus, unless they have the proper authorization (you'll learn about this during your orientation)). All departments and offices on campus hire international students, so you have more than ample opportunities.
Getting a job is not difficult, but it requires slight planning and effort on your part. First of all, you would need a resume. A resume can highlight some of the things you've done or any part time work during your high school. It doesn't need to be extensive; a simple one generally does for on campus jobs.
Then you need to figure out what kind of a job you would potentially like to do and reading about what the minimum qualifications are for that particular job. For example, there are no specific pre-requisites for working with campus dining and food but you need to have taken a particular course and gotten a high grade to be able be a Teaching Assistant for that course. Talking to your friends who work a particular or Resident Adviser or Academic adviser on your floor (if you live on-campus) can be a great way to learn more about different jobs on campus.
Once you've shortlisted a few jobs based on eligibility and interest, you need to apply to them. Again there are quite a few methods of doing this, but the three easiest methods are:
1. Dropping off your resume in person to the office/department you want to work in. This gives you a chance to meet with others working there and look around the office.
2. Applying online using handshake (It's an online job portal for UB students. You will learn more about this during your time here)
3. You can also ask your friend who presently worked or previously has worked there to refer you. This is sometimes the best way to get a job.
Once you have started working, you will also start getting paid (which is pretty sweet). Depending on how many hours you work and how much you get paid, you can fairly easily manage your personal expenses with your part time salary. I have been able to go on some short trips to Miami and Washington DC without having to ask money from my parents at all. Most jobs on campus pay minimum wage, i.e. $10.40 per hour, so if you work 10 hours a week, you can make around 100 dollars.
The best part about working on campus is you get to make new friends. We ambassadors not only work together, but also are great friends and hang outside of work.
So working on campus definitely has a lot of perks, just remember not to overwork yourselves ;)
My name is Liesel and I’m an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal. When I was applying to colleges, it was really important for me to find a college of quality and good value. UB was the perfect fit. There are so many opportunities students can take advantage of every single day at UB and that’s probably why I’m happy that I came here. I received a scholarship from UB, which was definitely one of the key factors while deciding on a college. UB tries to help out as many students as they can by providing scholarships to international students. My advice for students who rely on scholarships would be, apply as early as possible and if you need something, ask!!
I came to UB as an undecided major, ready to explore a bunch of different fields that interested me. I took an introductory Computer Science course freshman year and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to major in it. What I like about the CS department at UB is that they provide a lot of resources for students to succeed. We frequently have a lot of great speakers from the industry coming in, have company visits, an annual hackathon, a lot of student run clubs and a great pool of faculty.
I’m involved in a club called UB Scientista, which is a student run club that empowers women in technology. We are building to create a strong community of women in CS at UB through workshops, tech talks, social events and conferences. Although I only joined Scientista during my junior year, I really wish I had joined Scientista or any other club right from freshman year. Joining a club will give you so much exposure and opportunities that you probably won't find elsewhere. It'll give you a head start on your career. It's almost like anywhere else you would have to chase after opportunities, but in clubs, you are literally handed out opportunities ready to go. There are multiple clubs for almost every major at UB. You can also start your own club if you want to!
For all the incoming freshman reading this, I really hope you enjoy college as much as I have and take full advantage of the all the amazing resources provided here at UB right from the day 1!!