UB Ambassablog 2019

2019 Ambassadors.

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!

Blog posts:

Lily's Final Summer Update

By Lily


Lily and her sister.

I can’t believe it’s just a week away from the orientation and I’m gonna see you guys real soon. Right now, I’m having the last vacation for the summer; then, I’m going to be ready for my senior year at UB (yeb! I’m old!). As always, I’m visiting my sister in Florida; since I have already told you a lot about this sunshine state, I would like to give you some tips for the first week at UB aka the orientation week.

Talk to new people as much as possible

I know this might be something you keep hearing a lot but seriously, it’s vital for an individual getting into a new environment. Trust me, we’re all shy so let’s just take it slowly. The people you want to talk to might be the one that speaks the same language as you, which is great; however, I really encourage you to speak to those that you have to communicate by English (if it’s your second language) so you can improve it. Once you build some new relationships, the first month at UB will be easier for you because at least you have company. 

Please ask!

There will be a lot of new things you need to do and it might be challenging so please feel free to ask! The people you can ask is not limited to orientation volunteer or International Admission staff, you can ask anyone at the Student Union front desk and they can definitely help you out. 

NEW for this year! Everything is online now!

If you check the link to the UB International Welcome Series (the Orientation) recently, you can see that you can download the Guidebook for Orientation to your computer or your smartphone now. Please check this link for more details: http://www.buffalo.edu/international-student-services/for-new-students/welcome-series.html#title_0

Simply enjoy it!

After the orientation, you will get to do some serious study work so just enjoy it as much as you can! 

That’s it for the last update of summer! I hope I can see all of you in the orientation!

Lily at the beach.

Tong's Summer Trip

By Tong


Tong with a family member.

Summer has always been my favorite season since I can fly back to China and visit my family. This year, I had an amazing road trip with my families. On this trip, we went to three different cities in eastern China.

Our first stop is Jinan, where is the capital city of Shandong province. Jinan is known as its famous 72 springs, so people also named it “Spring city.” We went to see the most renowned spring called “Baotu Spring” I have only read the description of how clean and beautiful the spring from Chinese poetry. So, I was so excited to see it with my own eyes. The spring located in a classical Chinese garden and this garden appears naturally formed with the paillon, trees, water, and the mountains.  Since the natural landscape scenery is the essential feature for the traditional Chinese garden. Although the Baotu spring is the highlight of this garden, I was also amazed by its architectures and the garden design, which shows its artistic charm and the classical Chinese culture. During the trip, I took a lot of good pictures to keep my memories of this beautiful garden. After the journey in Jinan, we headed to our second stop called Qingdao, a famous harbor city in eastern China. It is also a popular tourist city are famous for its unique local culture, the city scenery and Qingdao beer. Back in 1898, Qingdao was the oversea colony of Germany, so the city was influenced by the western culture that can be seen in the architecture and the beer culture. My favorite place is the old town in Qingdao, people there live in a leisurely life that I am looking forward to having in the future. This travel would let me slow my pace and experience the local life in Qingdao. Our final stop of this trip is “Lian island,” which is a small island located in the Jiangsu province. Since we had a pretty intense trip schedule in Jinan and Qingdao, we decided to stay on this island for a few days and tried to relax. During those days, I was enjoying doing many fun things with my families, such as going to the beaches, climbing the stone and watching the sunrise.

 For me, the whole trip is not really about the pretty view I saw and the delicious food I ate, however, it is about spending time with family and creating a beautiful memory with them.


My Roots

By Claudia


Claudia in Peru.
Photo of Peru.

Time passes fast and I am returning to UB very soon. That is the reason why in this new blog post I want to talk a little bit more about where I come from.

Peru is characterized not only because of its food but also because of its variety of landscapes such as The Rainbow Mountain, Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu, etc.

The Rainbow Mountain is a colorful mountainside in the high Andes of Peru. The mountain’s colors were produced by sedimentary mineral layers in the mountain that have been exposed by erosion. The Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca Mountain, is nowadays one of the major touristic attraction for Peru after being discovered for tourism only a few years ago. What was simply a quiet mountain in the Andes, is now overwhelmed every day with thousands of visitors. 

Colca Canyon is the world’s second deepest canyon. It is located three hours outside of Arequipa (my city), this trip is often done as a 2 day and 1 night tour. Almost twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, this stunning area is also a refuge for the Andean Condor whose wingspan ranges from about 8-10 ft, which makes them a majestic spectacle to see when they are flying.

Talking about Peru´s landscapes will be incomplete without mentioning Machu Picchu, but I kept it for last to explain you that there is so much more to explore in Peru than visit this world wonder. Machu Picchu, which means “old mountain” in the Quechua language, is as beautiful as everyone says. Also, there is a constantly changing weather (it can go from a cloudy sky to perfectly sunny climate in minutes). Moreover, the mystery that remains about this place gives a unique energy that I cannot describe. It’s well worth the journey.

PS: Don’t forget to have your passport marked with the particular Machu Picchu stamp on site before you leave!


Machu Picchu.

Tackling Your First Semester

By Brandon


Tackling your first semester.

It’s the end of July. Summer break is coming to an end and in just a few weeks, you will start your first day of classes. Surely, you must be wondering: How am I going to survive my first semester in UB? How am I going to adapt to this new environment? Well, have no fear as this blog will provide you some helpful tips in tackling your first semester here in UB.

First, when you arrive in Buffalo, you will most likely be bogged down with jet lag. You may feel tired, sleepy or may wake up at odd times. To overcome this jet lag, try to follow the time zone here in Buffalo. During the day, try not to sleep. Go out and enjoy the sun! Only sleep at night! By doing this, your body can adjust quickly to the time here in Buffalo and you will be fresh by the time of International Student Welcome Series and first week of classes.

Second, try to attend most sessions of the International Student Welcome Series. Some of the sessions will contain useful information on the resources available here in UB, such as Math Help Centre and English Writing Centre. The International Student Welcome Series will also most likely be the first place where you will make friends and know people who may be taking the same classes as you. They may even be your close circle of friends for your four years here in UB.

Packing Essentials & More!

By Shreya


Shreya with fellow interns.

Hey everyone! Hope your summer is going well! I am finishing up my internship in the next two weeks and look forward to being back in buffalo for paraprofessional training! I am also excited to meet you all during Orientation! Two weeks back I visited New York City for the first time! I met up with a couple of my friends and we visited the Empire State building as well as Central Park. It was fun experimenting with subways and figuring out our way across the city.

As the summer draws to a close, you must all be excited to begin a new chapter of your life at UB! Hence in this blog post I wanted to touch upon a few questions that I am asked frequently.

1.      When can I move in to dorms?

Per the campus living website, new students intending to live in Ellicott, Governors or Main Street can move in to their rooms starting August, 22

2.      Will there be a pickup service available at the airport?

UB does not have an official pick-up service. You can book an official airport cab or opt for Uber or Lyft pick-ups.

3.      What should I pack?

The most important things that you should be taking with you are as follows:

·        All your original documents including your transcripts, certificates and diplomas

·        Health prescriptions and medication

·        UB Health form if you haven’t already shipped it to us

·        I-20, Passport, Visa

·        Some USD cash or in the form of traveler’s check

·        Basic necessities like toiletries and clothes

·        Copies of your official high school transcripts signed and stamped in an envelope with the school’s seal

            Apart from these you also want to pack your necessities. Here is a pro-tip, make a list of all the products or items that you use from the moment you wake up till you sleep. Figure out which of these items you can buy locally in the states and which you need to bring with you here.

You are also going to miss your home, family and friends. Hence make sure to pack some memorable items like family pictures, a favorite blanket or a soft toy that you cherish! I bought with my favorite childhood toy – a soft plush penguin called Pingu!

You would also want to pack some of your favorite local snacks! You are definitely going to miss your traditional native food!

Apart from this ask your mom! I am sure she probably has a pretty detailed list already formed in her head! Until then, keep the questions coming!

Princeton Campus.

Princeton Campus

Shreya at lunch with friends.

Shreya at lunch with friends

Social Service in Peru

By Claudia


Claudia with a child in Peru.

Peru’s poverty rate increased last year for the first time since 2001, rising one percentage point to 21.7 percent, according to government data. People who suffer the most because of this situation are children and the elderly. Every day they need to face different problems, not only related to health but also with food and education.

Since I was very young I used to do social service in my city because I think it is very important to learn more about my people, my culture, my reality. Besides, I had the privilege to do some social projects in different countries like Germany, Costa Rica and the USA. UB has also motivated me to continue doing social projects. During my freshman year, I was part of the Leadership community, which has helped me to improve my abilities as a leader but also has thought me how to manage a good community service and in what ways I can help different communities.

During this summer, I wanted to keep doing different projects by applying all the knowledge acquired during my first year.  My father and I own a company that sells alpaca clothes. Approximately fifty women from the highlands work with us making different sweaters, gloves, hat, etc to sell. Most of these girls have low standard living conditions because they do not have the possibility to go to school or university and get a job easily. In that sense, they try to make money with the abilities that they know like knit.  For that reason, I decided to build a program with the aim to teach my women workers how to create "fair commerce". Most of these girls not only work for my family company but also they help other firms. Some of them take advantage of the lack of education and try to pay them less than the minimum wage. That is the reason why I decided to teach them how to assert her rights and show other companies that their abilities are highly paid.

With my experience doing social projects I have learned that you need to help people not only proving nonperishable food, or clothes but also tools and knowledge they can use in the future that can help them to improve their lives.

The purpose of this project was to let those women know the value of their abilities and all the possibilities that they can build or create without depending on a specific company. Moreover, this project is helping me to know more about my culture, to learn more about different people who came from different realities as mine.

weave machine.
Women working on a weave.

Preparing For Your New Beginning

By Ethan


Ethan kayaking on Lake Lasalle.

Ethan kayaking on Lake Lasalle

It’s midway through summer! How has you been preparing your luggage for a new life, new beginning at United States?

Preparing for a college life is a tough plan! I’ve been there too, only I had to prepare for my high school education here. It was rough, and there was literally no existing information or anyone acting as a bridge to connect and help me submerging into the American culture. Knowing what to bring to your new home was such a big deal for me! Because I thought I wouldn’t find things, such as food, games, etc. that reminds me of where I comes from and those things helps keeping myself up during bad days. However, until I walked into the airport, into the school hallway, I realized it wasn’t the physical preparation that was going to get me through the first difficult year. Rather, it was my mental state needed to be ready. I still remember when I walked into a school hallway right before the class ended; it was chaos, everyone seems to know each other and there was me trying to fit into the crowd.

So I think that as you are enjoying your summer, I suggest that you should make the best of memories with your family, your friends, and your love for your country; because once you arrive in here, at Buffalo, you will be lost before getting adjusted to the new environment. And that’s what I always do when I come back home for break; I won’t see my family, my friends, and my Vietnam for a year. It is hard to just see them through the screen.

I also suggest that you shouldn’t overpack! For some of you, you will be on flight more than 30 hours and it won’t be fun! When you arrive at Buffalo, take some times to explore UB! It’s really cool! I recently tried out the kayaking and I love it!

Fireworks on the 4th of July at Canalside.

Fireworks on the 4th of July at Canalside

Ethan at Canalside.

Ethan at Canalside 

Summer Break Diaries

By Shreya


Pond at Shreya's internship.
Princeton Downtown.
Shreya at her internship.

Hello beautiful people! Hope your summer break is going well and you are enjoying some well-deserved time off after finishing school and completing the application process. I am currently in Hopewell, NJ completing a summer internship as a software developer with Bank of America. It has been quite an experience so far and I am loving the life in this Garden State which has trees literally everywhere.

A significant part of my week is spent in the office. The office complex is huge and has its own small pond at the center of the premises flanked by trees. I love walking by the pond on the small cobblestone path during lunch break. In the evenings I either read a novel or watch a movie to de-stress after the day.

This internship has been a great learning experience so far and I have had the chance to meet and talk to tons of new people. I spend most of my workday coding, reading about technology and familiarizing myself with the various products. On the weekends I either spend time with my hosts or go out with fellow interns. Last week we toured the picturesque Princeton downtown. The aesthetics on the backdrop of Princeton University are simply breathtaking. There are numerous restaurants near the main campus which service all kinds of cuisines including Mediterranean, Italian, Indian, etc. There are also a couple of savory and dessert places which serve Princeton’s best cupcakes and ice creams.

If you are in this area, I would definitely recommend that you check out the campus and don’t miss out on House of Cupcakes.

Most of you must be either done with your visa process or almost finishing it by now. This is a great time to start brainstorming your packing list and figuring out what you need to bring with you to the states. One pro tip: Make a list of all the items/products you use right from the time you wake up till you go to sleep. Now once you have this list you will have a much better idea about what you need to pack. Make sure you bring all your prescribed medication and its prescription. It might help to stock up on certain medication in case it’s not readily available here.

Make sure you sign up for Orientation and plan ahead to make reservations for any domestic transportation you might have to opt for while traveling internally in the United States. Start looking into accommodations for the week of Orientation if you haven’t done so already. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!

I look forward to hearing about your summer experiences and answering any questions that you might have!

Summer Updates from Lily- Part 2

By Lily


Lily at Harvard.

Lily at Harvard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Lobster Roll.

Lobster Roll

Downtown Boston from MIT.

Downtown Boston from MIT


Hi everyone! It’s been a month since I last had some updates for you about my summer. As I said before, I was about to have an interesting trip and now it’s the time to share with you guys!


I just spent a long weekend in Boston and I love it! It has a great vibe with all the beautiful buildings that has been there for more than 300 years. If you like New York but you don’t like the crowd, Boston might be a good choice for you.

Flight, accommodation and commute.

As a college student, my trip was super budget. I booked a last minute flight which was surprisingly cheap ($89 one way) and stayed at Airbnb. The cheapest way to commute around the city is by subway and bus and the good news is they just reduced the fare starting on July 1st, 2019 so now it’s even cheaper. One thing you need to know before riding the subway in Boston: avoid the rush hour; unlike New York, some of the route in Boston has a very short train (some of them just have 2 cars) so you might find it’s very uncomfortable to squeeze in a crowded train.

Where to go?

What will first come up to your mind when thinking about Boston? For me, it’s gonna be all the famous colleges. Yup! It’s Harvard and MIT (Massachusett Institute of Technology)! I was really surprised the area around Harvard is super commercial; they even have a plaza with all the stores and restaurants which is pretty cool. The big amount of tourists coming in Harvard disappointed me a little bit but I realized it’s a very famous school so it’s just normal to have a lot of people come and see the great school.

Remember: always bring your UB ID because you will have free admission to Harvard art museum and other student discounts.

Unlike Harvard, MIT is less busy and they even let tourists going inside the Main Dome. From MIT, you can have a great view to Boston downtown through the river bank. One of the interesting things I saw at MIT is that all the U's become V's. For example, the write “Massachvsett” instead of “Massachusett”.

Boston is the coastal city so there’s a lot of ocean-related-things you can do such as going on a 4-hour tour to watch dolphin, visiting New England’s biggest aquarium or just simply enjoying sunshine on the beach. The tourism spots are very close together so it is all up to you to choose. If you love shopping, there’s Newburry street for you to shop while seeing the beauty of Boston’s old buildings.

What to eat?

If you are Asian, especially East Asian, you will definitely love the Chinatown. I got dimsum, Chinese dessert and super authentic Vietnamese food in the Boston Chinatown. The food was so good that I thought I just traveled back to Asia.

One of the spots you should never miss when being in Boston: Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It is a complex of lifestyle mall where you can get great seafood or any Boston’s specialty. The price is a little bit pricey for seafood here but it's a once in a while so don’t miss the chance!

That’s it for this blog! See you next time!

Summer Study Abroad- Japan Edition

By Ray


Ray in Japan.
Ray posing with a deer.
Market in Japan.
Ray with Study Abroad Group.

Hi, My name is Ray, and I want to share with you about my experiences in Japan through UB Study Abroad Programs.

Japanese culture is known for its uniqueness and beauty, and I’ve always been in love with it. For personal interest and academic reasons, I decided to study abroad in Konan University, Kobe, Japan, via UB Study Abroad Asia Program.

  Kobe is a middle-size harbor city located in west Japan, and it was the first port in Japan that opened to the world in modern history. The University I studied in, is called Konan University (甲南大学), and it’s a private college located on a mountain area. One thing that really surprised me was the advanced public transportation system in Japan. The trains are fast, convenient, and they are always ON TIME. I have to use public train system to school everyday just like any other Japanese students, so I take the same train at the same time and meet the same strangers everyday.

The school experience to me is not very different from the one I had in China when I was young. The teachers set strict rules, and everyone needs to quiet down and listen to what teachers have to say except for the part when we need to practice speaking Japanese. The way they teach may eliminates individualism, but it does teach you self-discipline and the things you need to know for your exam. That’s the part for Japanese language study, but for the culture learning part, it is much more fun than the lectures.

We get to learn Japanese style Drum, Tea Practice, and Calligraphy in school with Japanese students. That gives us a taste of Japanese unique culture, and it was a very cool experience to learn all these interesting things. Also, we have two school field trips to Osaka and Kyoto, so we get to visit beautiful Japanese Shrines and learn about Japanese traditional religious rituals. Couple things I noticed about interpersonal relationships in Japan from my Japanese friends: Japanese people have very strong self-discipline and strict social hierarchy, and they always put the interest of the group ahead of the interests of their own. As a result, they are very polite to strangers and people who are older, being afraid of bringing inconvenience to other people, and also consistently caring and thinking about other people’s feelings.

Overall, my study abroad trip in Japan is amazing. I learn a lot about Japan, and also my Japanese has great improvement. I am very grateful to have this opportunity.

Joining An Extracurricular Club On Campus

By Brandon


Brandon together with some of the friends he made from the Malaysian Student Association (MASA).

Brandon together with some of the friends he made from the Malaysian Student Association (MASA) 

Joining a club is a great way to expand your circle of friends while knowing people who share the same interests as you. For us international students, it may also be a good way to make more American friends and be more immersed in the UB community. However, when you come to UB, you may feel lost in deciding which club to join and might even wonder whether that club is the right fit for you. As a student who was once lost when deciding which club to join last semester, I am going to provide you some tips here on finding out more about the clubs here in UB and deciding which one is the right fit for you. That way, you will have an easier time deciding which club to join once you arrive here in UB.

First, make sure you attend the International Student Welcome Series, as there may be a session that talks about the clubs here in UB and how to join them. Also, during the Welcome Series, the UB Student Association may also distribute pamphlets containing the list of clubs here in UB. From there, you can look at the list of clubs and see which ones interest you. Then, during Campus Fest which is held during the weekend of the Welcome Series, you can head down to the club booths which are normally set-up during that time. From there, you can either ask for more information about the club you are interested in or sign-in to the club there. If you can’t find the club you are interested in, you can also go to the UB SA website ​here​ and look at the whole list of clubs available here in UB, together with their information. From the website, you can either email them or look up for their meeting times through ​UBLinked​. 

Next is all about attending the club meetings. It’s perfectly normal to feel slightly nervous or even intimidated to attend your first ever club meeting here in UB, but remember that there may be many people who are feeling the same way as you. Other than that, clubs here in UB are very friendly and welcoming to everyone, whether they are a new student or an old member of the club. If you still feel that you won’t be comfortable attending a club meeting on your own, ask your friends to tag along with you so that you will feel less intimidated during the club meeting. If while attending the club meeting you feel that the club isn’t the right fit for you, it’s perfectly fine to just not attend the remaining meetings of the semester and focus on the clubs that you fit in well. 

If you feel that none of the clubs here suit your interests, you can even start your own club. All you need to do is follow the procedures and rules listed in this ​link​. You can ask your friends or people who share the same interests as you to work together in forming your own club. It’s something that can be done here in UB and in fact, in the past year, around 3-4 new clubs catering to various interests were formed, which shows how excellent is the club environment here in UB. 

That is all on how to join clubs here in UB. I hope that when you come to UB, you will at least try to join one club as you get so many good things out of it. Like for me, once I joined the Malaysian Student Association (MASA), not only that I got friends,  I got a warming, small family of Malaysians, Americans and people of various nationalities and cultures as well. Hence, do join a club once you come here to UB so that you get a wonderful American university experience that you can share with your family and friends back home. 

Tong's Travel Tips

By Tong


Tong at Disney.

Tong at Disney

What should we do during the school break? My answer is to travel for sure! As an international student, school break gives me a great opportunity to go out and see another place in the U.S. There is a famous saying in China, “it is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.” I do believe travel will broaden your horizon with seeing the new things, and it also gives you a better understanding of other culture.  Every year during the school break, I would have a trip with my friends, which brings me so many unforgettable memories. Since I had a rich traveling experience, I would like to share with you some tips to travel in the U.S.

Before the Trip

There are so many essential things you need to do to have a pleasant travel experience. As my experience, my first thing before the trip is to set the date of trips. Especially the return date, because school usually will have midterms exams coming right after the Thanksgiving break and the spring break. So, I would go to look at my class schedule from syllabus before I set the date, in case I don’t have time to study for exams when I came back. Also, planning trip early will save your money from flight and hotel expense. Some school breaks happened during the holidays, which means the flight ticket price and hotel price will set to increase as the holiday season nears. In the U.S the holiday season runs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. So, you definitely want to book your flight and hotel before the price gets increased.

What to Bring?

As an international student, it is very necessary to bring identification with you such as passport, student ID, and the I-20. However, the i-20 is not the requirement as long as you travel inside the U.S. To avoid the unexpected circumstance, I personally will bring the i-20 with me even it is domestic travel. Besides, make sure to bring the student ID with you during the trip because you will be so surprised by how this little card benefits you. The coolest part about the student ID is that you can get student price at many places like public transportation, museum, theatre, and tourist places, which will save you a lot of money.

During the Trip

My advice is to see, listen, eat, and enjoy!  When you are in a new place, there are so many local things that you never see. How do we get to know this new place in a short time? For me, I always go to the local museum every time I went to a new city. Because it is a great way to quickly get the full information about the local culture and history. Also, don’t forget to eat! I know it seems like very not useful advice because we both love to eat! However, I still recommend you to try more local food that you never had before. Lastly, don’t forget to take more photos! Because one day, when you look at the pictures, you will feel so blessed with all those beautiful memories you saved.

Overall, I hope my trip tips will be helpful for you to plan a fantastic trip in the future!


Tong visiting Pandora.
Diagon Alley.

Where I Come From

By Claudia


Claudia looking out over mountains.

Claudia at home in Peru

Food in peru.
food in peru.
food in peru.
food in peru.

UB is characterized by its multiculturalism, indeed more than 16% of UB students come from different countries like China, India, Vietnam, Honduras, etc.

As an international student, being away from home, could be a kind of difficult transition. UB takes care of its international students, by making sure to preserve our essence, our culture, and our traditions. At UB not only I acquire and improve my knowledge, but also it helped me to develop a sense of identity with my own country and a sense of responsibility by showing my culture to other UB students.

After my first year at UB and with all the knowledge acquired during this first year of college, I decided to come and put into practice everything I learned. It has already been 2 weeks since I came back home and I am surprised by how my visions, perspectives, and points of view, about how I see the world, have changed.

I return to my country, not only because I want to spend time with my family and friends, but also because I am working at my dad ́s business and doing an internship with the Peruvian government.

For now, I want to use this space to introduce more about where I came from, interesting facts about my country and its cuisine.

Arequipa is the capital and largest city of the Arequipa Region and belongs to the country of Peru. It is Peru's second most populated city with almost a million inhabitants. Apart from that, Arequipa is the second most industrialized and commercialized city in Peru. Its industrial activity includes manufactured goods and alpaca wool products for export. The city has close trade relations with Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil. The historic center of Arequipa covers an area of 332 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its historic culture, natural landscapes, and cultural sites make the city a major tourist destination.

Another interesting fact is that Peru is well-known around the world because of its food. The Peruvian gastronomy is the result of the fusion among its Peruvian background, the influence of Spain cuisine, and African food due to the Spain colonization for more than seven hundred years. In the XIX century, Peruvian food was also influenced by the migration of people from countries like China, Japan, and Italy. As a result of its wide variety of influences in past Peru possess nowadays more than two thousand five hundred types of soups just in its coast, and more than two hundred and fifty different types of traditional desserts.

To sum up, the wide variety of Peruvian cuisine is based on 3 sources: the particularity of the Peruvian geography, the mix of cultures and the adaptation of its cultures throughout history.

How I'm Spending My Summer Break

By Ethan


Ethan with his friends at a Food Truck gathering.

Ethan with his friends at a Food Truck gathering

Island State Park.

Island State Park

Greetings from Summer at Buffalo! This is my first summer spending in Buffalo and it’s awesome! It is completely contradict with the aggressive Winter here! And I’m so glad that I can finally spend my first summer here after 3 years in Buffalo.

However, I’m not here just for enjoying my break, it could have been anywhere! Even in Vietnam! There are so many things that I’m planning to do for the Summer in the U.S!

First of all, recovering!

The spring semester has been the busiest time for me ever since I go to UB. I remember staying up till 3AM to study for exams, quizzes, and finals; I remember meeting and completing many group projects along with presentations; I remember attending my professional setting where I come for interview, be a part of the Accounting club, and many more. So this is a great time to recover my energy, get a full-rest and prepare for my last school year!

Secondly, take use of the 3 months period I have

3 months is a very long time if you have nothing to do, so I thought! However, giving yourself something to do will shorten it mentally. Therefore, I gave myself a list to do! I will be an E-Board member for Beta Alpha Psi and working as Correspondence Secretary. This is going to be my first project to work on something that I’m so unfamiliar about!

Furthermore, I also start trying baking, something I would never imagine that I’m capable! But baking is fun!

Finally, hanging out with friends!

What’s more important than hanging with your friends in the break? Me and my friends, including your Ambassador Lily is staying in the summer at Buffalo! It’s a great time to connect, explore Buffalo from A to Z.


Summer Updates From Lily

By Lily


Lily on a picnic with her friends at Beaver Island State Park.

Lily on a picnic with her friends at Beaver Island State Park

Summer Update

It might be tiring during the school year; however, when the summer comes, you will miss school a lot. UB gives students a 3-month summer break and it is important not to waste it. This is the second summer that I stay the whole 3 months in the US and luckily, I haven’t done anything wasteful (haha). Let me share with you what I’ve done during the time I don’t have to go to school (in the US).

Literally take a break

It is a great time to treat yourself after 9 months not having enough time to sleep. So just sleep! Missed your favorite show during the school year? Your time has come! Use it! It’s a perfect way to charge up your energy before starting your summer plans. I know that we usually plan to do something very productive during the summer and then you’re being so excited at the beginning but starting to give it up after 3 or 4 weeks. Therefore, it’s better to just relax first and then get to work whenever you are really ready.

Cleaning up

At the end of the school year, there’s always a mess in my room that I have to clean it up. Cleaning is a way to refresh myself after the whole year drowning in homework and group projects. In order to make it easier to get rid of all the textbooks, at the beginning of the semester, I just bought e-textbooks and borrowed the physical books. It can create a win-win situation when it costs less and it is also good for the environment. Don’t be afraid to throw away all the old stuff that there is a very low chance you’re gonna use it because having more space can give you inspiration to work.

Enjoying the sun

Summer is always a perfect time to do all the fun things outside. There are a lot of places and activities you can do in Buffalo this time of the year such as kayaking on LaSalle Lake (free for UB students), having good food at food truck Tuesday or Marriot food truck Friday (the Marriot hotel is right across the street from UB North Campus), getting local produce at the farmer markets, etc.

I’ve been to this year’s first food truck Friday last week and it was really cool. We had some good tacos and meatball and really enjoyed the live music. Too bad that I didn’t take any photos because I was so into the food. I will definitely give you guys some photos next time (haha)!

It is nice to spend time outside but don’t forget your sunglasses and wear sunscreen, otherwise you will get burned which you don’t really want.

The first three weeks of summer might go very slow for me because I take it very easy. However, I’ve had a good plan in the upcoming weeks and I will catch you up later. See you soon!


Lily enjoying some sunshine.

Lily enjoying some sunshine

UB on a sunny day.

UB on a sunny day

Ray's Summer Day in China

By Ray


Ray helping a friend teach English to school children.

Ray helping a friend teach English to school children



Ray's grandparents.

Ray's grandparents 

Hi, My name is Ray, and I want to show you what one of my summer days was like in China.

Waking up at seven in the morning, I quickly cleaned up and headed out to the freshest rice noodles place in the city. In there, I had a big bowl of rice noodles for breakfast. The warm and spicy noodles soup started my beautiful day off. After breakfast, I took a walk to a small but delicate bookstore nearby, and bought a couple Japanese study books for preparing my study abroad trip to Japan. Then, I stopped by a coffee shop next door, sit down, and started reading the books I just purchased.

Three hours passed by, it was the appointed time to meet my friend to be her assistant for teaching elementary school kids English. I took the train and got to the school where my friend taught English classes. Young kids were very lovely and energetic, and they shouted out to welcome the stranger who came to their classroom, me. Then the class started, me and my friend read contents out from the textbook, and the kids followed us and imitated the way we pronounced it. One hour has gone, and the class was over. I said goodbye to the kids and my friend, and taking the bus to my grandparents’ house for dinner.


After a 30 minutes bus ride, I arrived the other side of the city where my grandparents live. They were very excited and happy to see me, because they have not seen me for a year. My grandparents are traditional southern Chinese, and they prepared a table of dinner for me and my parents who just got there by car. For preparing dinner, my grandparents stayed in the kitchen for three hours and cooked about eight dishes--fish, shrimp, chicken, beef, vegetable, and soup. Finally, the dinner started with loud laughters, and my cousin and his family came to join us as well. I asked my grandparents and my cousin about how they have been, and they’ve been well and asked me how’s student life in the United States. After three hours of great conversations and funny jokes, the dinner party finished, and I reluctantly said goodbye to my grandparents and other family members, heading home with my parents. And, that was one of my summer days in China.

Making Use Of School Breaks

By Brandon


Brandon and his friends in New York City.

Brandon and his friends in New York City

When it is a few weeks into the semester and work starts piling up on your desk, it is normal for you to start counting down to your break while thinking about all the fun things you are going to do. Some of you may plan on travelling, catch up on classes or basically just rest. It is important, however, to properly utilize them, such that you spend your break meaningfully without any regrets. You don’t want to waste away your break and feel you did nothing productive, or have too much fun during breaks get overwhelmed by the backlogged work when you come back.

Here, I am going to provide you some tips on how to properly utilize your holidays to make sure that you spend these breaks meaningfully. There are four breaks in an academic year: Two short breaks during the Fall and Spring semester, and two long breaks during winter and summer. Let’s break down what each break is and how you can spend time during each of those breaks:

Short Break

In Fall and Spring semester, there is a break lasting 5-9 days. For Spring, it occurs right in the middle of the semester, during March. As for Fall, it coincides with Thanksgiving, during the week of the fourth Thursday of November. They are a good time for you to rest, catch up on work or go for a short getaway vacation. During Fall Recess, there is also Thanksgiving Without Borders, where international students like you get to have thanksgiving dinners with host families comprising of UB faculty, staff and alumni. For me, I have used these breaks for vacations with friends, visiting places like New York City and Miami. I also have friends who stayed back to catch up on work and lectures, or went back to their homes for those living in New York State.

Long Break

There are two long breaks, which are winter and summer breaks. Winter is the shorter of the two breaks, lasting 4-5 weeks from mid-December to late January. In the meantime, summer break can last up to 3 months from end of May till late August. While many students choose to go back to their home country during these two breaks, many others like me choose to stay

Amazingly, there are in fact quite a number of things that you can do while staying back.

You can choose to take winter or summer classes to catch up or lighten your course load during the Fall and Spring Semesters. Although these classes are conducted in a shorter time period, they have smaller class sizes, which gives you better access to the lecturer. There are also some online classes that you can take as well. Also, use these breaks to apply for any jobs that you want to do during Fall and Spring Semester. Other than that, review your past classes to prepare for the upcoming semesters, since there will be some subjects that builds on the knowledge you learnt in past semesters.

For summer, you can go for internships or conduct research with your faculty to improve your resume. Also, for engineering students, there are various intramural projects that you can participate in, where you can apply what you learn in the classrooms to real-life engineering problems.

Overall, there are plenty of things that you can do during breaks. It’s about how you manage these breaks and ensure that you have fun while remaining productive. Remember not to compare your breaks with others and that everyone have their own way of having fun.


Summer Updates and Reminders!

By Shreya


Shreya and friends.
Niagara Falls.
Shreya at Niagara Falls.

Shreya at Niagara Falls

Shreya and Friends at Niagara Falls.

Shreya and Friends at Niagara Falls 

For the past two summers I have been in India. Living at home, spending time with family and devouring mangoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner was my daily routine. I have thoroughly enjoyed both my summers back home but this year I decided to stay back in the states and experience life here. Unlike back home, Buffalo summer kicks in closer to June. One of the chilliest places in the world, Buffalo also has pretty intense and humid summers. I had the chance to visit Niagara Falls recently and this is pretty much the best time to go and explore the falls and nearby trails.

I carpooled with a bunch of my friends post finals and it was really the best way to end a hectic semester on a high note.

We walked around the area, enjoyed an ice cream treat in the hot sweltering weather and took enough pictures to fill up all the available storage on my phone. The water at the falls is a magnificent, sparkling blue and you would definitely want to check out the ‘maid of the mist’ ferry ride.

There are a couple of amusement park rides and plenty of good restaurants in the area where you can get a pretty sumptuous and tasty lunch for not a whole lot of money. Although we didn’t have enough time to cover it, you can plan a visit to Fort Niagara which is not too far or Beaver island. Both are gorgeous locations with a lot of natural scenic beauty.

I have been receiving a lot of questions about next steps and what you should do over summer. Your first priority right now should be to get your financials in order, secure your I-20 and apply for a US visa. Once you have all these steps completed you can start looking into registering for the international student welcome series and planning the rest of your summer break.

Instead of worrying about academics, I would suggest that you spend the next few months learning how to cook or pursuing a hobby. Focus on spending time with friends and family and take out time to explore your interests. The summer before college flies very fast and you should aim to make the most of it. You may also want to learn some life skills which will be pretty helpful once you come here. Try to familiarize yourself with basic sewing, cooking with few ingredients and doing laundry and dishes. You will find all these skills incredibly useful when you stay away from home. Focus on your health and try to engage in some form of sports/physical activity of your choice.

Ambassador End of The Year Potluck Party

By Tong


Ambassadors at potluck party.

Time goes so fast! I can’t believe the spring semester officially ends!  Before the summer break, other ambassadors and I threw a potluck party at the office. I first came up with this party idea while I was talking about Chinese food with other ambassadors. One day, they ask me if I would like to cook Chinese food for them. I was wondering why we don’t bring our traditional food and eat together. Since we are both come from different countries, the diverse background gives us such an opportunity to satisfy the curiosity of knowing different cultures. Therefore we organized this event and had so much fun on that day.

As you can see in the picture, we brought the traditional food of our countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Peru. At the party, I had my first try on Vietnamese food that Lily brought called “ Banh uot,” that made by the rice noodle sheet and meats. By the way, we accidentally found this rice noodle taste very well with Sharon’s Indian masala, which is also one of my favorite Indian food.  I prepared three popular Chinese dishes, the steamed dumpling, sweet and sour ribs, and egg tarts. I am so glad that everyone loves my food and eat them all! 

For making this party more fun, we decided to wear the traditional custom from our own culture, which was the highlight of the whole party. In the picture, I wear a Qipao that is also called Cheongsam, and this dress looks pretty casual. However, Lily wears the very formal traditional Ao Dai that is the Vietnamese national garment, and it was also her first time to wear Ao Dai in a foreign country.  Sharon who stands beside me, was wearing the Indian dress called “ Anarkali,” and she looks like an Indian actress who walks from the Bollywood movie. Brandon his Malaysian silk shirt that looks so cool and comfortable, even I want to get one for summer.

Lastly, it was an impressive experience to see my colleagues on their traditional costume and also had so much delicious ethnic cuisine with them.  Also, I am so grateful to have this opportunity to see, to know, to learn new things from other culture anytime at UB.


Potluck food.
Potluck food.

End of Semester Wrap-up!

By Ethan


International Ambassadors 2019.

International Ambassadors 2019

The semester is almost about to end! I can’t wait for the incoming international student body at University at Buffalo! 3 years for me, I just felt like yesterday when I was a new freshmen. Time flew by so fast!

I still remember that I was so excited to become a part of University at Buffalo and the opportunity it will give me in the future. So here I am, an incoming senior! For me, every single year in college provided me a phenomenal transformation, whether it is about my professionalism, my attitude, and myself! And I believe you’re going to experience the same thing too!

Here is some advice for incoming freshmen! You will surely experience cultural clash! And homesick too! It will be a tough challenge for everyone, but you will have your new friends and they will be there to help you going through that. My first tip for you: Don’t be afraid to make mistake, don’t be afraid to take initiative, and don’t be afraid to talk!

What will you need to prepare for the summer? I ask. I think the most valuable thing you can do is to spend more time with your loved ones, your friends, and BUY ALL THE FOOD YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO FIND HERE!

So tell me, what’s your summer plan?

A reminder: Come meet us at orientation before the school starts! I would love to see your face!

P/S: Did I tell you that you can also apply to become an International Student Ambassador? You should! Because you can help out your fellows like I do! It will be an ever-lasting experiences in your life!


Best Things About My Freshman Year

By Claudia


Claudia and friends at a football game.

My first year at UB is ending, and lots of friends ask me: What things or resources do you think helped you this year at UB? 

I always say that one of the best decisions I could make before I came to UB  was joining the Leadership House. This living-learning community gave me the possibility to live with other 29 students, who share the same interests as me and make it easy to keep learning even when I am not in class. Also, in the Leadership House, I built a really good relationship with UB members (first-year students, sophomore, UB staff, etc)  from the very first day on campus. 

In addition, this living-learning community helps me spending time learning about myself and the Buffalo community as I enhance my leadership abilities and potential. This year, I enrolled in two different leadership courses which expanded my vision about leadership, allowed me to know more about myself, and how I can apply my leadership style to a specific situation now and in the future. 

Moreover, as an international student, I enjoy being connected with the Buffalo community (knowing more about their culture, people, traditions, and more). Leadership House helped me with this initiative by providing me different social service events across campus and throughout the Buffalo-Niagara community. Also, I had the possibility to engage in a year-long service-learning experience, in partnership with a local not-for-profit agency. These community engagement experiences let me build new leadership skills, give back to the Buffalo community, and make a positive impact during my first year at UB. 

Finally, the Leadership House gave me the possibility to meet new friends, with whom I built a strong bond. Together, we use to join different events that UB  offers to his students like basketball games, distinguish speaker meetings, concerts, Spring Fest, Oozefest, etc.  

Joining a club opens your mind. As part of the LASA club (Latin American Student Association), I had the possibility to improve my skills and know more about other cultures in general. Not only I had the chance to dance and perform in different places, but also I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries (Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, etc) and learn more about their history. 

After our performance in FIESTA (a dance competition among international dance clubs at UB), Binghamton University gives us the opportunity to perform for their international student day. We had a lot of fun at Binghamton because we meet other Latino clubs from other Universities like Syracuse, we had the opportunity to make more connection with other students in the USA, learn more about their different programs, and share our experiences as students. For this event, we present 4 different types of dances: Salsa, Bomba, Bachata, and Reggaeton. 

For this show, we practiced during for 4 weeks, working very hard to learn the moves and creating a history that could show who is LASA. Every member inside the groups made big efforts because we wanted to give a really good image of our university, not only to the Binghamton students but also for the community itself. 

In general, the experience was amazing because I could identify myself with other students from different American universities, learn from other cultures and had a lot of fun at the same time. 

Claudia with leadership house.
Claudia and LASA.
Claudia and LASA.

Food for the Soul

By Sharon


Little Blue food truck.

Sharon with one of the two food trucks on campus- Little Blue

Jamba Juice.
dining hall.

I recently read a poem which I thought was very cute.  It went something like this:

“I asked for a hot dog,

With everything on it,

And that was my big mistake,

Cause it came with a parrot,

A bee in a bonnet,

A wristwatch, a wrench, and a rake.

It came with a goldfish,

A flag, and a fiddle,

A frog, and a front porch swing,

And a mouse in a mask

That’s the last time I ask

For a hot dog with everything.”

This poem written by Shel Silverstein gave me a giggle and got me thinking of all the food we have at UB. I thought to myself smiling, “I’m glad when I ask for everything in my salad bowl, it doesn’t come with a wristwatch, a wrench and a rake.”  Food at UB sure does a good job satisfying the plethora of palates and needs of students at UB.

On campus Residence options:

We have Dining centers that are right next to the residence halls and the academic spine. C3, Governors Dining center, MainStreet Market, The corner café are buffet like dining. Food provided here include: pizza, pasta, classic American mash potatoes, all kinds of meat that your heart desires, salads for the health gurus and desserts on top of desserts. The list goes on and on and the menu changes every day.


The academic spine options:

The academic spine has so many great options and some of my favorite dining places are here! “Putnam’s” is the one stop shop for those who are in a rush to get to class. If you are feeling hot and stressed grab a cold smoothie from Jamba Juice to cool your nerves. If you want to feel pumped and energetic for your next class grab a delicious cup of coffee or hot chocolate from Tim Horton’s to keep refreshed and alive.


The Commons:

The Commons is food galore. It is a common hang out spot and an escape for the days you just aren’t feeling school food. Starbucks, Subway and Kung Fu Tea are favorites among the student population here at UB. The commons is right outside the Student Union which makes a busy student’s life easier and efficient.

Exciting things to come??

Diversity is huge part of what UB stands for and a great example of that being shown is through the construction of the “One World Cafe”, If you ever feel homesick, the OWC will help you feel less alone, and maybe you may feel a little more at home. You will be given the opportunity to eat your own ethnic food and cuisines from all around the world!

The hidden treasures in Buffalo:

Although UB has great food to offer, the city of Buffalo is no stranger to making some mouthwatering delicacies. Buffalo wild wings from Anchor Bar is the first and best way to start your journey here at UB. There are tons of tiny cafes and restaurants in every nook and corner of the city that every resident treasures. So this is your chance to get your palate ready and begin your food journey in the beautiful city of Buffalo.

For four years now, UB has been voted the best dining services amongst the SUNY universities. The award winning program features a variety of options from 35 dining locations on campus. UB also provides a fun food truck duo (Big Blue and Little Blue) .So with all this being said, be assured that you won’t have to worry about a parrot or a bee in a bonnet bothering you whilst eating your food. However get excited to make your tummy smile and provide food for your soul.

Services on Campus

By Lily


The population of the University of Buffalo is approximately 30,000 excluding faculty and staff; therefore, you can expect it is small town rather than a university. UB provides a lot services such as housing, medical, transportation, etc.  that some of them I do not it exists until someone told me. I would say there are many things that if you need help while you are at UB, just look it up online and you will never know what will come to you.

Travelling around Campuses

The public transportation system in UB is very convenient. UB mainly has 2 kinds of bus going around which are Stampede and Shuttle. You can catch Stampede to travel to North, South, and Downtown campuses or between them. The bus runs every single day including Holidays which is amazing.

 Besides the main buses and shuttles going around the academic complex, UB also has the bus routes that help students to go malls as well as grocery store. The bus that goes to Walden Galleria mall – the biggest mall in town will depart every 15 minutes from North and South Campus at Friday nights. On Saturday, you can catch buses and shuttle from 8am to 8pm to go to EVERY grocery store and Boulevard Mall. And if you are from any part of Asia and craving something from home, there is shuttle departs every 15 minutes every Tuesday evening to Asian Market.

If you want to drive but you cannot bring your car with you, you can rent a car from ZipCar. This car renting service provides you the lowest rate and you can park in the designated spot for ZipCar on campus.

Lily showing off the UB Stampede Bus.

Lily showing off the UB Stampede Bus

UB Stampede and Shuttle schedule: http://www.buffalo.edu/parking/getting-around-UB/bus/bus-schedules/spring-semester.html

International Student Service

UB has a quite large number of International Students; therefore, the International Student Service Office provides you not only immigration service, but also helps you to get the most of time being in The US. ISS offers school trips to different places including outdoor activities and cultural sharing around the Western New York area throughout the year. Going beyond that, this office also helps to bring Domestic and International students together which creates a win-win situation when International Students can learn more about American culture and the Domestic students can explore more about people from around the World.

Lily on an ISS trip to Letchworth State Park.

Lily on an ISS trip to Letchworth State Park

Tutoring service

About helping students with their school work, UB offers many tutor services for almost every science classes. Math Place and Writing Center are two big places that offer the tutoring service for free. If you are a student of School of Management, you will know about ULCC (Undergraduate Learning and Community Center); at this place, you can set an appointment to ask for help for any of your management prerequisite courses (Psychology 101, Math 131, ECO 181, etc.)

UB has everything you need

UB offers every kind service from healthcare to housing. There are several of services you can find that helps you with everything you need. The University always wants to give students the best. Therefore, as long as you keep your eyes open and are willing to ask for help, there is always something for you.

See you next time!

Ways to get involved on campus!

By Ethan


Ethan and Lily in Washington, D.C.

There’re many sports that are available for everyone that attend UB! We even have a building called “Alumni Arena”, it is a building that is dedicated for sport entertainment and development. The building has so much to offer for people with the enthusiasm in sport! We have pool room that consists of 2 pool! One for general swimming and one for diving exercise! Not only that, the school also offer a free gym membership in the building where you can squeeze your muscle out for a summer body! So as long as you remain a student of UB, everything is free! With that, the UB Sport Spirit has always high in my heart! Our Buffalo Bull basketball or football team are a delightful and spiritual motivation when I speak of my school to everyone!

Besides those amazing opportunities to promote my health, this year I am also involved with many clubs that the School of Management has. I am a member of Beta Alpha Psi, it is an internationally honor organization for accounting, Management Information Systems, and finance student to join! It has been a delightful experience for me. Just 2 weeks ago, I have been on a trip with my club that I could never forget. We went to Washington D.C. to represent our school and compete with other universities as well! Not only it helps me building up important skillsets for my career but also a period of bonding with my friends that I couldn’t ask more. If you’re intending in Accounting or Business Administration; you can reach out to me with interest about what clubs that School of Management has, I bet you won’t be disappointed when you know about them! But don’t you worry if your major is different than above, there are many amazing clubs in your respective field of study too!

What UB offers for you does not just stop there yet! There’re also Fall Fest or Spring Fest with your favorite singers/rappers. Did I talk about International Fiesta? I did not but it is another amazing on campus activity that can involve you once per year! It is a night where competition happens between clubs conveying the message of their culture to everyone in UB! I was so amazed with everyone performance for this year and I can’t wait for next year theme!

International Fiesta.

International Fiesta

Women's basketball team.

Women's basketball team

International Fiesta.

International Fiesta

Things to do (and maybe not to do) when travelling to UB

By Brandon


Brandon at orientation.

Now that you have made the decision to attend UB and have paid the tuition deposit, you sure must be wondering over what to do next. What should I pack for my journey to UB? What is this international student orientation? Must I attend it? Well, don’t worry as this blog will tackle the many questions that you have on travelling to UB and attending the orientation.

First, let’s tackle the orientation. The International Student Orientation is a mandatory orientation that must be attended by all incoming international students into UB. It normally starts on Tuesday during the week before the first week of classes and students typically sign up for the orientation via this website

While you may be thinking that these orientations are boring, the orientations at UB are actually fun and exciting. Sessions are filled with entertaining and informative speakers and you get to make lots of friends through the ice-breaking activities. Oh, did I forget to mention that some of the meals during the orientation are provided, including a delicious BBQ picnic just the day before the orientation? So, it is totally worth the USD 95 that you paid for the orientation. If you are planning to stay on campus, don’t worry about incurring extra costs for accommodations as housing is opened to international students throughout the duration of the orientation. So, what are you waiting for? Quickly sign up for the orientation!!!

For travelling, first, as soon as you get your student visa and have finalize the dates that you plan to travel to Buffalo, book your flight tickets as soon as possible as they can get expensive the later you book them. Try to buy tickets from airlines that offer two pieces of luggage for you so that you have more space to pack your luggage. Take note that the nearest airport serving Buffalo and UB is the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. While transportation is not provided to campus by UB, there are plenty of options to travel to UB from the airport, such as Lyft, Uber and public bus. If you want to save up on money, arrive on a weekday before 10.15pm and after 6.55am so that you can take the number 47 bus to UB’s South Campus and take the Stampede to North Campus. Additionally, you can also contact your International Club Student Association to see if they can arrange any transportation for you, like what the Malaysian Student Association did to incoming Malaysian students.

For your luggage, pack around a week or two weeks’ worth of clothing, together with some winter clothes. Bring snacks from home too if you like as they may be hard to find in Buffalo. You can also pack things like winter boots, bedsheets, pillows, extensions etc, but these can be bought here in Buffalo, sometimes at a cheaper price since there is Walmart and the Niagara Falls Fashion Outlet. If you plan to ship your luggage here to Buffalo, make sure you know any seniors who can receive your package in Buffalo. When travelling, carry with you your valuables, passport and a day’s worth of clothing, just in case your luggage gets lost on your journey. So, before your travel to Buffalo, keep in mind the above things so that you can have a safe and smooth journey to UB. Don’t do anything at the last minute and start your preparations early. Safe trip!

There Is So Much To Buffalove Here!

By Ray


Shea's Buffalo Sign.

Hi, My name is Ray, and I would like to introduce to you Buffalo Niagara Region where our university located in! After reading this blog, you will know about many fun places to go in Buffalo.

Buffalo is the second largest cities in the New York State, and it is built along the Niagara River which connect Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. The weather in Buffalo are usually warm and dry in summer, cold and humid in winter. Winter time is longer than summer time, and during winter Buffalo has a good amount of snow which is perfect for ski and other winter sports. Summer time in Buffalo is also very nice, it is warm and sunny, not very hot, the temperature is very comfortable.

Buffalo is a city full of history and a place with varieties of fun activities. In downtown Buffalo, the buildings are diverse, and their history can trace back to last century. For example, Buffalo City Hall is located in the center of the city, and it fully preserves architecture style from the last century. The most famous place in this region is the Niagara Falls! It is a very popular place for tourists to admire the natural wonder. By the way, the Falls are only 15 minutes away from UB North Campus. There are also many other places for different fun activities. For example, you can shop in Walden Galleria Mall and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls for decent goods, you can watch Buffalo Bills Football home game in New Era Field, you can visit several beautiful museums like Albright-Knox Art Gallery, you can watch interesting play in Buffalo Theater District, and you can enjoy delicious Buffalo Wings in National Buffalo Wing Festival. Even if you are tired of staying in Buffalo, you can travel to Canada easily for visit, because it is right on the border with Canada. For public transportation, there are buses and one subway line connect Buffalo downtown to suburban areas. Also, Uber is easy to ride in here. In addition, the cost of living in Buffalo is not very expensive comparing to other places in the U.S. For instance, If you go out for a meal in a restaurant near UB, it only costs you about 20 dollars.

There are still many other interesting places in Buffalo Niagara Region that waiting for you to discover! What are you waiting for? Let’s go and have fun in Buffalo!


Buffalo Wing Fest.
Downtown Buffalo.

Let's Fiesta!

By Claudia


LASA at International Fiesta.
Claudia and friends.
LASA at fiesta.
getting ready for Fiesta!
Claudia and friends.

Coming to UB has helped me to have a broad perspective about the world. I had the opportunity to meet new people from different countries, learn about the American culture, be involved with different students who share the same interests as me, and the most importantly, I improved myself as a person.  UB offers a wide variety of opportunities from more than 600 clubs to 110 undergraduate degrees. 

However, this is a new experience for all international students, and for many students, the process of adaptation could be a little bit overwhelming. UB takes care of every single student in its community, and it is conscious about its impact on the international student life. That is the reason why UB tries to make you feel integrated, and identify with all students.  

One of the best opportunities to continue the connection with your culture is by being involved with a club. Throughout the beginning of my second semester, I began looking for a club which I could identify myself with, but one where I could also continue to develop my skills in a specific area. After looking at a variety of club's lists, I found what I was looking for: The Latin American Student Association, most commonly known by UB students as LASA.  The goal of this organization is to educate members on Latino cultures, provide support, celebrate the traditions and customs from Latino cultures, and promote academic excellence and personal intellectual growth.  I had the opportunity to make new friends while at the same time feel closer to my hometown. Like LASA, there are different clubs that represent different parts of the world, such as FASA (Filipino-student-association) or MASA (Malaysian student association).

UB is always seeking to promote integration and diversity, and one way to accomplish this goal is by organizing the International Fiesta every year. This event is a competition among different dance clubs that has as a main goal of promoting multiculturalism at UB while also exposing the students’ culture and beliefs around the world. Last week Fiesta took place in CFA (UB Center for the Arts); 4 international clubs were competing against each other. I had the opportunity to participate in this event with the LASA club and for me, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Every year, Fiesta has a brand-new theme, and this year the topic was human nature. In the case of LASA, we tried to represent our performance through the story of Puerto Rico and how it develops over time. For our presentation, we perform 5 different short dances: Taino, Bomba, Chacha, Salsa, and Reggaeton. Every UB student was supporting each other, and UB also provided each club their own dressing room, food, and other facilities. Furthermore, the performances were evaluated by 6 different judges, who awarded LASA second place in the competition! We were really happy about this accomplishment because every LASA member put a lot of effort into the competition because we not only felt connected with the dance itself, but also with the history that we were transmitting, the customs, makeup, the scenario, etc. In the end, it felt really good the fact that our effort was recognized. 

I cannot wait for next year’s Fiesta!  Some students already have a lot of ideas and approaches on how to do our next presentation. Finally, we are excited because next month the LASA members and I are going to compete at Binghamton University where we will continue to present and express our culture.

Getting That Rockstar Academic Experience

By Shreya


Shreya next to a giant computer.

The academic experience in the United States extends way beyond the classroom. Being engaged in extracurricular and supportive academic pursuits is a big part of the student life in US. UB is a research oriented university which makes it one of the best places to get undergraduate research experience in a variety of interdisciplinary subjects. The professors here are involved in a multitude of research projects and the students working under these professors end up publishing papers as well as presenting their research at conferences. As a student at UB, you can reach out to any of the professors on our research portalCURCA or in the concerned department and get involved with their project. Some professors also offer compensation for your work in the form of either pay/credits.

UB offers a wide variety of majors, minors and certificate programs. We have options ranging from pharmacy and engineering to theatre, music and arts. Along with that, you also have the flexibility to pursue a dual major, minor or a dual degree program. If you start early enough, you can chalk out an amazing and unique career path that truly shows who you are!

UB also offers plenty of student support and academic help services. For every class there are undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants. We have a dedicated math help center as well as academic centers offering free tutoring services in all residence halls.

Students frequently ask me as to how they can prepare for adapting to the US education system and the life here. The best advice I can give you is branch off the mainstream and explore different things. College is the ideal period of your life to try out new things and discover new hobbies, passions and interests. Take up cooking or drawing or dance and step out of your comfort zone. You will definitely be pleasantly surprised to discover that there are so many things that could interest you! With around 600 student clubs and organization you have unlimited opportunities. Make full use of all the resources on campus and make this college experience truly and uniquely yours! 

Good Tips For Living Off Campus

By Tong


Tong and her roommates.

Many students have some concerns about living off campus, especially for international students who might be in the U.S. for the first time. Since I live off campus, for now, I would like to share my experience with you. In my freshman year, I chose to live on north campus.  Living on campus is the best way to get to know UB life and make friends in the community.  If you are a freshman, I highly suggest you experience campus life through living in the dormitory. However, living off campus is also a good idea if you want to be more independent. After the first year, I wanted to start to cook for myself, and have my own living space.  So, I moved into an apartment close to the north campus. It was also a great decision I have made! Living off campus is a whole different feeling compared with living in a dorm. But please remember, no matter where you choose to live, be sure you are comfortable with where you live and who you live with. Here are some tips that you should know about before living off campus.

1.    Find a Safe Community

Safety is always the first consideration before you choose an apartment. Since living off campus means you are no longer in the school area, you should take responsibility to secure yourself. UB located in Amherst, NY where consistently been ranked one of the safest cities in the U.S. I highly recommend you find a safe area where is near the UB campus.

2.    Know Your Needs

Another important thing before making the decision is to understand your needs for an apartment. There are many different types of apartments with various floor plans. Before choosing, you should know if you are okay with sharing a kitchen, living room, even a bathroom with roommates

3.    Make a Budget Plan.

Having a budget is very necessary for students because the rent fee is quite a massive amount for a whole academic year. Also, you should know that most of the apartments do not include electronic fee and utility; even some places do not have furniture. So, be sure to include these fees into the budget.

4.    Roommate is important!

Your roommate is the one you will meet with every day, and you also need to share a living area with them. My roommate and I get along together very well since we both like a quiet place and have the same habits. Choosing someone you know, or someone who has similar life habits is highly recommended.

5.    Shopping & Transportation

Don’t worry if you don’t have a car. Many apartments offer shuttles every day. Also, they run the special line to grocery stores on the weekend. There are many different types of stores that you will like such as Wegmans, Target, Trader Joe, and Asia Food Market. They are both very close to UB. Now, going to grocery shopping became my weekend routine.


Better “bull”ieve it - Living on Campus at UB is a lifetime experience!

By Sharon


Sharon with friends.

Where do I begin?! There is so much to say about living on campus! I guess I’ll start with how it all went down for me. It all began in April of 2018. After a lot of thought and discussion, I decided I would live on campus and let me tell you, that was a great decision. Why? Well, the answer is simple: I’ve grown. Not taller! How I wish that were the case but no, growth in terms mental, emotional and personal development as an individual. To see and experience dorm life as authentic and awesome as it comes is an experience of a lifetime.

When I first came to UB, everything seemed large and I seemed like a speck in this huge dynamic and vibrant environment. However, living on campus helped me gain momentum and joy as I began a new journey. It soon became my home away from home and a safe haven that filled the void of fear and loneliness.

Living on campus is a great way to get involved in the student community at UB. You get to meet people who are very similar and very different from you. You get to experience life with people of different countries, languages, cultures and traditions. You get to learn to love and appreciate the beauty in diversity. You get to see the exciting activities in Residence Halls ranging from watching movies, eating a variety of free food and playing a ton games! Lots and lots of fun games!  At the end of the day it is going to be your home away from home!

There are so many places you can choose to live on campus: Ellicott complex, Governors, the south campus halls or the apartments! The choices are plenty! You could choose who you want to live with if you are coming with friends from your hometown or choose to be randomly allotted with someone you don’t know! Both these options are great sources of exposure.

Wherever you may choose to live, one thing is for sure, it is going to be a crazy roller coaster of amazing experiences, laughter and a whole lot of learning! It’s never a dull moment when you decide to live here at UB. I can tell you with utmost confidence that living on campus is the reason I have met my closest friends here at UB. Just remember to be you and be open to learning. Rest assured, you are going to have a fabulous time here at school! Hope I get to see you living with all of us here at UB!


Sharon with friend.

Working on Campus- Get that job!

By Shreya


Academic assistant team.

Academic assistant team

One of the most common questions that I am asked is can I work while at UB? And the answer is yes! Of course!
As an international student you can work 20 hours per week on campus during the semester and 40 hours a week on/off campus during breaks. UB has tons of on campus employment opportunities that allow you to work right from your first semester!

Campus dining and shops hires freshmen students’ right from orientation. You can also work as a Teaching Assistant / Research Assistant, Resident Advisor, Academic Assistant, Tutor or the best of them all as an AMBASSADOR (just like us ;-P) !!

To become a Teaching Assistant you generally need to wait until after you have taken the class and need to get a high grade in the course. After completion of the course you can reach out to the instructor. Sometimes there is a formal application process which includes a personal statement and you may be asked to submit your latest UB Transcript and a copy of your resume.

In order to work as a Research Assistant you can look for opportunities on UB’s research opportunities website CURCA or reach out to a professor whose work you are interested in.

You can also work as an Academic Assistant or Resident Advisor with UB Campus living after completing a minimum of 6 months of living on campus. As a part of this position you get a single room on campus and you get all your housing fees waived off! There is a complete application process for both these position which includes answering a few short answer questions, securing recommendations, submitting a resume and interviewing with campus living staff.

As an Ambassador, you work at the Office of International Admissions and get to know new people planning to come to UB from across the world!

After securing an on campus employment you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) so that you are eligible to get paid for your work. The pay is approximately $10.40 per hour and is good enough to cover all of your personal expenses!

Apart from the pay, some of the major perks of working is the experience you get and the friends that you make! Most of my friends on campus have worked with me at some point. You get to work as well as hangout post work with your friends!

In conclusion, it is a really enriching experience if you choose to work while at UB!


2018-2019 Ambassador Team.

2018-2019 Ambassador Team

Welcome to our Ambassablog!

By Lily


Lily with friends.

Greetings from University at Buffalo International Ambassador Team! It is great to be the first one writing Ambassablog this semester and we cannot wait to share with you guys the experience that we had during the time being a student at UB. My name is Lily Tran and I am going to tell you about how I got into UB.

The story of me applying for college in the US

I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 years since I started applying for college in America. I was an average student back then and the thought of applying to a high ranked university never came to my mind. I remember applying to 2 schools at first: California State University at Long Beach and University of Missouri – St. Louis. These two schools are decent but my dad asked me why I wouldn’t try to apply to one more school with a higher rank. And then we found out about UB. By doing some research online, I had to know that this is a good school (ranked #100 best public school in the US back in 2016 and now it’s #89) with affordable out of state tuition. As I said before, an average student like me never thought about going to some top schools in the US but I then told myself that I should give it a try.

There was one thing from UB that made a great first impression: The application process was super fast. I remember submitting all my scores and transcript that night and got the acceptance letter on the next morning. While at other schools, I had to wait a week or two. Right after I got the acceptance letter, I still had some confusion about which school I should choose. However, with the financial aid that the school offered me and there was an ambassador reached out to me, I decided to choose UB.

Becoming a UB student

I came in UB as Communication major; however, I realized that I like business better so I changed my major to Business concentration in Marketing after one year and a half. Turning to Marketing was a great decision because I never think that I like this major this much. I’m working on my dream to work at Unilever – one of the biggest Marketing Company in the world.

Becoming a UB student is not all about the academic, it’s about getting involved. Joining a club or doing volunteering helps me a lot in making new friends and learning from them. I know that it is hard to balance between social life and your academic; however, if you believe you can do it, you can do it. It’s very helpful for you if you know to take advantage of that to broaden your connections. It’s super easy to get engaged on campus; just keep track of your email or go to UBLinked on the Event Section and see what is going on campus.

 Good luck! See you next time!

Lily with a friend.
Lily in her residence hall with friends.