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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!