Okay, for my first blog post, my goal is to encourage you, my dear readers, to go abroad and see different things. Start changing now!
Let us take a time machine and go back to the beginning of Winter 2018. That was when I decided to come to the USA and when I applied for the University at Albany Exchange Student Program. Since I want to pursue my master’s degree in the USA, I thought that it would be a good idea to go and study for one semester first. Hopefully, my time at UAlbany, will help me to decide whether I want to spend more years studying here.
Honestly, I am the first generation in my family to study abroad. So literally, I finished all the complicated preparation procedures by myself when I still had to deal with all of the junior year’s school work at my university. Anyway, after submitting all required materials, getting my visa, getting three vaccine shots for the immunization requirements, booking air tickets, getting my international credit cards, and packing all the luggage for the whole semester; finally, on the 16th of January, 2019, I boarded the flight to the United States, with only my two suitcases and one backpack.
I still cannot believe it took me three plane transfers and more than 30 hours to finally arrive in Albany. First, I flew from Beijing to Los Angeles. Then, from LA to Philadelphia. When I was waiting in Philadelphia airport for the third flight to Albany, I met the first person I spoke to in the USA. OK, technically, the first people I spoke to were the airport staff, LOL.
A lady was sitting and reading a book in the seat next to me. I wanted to charge my phone with the electrical outlet near her seat. At first, I was really nervous about talking to strangers. But my phone was going to die, so I got up the courage and began talking to her. As I mentioned in my introduction, people are more generous than you may think. She was such a nice and warm woman and we talked a lot about ourselves. I also told her about my first experiences in the USA and my reasons for coming here. Her hometown is Albany, but she works in California. She comes back to Albany to take care of her mom once in a while. She also has a very cute and nice grandson, and other family members. She gave me her number for any questions I had so I could contact her. When we said goodbye in the airport, she told that me she was my Albany mom. In the first week, we could not find a meeting time due to the snow storm. On the 4th of February, we went out together for lunch and we had a nice conversation. She even gave me gifts, gloves and scarves, which saved me during my first Albany winter! Thank you again, my Albany mom! Good people deserve good words! I welcome you and all your family to China one day! You are all definitely VIP guests for me and my family!
Though I do admit that you have to prepare a bunch of things before your departure, and you will probably have to overcome a variety of differences including food, culture, weather, etc., which could be really challenging at first, please remember that you will never see new things without going out of your comfort zone! After all these hard yet valuable experiences, you may finally discover a totally different you. I will share what happened to me when I studied abroad with the experiences in food, studying, and living in Albany! Do not miss it. Check this website again! And feel free to leave your comment below! See you next time.
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Academic Support Center or the Center for International Education and Global Strategy. These are their stories – their voices.
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