Yanling Dong

Yanling Dong in London.

I have been planning to study abroad since I was a freshman. However, it was not until my senior year when I studied abroad in London that I realized study abroad is even more meaningful and exciting than I expected.

Study abroad is different from international travelling, because it is not a simple long sightseeing trip. It provides you a chance to immerse in a different culture and live in a foreign city like a local resident. The program helps you feel, know, and understand the culture by offering different locations of study. Your classroom is no longer limited to a lecture hall, and you may study in a museum or an outdoor market. When you need to study human relationships in the society, you don’t need to cram the knowledge in the textbook; you go to the street and observe person-to-person interactions instead. The variety of locations and content make study abroad a mind-opening experience.

I chose the winter sociology of food in London program because it allowed me to take advantage of winter break to visit one of the most famous cities in the world. Even though sociology is not my major, this program still helps me in preparing for my future profession as a physician as it has challenged and changed my old way of thinking and seeing. There are hundreds of programs offered by UB and the SUNY study abroad system, and there must be at least one program that fits your educational and/or professional goals. Study abroad is one of the best experiences I had during my undergraduate education, and I believe every student needs to take this wonderful chance to see and explore the world.

– Yanling Dong