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July 6, 2011

Free Stuff on US College Campuses

American College International Orientation Exercise #5 – SUNY Buffalo
Campus Services and Perks

Video Name: Your UB
Watch below or on YouTube. Click Here.

College Featured: State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo)

What is this video about:
Incoming students and parents like to know about the services a college has to help the students feel comfortable in their home away from home. Some of the university's many services and benefits are discussed in the video below.

Some students who are deciding between two similar schools may make their final choice based on the kinds of services and/or perks a college offers.

What kinds of college services are important to you in your college selection?
This may be hard to answer. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Based on the areas you need help- think of services that could be helpful. For instance, for those weak in spoken English a college with a really good English as Second Language Program would be helpful. For those who are a bit shy a college with an international student mentoring program may help you gain confidence in a new culture to make new friends. If you have a strength of research or enjoying studying in libraries; you may want to chose a college with a strong library system (you could even be eligible for an on-campus job in a library). For those good at writing, checking to see if the college has a college newspaper, magazine or communications service could be a good option for volunteering (building confidence, doing something enjoyable, and building experience for a resume).

What kinds of perks are important to you in college selection?
Do you want to live close or far from shopping? Do you want to live in a small town or big city?
How important is the lifestyle of the surrounding community, town, or city important to your college selection?
Do you want to live on campus or have a choice to live off-campus?
Do you want to have access to campus-sponsored transportation on and off campus?
Do prefer a college that is nerdy, athletic (full of jocks), preppy, intellectual politically aware, eco-friendly, socially-conscious?

You can learn more about the benefits, perks, characteristics and social tips of almost 100 colleges in this slideshow presentation: Unique Social Tips From Different American Colleges (slide show) .

Cross-Cultural notes:

  • The entire video has English subtitles at the bottom which is useful for International Students who may not be able to easily follow American English.
  • Note the details about the college’s health services. Many college orientation videos I watched did not talk about this invaluable service. Do ask about student health services at the college you will apply. In fact, I studied at this college, and when I was there I was not given an orientation on this. I really missed out on utilizing some wonderful services.
  • At minute marker 4:35 is ‘Spice Bazaar’ which is a local Indian Grocery store. Tops and Wegmans are the other stores shown. They are known for their international sections. You can find Indian as well as all other ethnic foods here.
  • A brief mention of the International Student and Scholar Services is mentioned. Through this office, events are planned such as outings to Niagara Falls and other local tourist and cultural spots.
  • The video stresses creating and nurturing on-going connections with academic staff as well as students. Building relationships (aka networking) is important for your social (personal) and professional success on American campuses.
  • In American colleges, it’s important to meet with your academic advisor every semester. Academic advisors help keep students on track to graduation. Because not all degree programs are rigidly structured; students have the opportunity to take classes at different times throughout their program.
Information about this video/ college:
State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo – Main Page
International Student and Scholar Services
Student Health Services
More about SUNY Buffalo's Services and Perks

Location of this College:

Map (City, not specific address):

View Larger Map


Thank you for taking the time to do the exercises and watch the video. This will help you better prepare for a successful cross-cultural adjustment in the USA.

*I as the author of this post and blog am not being paid to promote these videos or colleges. I chose these videos on my own based on the fact that that they showcase American college culture in a way I found useful to the International College Orientation Process.

All videos in this series:
International Student Online Orientation Links

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