Dear UGRAD Post,

It was a memorable birthday for me here in the U.S. as I had a chance to watch an ice hockey game in Vermont. The first impression for me when the game started was “fast”. Not only were the players fast but the Zamboni also did its job quickly. This sport is fascinating to me because it requires speed and cleverness. There aren’t any sports like ice hockey in my home country – Vietnam, so I found the game very interesting. I was also glad to be in a lively atmosphere where everyone was cheering the players with the banners and music. It was an amazing experience. I really appreciated the chance to get involved in the game and learn about U.S. hockey culture.

– My Thi Le, Vietnam, Endicott College


Dear UGRAD Post,

This was an amazing activity I did on Halloween (besides the costumes parties I attended). We went to a place outside of the city at night to have some fun and scary moments. I was very excited about this experience because we don’t have such scary places back home.  It was awesome!

At the beginning, I didn’t have any idea of how it was going to be, I just knew it was a scary place. But once I got there I didn’t want to enter because I heard some people screaming. We ran a lot, saw weird and very frightening images and people, screamed, got lost, so on. Wahoooo! It was really incredible. I loved it! A very scary experience!

– Eneyda Leiva, Nicaragua, Missouri State University


Dear UGRAD Post,

These are just some of numerous photos made in third most popular city in America – Chicago. I spent four amazing days in “Windy City” and learned a lot about it. Do you know that its nickname “The Windy City” isn’t given to it because of the wind from Lake Michigan?  A journalist from the New York Sun nick-named Chicago, “The Windy City” due to Chicago’s politicians, who were boasting a lot while they were competing with New York to host the World’s Fair. I found out this interesting fact in John Hancock Observatory, which I visited at night. It has stunning view of the city.

– Tijana Dimovic, Serbia, Murray State University


Dear UGRAD Post,

This weekend I went to “Run for their Lives”, a 5km run to raise awareness about sex trafficking. To join this event, runners had to pay a $24 fee – the amount of money it takes to rescue one child or woman from slavery. This organization works in countries such as: Guatemala, India, Costa Rica and Thailand.  With the money from the race, the organization will go to these countries and will offer shelter, food and education to the women and girls who have been trafficked.

I’ve run many times, but this is the first time I raced for a cause. Each runner wrote the name of one of the young ladies that we want to help on our arms. The race organizers asked us to think about the human trafficking issue while running. That morning it was raining, but it didn’t stop people from showing up and I even crossed the finish line faster than I had planned.

– Miguel Abrego, Panama, University of Maine



Dear UGRAD Post,

 On October 28th I went to the Lila Cockrell Theatre. The San Antonio Ballet performed “Dracula.” This was my first cultural activity here in Texas and it was also my first experience watching a ballet.

I was amazed. I did not see something like this before.  The music of Philip Feeney was wonderful. Everything was fantastic: the painting, lights, colors, music, and body motions. Everything fit in the story like a perfect canvas. For me it was like watching a great movie with all the dramatic effects; however they were performing right in front of my eyes, and I could not believe it. There was fog in the darkest scenes. It was like traveling to Transylvania.

My favorite scene was when Dracula went into Mina’s bedroom. The fog from the window got into the room and then she disappeared. In the backdrop, the shadow of Dracula was walking with Mina on his shoulders. The dance of the death of Dracula and the encounter of the two main characters overcoming the obstacles to be together was amazingly dramatic. The music becomes silent and everyone in the theater was applauding. Just three words can define what I saw: It was fantastic.

– Jimmy Alvarado, El Salvador, University of the Incarnate Word

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