Dear UGRAD Post,

On Saturday February 9, 2013 I attended the Chinese Spring Festival, one of the most interesting activities on Campus. I celebrated with my Chinese friends a New Year for them, the year of the snake. It was great to know that New Year in China just started this month. There were many different and interesting activities.Juniata College - Chinese NY - I enjoyed their performances and I learned about their food and tourist sites. It was such a great event in which my knowledge about Chinese culture broadened.

When I arrived to the party I saw two lovely pandas. I kind of guessed but I was not sure why they had pandas at the New Year’s Eve celebration. After the dinner and the activities, I approached my Chinese friends and I asked them about the panda. They told me that pandas are one of the most recognized animals in China. They symbolize friendship and peace. Many characteristics and qualities of this animal are qualities revered by Chinese society as a whole. It was so amazing to learn these facts about pandas and the importance they have in the Chinese culture.

In December some of my Chinese friends celebrated Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve with me. On Saturday February 9 it was my turn to be with them to celebrate a special moment in their lives. I felt so happy to have the opportunity to experience something new in my life. Definitely, being an UGRADer is awesome. I love learning about other cultures and being part of their events.

 – Scarleth Subillaga, Honduras, Juniata College

Dear UGRAD Post,

When I was a kid I would wake up at 3am to watch NBA games. My dream was to go to see a game in person. The UGRAD cultural allowance enabled me to fulfill my dream. The United States has the best basketball league in the world that is followed by a passionate crowd. In Utah the Jazz are the most important sports team, and I am happy to be able to follow them and have an experience of watching them in person. The game I watched was Utah Jazz against Los Angels Lakers in Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City. The atmosphere at the game was great; though, it wasn’t as tense as at the games back home. It was more friendly and competitive. The shows during timeouts and at half-time were amazing. Mascots and acrobats were doing daredevil stunts that impressed the whole crowd. I was expecting an easy win for the Lakers. Instead Jazz put on a great team effort and won in great style. I was glad to see such great players as Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am going to go to some other NBA games for sure!

– Stefen Badza, Serbia, University of Utah

Dear UGRAD Post,

adler - st cloud stateVisiting the Adler Planetarium was a wonderful experience in all senses. It was like traveling to space just by getting into this place. Visiting this place made me aware of all the technological advances that we have nowadays and how human mind is incredibly amazing. Besides that, NASA has done an awesome job  educating the public. Most of what we know today about space and the world that is beyond our sight is  thanks to them.

– Maria Quesada, Costa Rica, St. Cloud State University



Dear UGRAD Post,

I took the plunge—and I emerged after 3 seconds with all of my digits still intact! Though it did take a few minutes, and a sauna, to be able to feel my toes again, it actually wasn’t as terrible as I imagined.

Ian D. NDSUI dove into the freezing water during a men’s retreat with one of my organizations at NDSU at Bluewater Camp in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The day was full of sports like broomball and sledding and at night, we planned to do the polar plunge and sauna. It was an awesome combination!  There were 26 men at the retreat but only 11 of us were real men that took on the challenge of the night. This experience tested my bravery and capability to do extraordinary things, and  pushed me to the limits. American culture on sports and recreation during winter is just so exciting and full of fun!

– Ian Dalisay, Philippines, North Dakota State University


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