SAF Correspondent Yue Shao from Xiamen University is reporting from UC Santa Barbara.
The last time I had Cantonese morning tea was a few years ago in Shenzhen. Food in southern China is characterized by its delicacy; there are about four or five bite-sized pieces of food per serving. Even though the morning tea served in Santa Barbara is not as good as the morning tea served at home, it is enough to bring happiness and satisfaction.
Let’s take a look at one of our most popular schools, The University of Calgary. ‘UCalgary’ as it’s known, might not have the name cache of McGill or U.B.C., but don’t let that fool you; this premier institution is known internationally for its research, education, and a campus with a view that’s second to none. Here are five reasons why ‘UCalgary’ should be on the top of your list!
5. It’s a top-ranked university worldwide
This publicly funded, research-intensive university reliably ranks in the top 200 universities worldwide by Times Higher Education World Rankings. It’s also recognized as a leading institution by other prestigious ranking systems, like CWTS Leiden Rankings and the Center for World University Rankings, which ranked UCalgary 128th and 196th, respectively.
4. Calgary’s Chinatown will make your mouth water
One of Calgary’s coolest and most character-filled neighborhoods is Chinatown, sitting pretty on the picturesque banks of the Bow River. Here you’ll find some of the city’s best food, from authentic Chinese noodles and dumplings to innovative Canadian-Chinese cuisine that’s won the hearts and stomachs of many a visiting student. In particular, locals will insist you try the ginger beef, a dish comprised of deep fried strips of beef tossed in a sticky ginger-garlic sauce with carrots and onions. Super popular in western Canada, many restaurants have tried to lay claim to ginger beef, but most would agree that bragging rights go to Calgary’s own George Wong, who created the recipe in the mid-70s at the Silver Inn - which is still open for business right in the heart of Chinatown.
3. It’s one of the most progressive campuses you’ll set foot on
Young at heart, this is one campus that likes to embrace new ideas and do things a bit differently! University of Calgary became Alberta’s first Fair Trade campus back in 2015, after a group of engineering students wanted to provide students and faculty with goods that came from people working in safe environments and being paid fairly. Since then, the university’s continued dedication has earned it awards for its leadership on social responsibility. It’s also a national leader in sustainability, investing in a multitude of high-performance green buildings and other green tech, earning it a spot as one of Canada’s top 10 most sustainable organizations.
2. You’re in good company when it comes to alumni
We mean it when we say University of Calgary is a seriously good school – and the proof is in its graduates. It’s produced a Canadian prime minister (no, not Justin Trudeau), a record-holding astronaut and the father of Java programming language. It’s also where Garrett Camp graduated with degrees in electrical and software engineering, just before he went on to co-found a little Silicon Valley start-up known as Uber. There’s also a really diverse student body here – around 20% of students are international – so even if you don’t run into a famous tech mogul on campus, you’ll still be in good company.
1. You get to live in Calgary
Dynamic and never boring, there’s something about Calgary that wins over every person that sets foot in its city limits. Home to several oil and gas firms, this is the energy capital of Canada, and the city is one of the fastest growing regions in the country with a strong job market to match. Calgary is also the sunniest city in Canada, with around 333 sunny days per year. That might have something to do with why it was named the most liveable city in North America, according to the 2018 Global Liveability Ranking, Economics Intelligence Unit. Just a stone’s throw (or 90 minutes’ drive) from Banff National Park, you can actually see the world famous Rocky Mountains from the UCalgary campus; getting away to the mountains for some hiking, camping, or skiing is one of the best parts about living in Calgary – and it’s so easy to do!
Calgary might not have been on your radar before, but with a top-ranked university and a city that’s easy to fall for, what are you waiting for?
From Soongsil University, SAF Fall Correspondent Heeyeon Ryu is chronicling her experience at American University.
I was able to grow and meet people who share common interests.
I’m sure that if you’re considering D.C. to study abroad, you have probably heard about the many opportunities to attend seminars organized by famous think tanks. So today, I will share my experiences about attending such seminars and events in D.C. I have always dreamed of becoming a diplomat, so I am very interested in politics and international relations. Thus, I attended seminars related mainly to those fields.
One of the most famous think tanks in D.C. is the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and they have representatives from Korea, Japan, and China. They have held a lot of seminars and events about Modern East Asia. I attended in September, and the topic was the importance of the U.S.-Japan-Korea Trilateral Defense Cooperation. In response to Japan’s export regulation on South Korea, South Korea broke the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). Through this seminar, not only did I learn about how the United States viewed the situation, but I also realized the power of CSIS — a lot of the Korean media was present to record and document the event. After the seminar, I chose this topic for my research subject.
I also participated in the “Mentoring Seminar for Young Korean American Leaders,” organized by the embassy of South Korea at the Korean Cultural Center. It was a private event, but I was able to attend because a friend who interned there invited me (if there’s an embassy located near you, be sure to check it out, as they often hold programs and events). At the event, they talked about our lack of representation in America and taught us about Korean American rights. After seeing how many Korean Americans suffered from the L.A. Riots, the Council of Korean Americans and the Korean American Grassroots Conference (KAGC) were created in hopes of avoiding the same situation from happening again. The event speakers also touched on the differences between the first and second generations of Korean Americans, and how to continue moving forward as a young Korean American leader.
The advantage of these events — think tank seminars, embassy events — is gaining knowledge while also meeting people with similar interests. I met a lot of my Korean American colleagues who were studying or working in D.C. I shared my thoughts and difficulties, and we were able to help one another. There are seminars on various topics; if there’s one in your area of interest, I highly recommend participating. You can check out the schedule through email — just be sure to wear business attire when attending!
Missed out on Part 1? Check it out here:
Don’t forget, London is a great place to eat. Today, we’re looking again at the best street food London has to offer. As one of the most exciting capitals in the world, London not only offers some of the nation’s top universities for studying abroad, but also has thousands of restaurants, markets, food trucks and street stalls that reflect the city’s vibrancy. When you’re ready to experience the best the city has to offer on a budget, it’s the streets you need to hit.
Here are 5 of the top 10 street food stalls for you to explore, from grilled cheese and lobster rolls to vegan wraps, hipster food carts to age-old street side institutions – here’s part 2 of 2 – make sure not to miss them when you’re studying in London.
Fin and Flounder
Shrimp, lobster, tuna… not exactly typical street food. For foodies on a budget, this street food joint inside Broadway Market is definitely not one to miss. Enjoy fresh oysters shucked in front of you, panko-breaded king prawns with a sweet chili dipping sauce, or a lobster roll with juicy Scottish lobster served in a freshly-baked brioche bun.
Where? Broadway Market
30 minute tube ride from the University of Arts, London
More information: finandflounder.co.uk or @finandflounder
The ‘grilled cheese’ sandwich is a classic western comfort food. America’s grown up eating this with tomato soup. However, this is not your standard grilled cheese sandwich spot – Meltsmiths is creating masterpieces, with just the right ingredients and grilling tricks. Try ‘The Classic’ with its combo of mature cheddar, mozzarella and onion jam, and you’ll understand why people are so crazy about simple bread and cheese sandwiches. There’s also ‘Ham About Town’ with mature cheddar, mozzarella, Wiltshire ham and English mustard; and ‘Spice Boy’ with cheddar, red Leicester, Sriracha, jalapeño and crispy fried onions if you fancy a hot kick. Don’t skip the sweet potato fries with Stilton mayo and Frank’s RedHot sauce!
Where? Victoria Park Market, Kerb (locations vary)
Make a day of it! Visit Victoria Park and check out live music.
More information: meltsmiths.co.uk or @Meltsmiths
The Rib Man
This little food stand is surely one of the most talked about street food vendors in London. The one-legged rib master sells his smoky, succulent baby back pork ribs drizzled with his homemade hot sauce called Holy Fuck, and with floury buns. Be sure to give it a go and get there early.
Where? Brick Lane, Outside London Stadium (before every West Ham football club home game)
More information: theribman.co.uk or @theribman
This vegan-friendly food truck at Flat Iron Square sells Middle Eastern-style wraps and salads. The name comes from the word for Lebanese flatbread. You’ll be able to find this food truck easily, with its appealing light blue color and hipster design. The food brings customers back again and again. On the menu, there are salads, slaws and marinated meats wrapped in laffa flatbread. You can also find vegan options such as the Grilled Summer Vegetable Wrap, with veggie sumac slaw, rocket and pomegranate salad, tahini sauce, chili and herbs all wrapped in a Lebanese flatbread.
Where? Flat Iron Square
More information: laffafood.com or @laffastreetfood
The Piadina Project
Fried chicken? Yes, please! This street food vendor not only sells its specialties at local food markets, but also roams around cool music festivals such as Glastonbury. Try ‘The Hot Honey’ with a fried chicken thigh, hot honey, pickled cucumber and smoky bacon mayo; and their Lincolnshire special with local sausage, burrata cheese, streaky bacon and wasabi rocket.
Where? Kentish Town, The Rose & Crown
More information: thepiadinaproject.co.uk or @thepiadinaproject
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we're thankful for, spend time with our loved ones, and (maybe most importantly) eat a lot of delicious food. We encourage you to get together with your friends you've made abroad, your study abroad family, and celebrate this American tradition!
SAF Correspondent Yue Shao from Xiamen University is reporting from UC Santa Barbara.
FOOD, the BEACH, SHOPPING. A PEACEFUL LIFE CAN ALSO LEAD TO HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT.
When you come to a new environment, it always takes you some time to get used to it. Luckily, Santa Barbara is a magical place where you can easily find the peace in your heart as soon as you get there. In Santa Barbara, you have the chance to try different regional and flavored food. But be careful, and be fully prepared about the restaurant and tastes you want to try if you're a picky eater. However, making your own food in a foreign country with friends is also a must.
After lunch, you can walk along the streets of downtown filled with Spanish-style architecture, and enjoy the afternoon sunshine and tranquility. Whether you’re on the campus lawn or on the beach, you can always see people lying down, studying, chatting or taking a nap. If you happen to be accompanied by a pet dog, it will be the most enjoyable day.
With Halloween behind us and Christmas looming on next month’s horizon, you’re probably starting to hear a lot more about a holiday that gets less attention overseas: Thanksgiving. This harvest holiday is all about the fall, family and feasts, and it’s a popular kick-off for many North Americans to the holiday season. Here are a few things to know about Thanksgiving, and how it’s celebrated around Canada and the U.S.:
It dates back centuries
Just like the name suggests, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for what you have. That sentiment traces its origins back to a different time when life was much harder than just calling up a grocery delivery service and getting your favorite foods dropped off at your door! Back in the 17th century, the first explorers and settlers from England struggled to survive the harsh winter conditions in North America and had to live off the local crops and wildlife. A bountiful harvest provided the settlers with the necessary rations to make it through the long winter that was to come, and so an annual feast that celebrates the harvest became a tradition across the continent.
When was the first Thanksgiving? Most people assume the first Thanksgiving took place in America in 1621 when pilgrims, England’s first Puritans to arrive on the continent, celebrated an especially good harvest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with the local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag. The surprising truth is that the first Thanksgiving celebration actually took place in Canada decades earlier. When English explorer Martin Frobisher successfully crossed the Northwest Passage in 1578, he and the ship’s crew gave thanks and dined on a decidedly humble meal of salt beef, biscuits, and mushy peas. This is accepted as the first Canadian Thanksgiving - a full 43 years before America’s first Thanksgiving!
It's celebrated differently depending where you are
Food is everything
If you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time in Canada, chances are you might have heard somebody refer to “the Maritimes”. Despite what it sounds like, this isn’t a special operations unit of the Canadian Armed Forces; it’s actually a culturally distinct region of the country that’s steeped in history, scenery, and some big personality. Here’s everything you need to know about Canada’s Maritime provinces, and why they’re well worth a visit.
1 . It’s made up of three provinces (and sort of a fourth...but not really)
Just off the Atlantic coast of Canada, bordering Quebec and hovering over America’s New England, sits the three Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. It’s pretty straightforward where they get their name from (being directly next to the sea and all) but it’s not as clear-cut which coastal provinces get this famed designation.
2. It’s one of the most culturally rich places in the whole country
Sure, at 152 years old, Canada may be young (for a country). But there’s a long history that precedes the nation’s official birth in 1867. In what would later be known as present-day Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and southern and eastern New Brunswick, the indigenous group known as the Mi’kmaq inhabited and cultivated the area, unifying it culturally and linguistically.
By the early 17th century, French settlers arrived, and with it came the establishment of French Acadia. This was a culturally distinct colony of New France, known for its French dialect, rich cultural traditions and rural livelihoods. The Acadians existed here for close to 150 years, but were forcefully deported in 1755 by the British. Many Acadians actually made their way down to the American state of Louisiana, at that time a French colony, where their name was corrupted to “Cajuns.” It surprises many people to know that America’s deep southern Cajun culture is actually derived from northeastern Canada!
In just 150 short years, the Maritimes passed from the control of the Mi’kmaq to the French to the British, creating upheaval but also an indelible mosaic of aboriginal, French, Gaelic, and countless other cultural influences that’s unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in the world.
3. You can’t overestimate how underrated it is
Because of its relative distance from major Canadian metropolises like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, the Maritimes are not usually visited by tourists in Canada. Honestly, even many Canadians have never visited the region.
But that’s a crying shame, because there is so much to do, see and taste, it’s astonishing more visitors don’t flock to this overlooked corner of Canada. With pristine beaches, dramatic coastal scenery, a seemingly infinite amount of lighthouses, and the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste, the Maritimes feel like a world apart from the rest of the country while at the same time remaining distinctly Canadian.
Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, is a great starting point. It’s an enjoyable mix of rural and urban life, with lots of trendy districts balanced out with peaceful harbour fronts and picturesque fishing villages. You’ll also find lots of live music, a unique style known as East Coast music that’s heavy on fiddles and banjos, as well as one of Canada’s best gastronomical creations: the Halifax Donair. This uniquely Canadian street food is eaten widely across the country, but was invented in (where else?) Halifax. Spiced, spit-roasted beef tendrils are placed in a warm pita bread and topped with crispy lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, before being smothered in a sweet white sauce. It’s Canadian cuisine at its finest, and the streets of the Maritimes are the best place to try it for the first time.
Home to St. Mary’s University, one of Canada’s top universities, Halifax is also a super popular destination for students. Founded in 1802, St. Mary’s is one of the oldest universities in the country. With just over 6,000 students, and nearly a third of them international, this is one of the most multicultural campuses you’ll find - a perfect place to broaden your horizons as you further your studies. If you’re interested in studying abroad in Canada’s Maritime region, check out some of the exciting programs available through SAF.
The Midwest is known for a lot of things: beautiful lakes, friendly people, cold winters — the list goes on. The Midwest is also known for some pretty unique dishes. Here are 8 classic Midwest staples that you should give a try if you’re studying abroad in the area:
1. Cheese curds
Without a doubt, Wisconsin’s most iconic dish is cheese curds, which are small, moist pieces of cheese. They make a great snack on their own, but many restaurants deep fry them and serve them as an appetizer. One of the best spots to order deep fried cheese curds is State Street Brats in Madison. Mark Zuckerburg, founder of Facebook, was once spotted at the restaurant enjoying their cheese curds!
2. Juicy Lucy
Despite the silly name, this is a burger that Minneapolis natives are serious about. A Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the burger patty rather than on top. Gooey cheese oozes out with every bite, so make sure you’ve got plenty of napkins! Located only 15 minutes from the University of Minnesota, the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis is one of the best spots to give it a try.
3. Fish fry
In the Midwest, Fridays are a big deal. Not only because they’re the first day of the weekend, but also because of Friday Fish Fries. Especially popular in Minnesota and Wisconsin, a fish fry typically includes batter-fried fish with french fries, a bread roll, and tangy tartar sauce. Most restaurants offer a special fish fry deal on Fridays, and they can get quite busy, so be sure to call ahead and reserve a table before you go!
4. Chicago hot dog
Anyone from Chicago will tell you that their hot dogs are the best in the nation. A Chicago-style dog is an all-beef sausage in a poppy seed bun and topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, tomato slices, neon green pickle relish, sport peppers, a dill pickle and a dash of celery salt. You can buy one at various stands and restaurants throughout the city.
5. Deep dish pizza
Various regions in the United States are known for different styles of pizza. Chicago’s specialty is a very unique type of pizza called deep dish. This type of pizza is baked in a pan that gives it an especially raised crust, and is topped with heaps of tomato sauce and cheese. One of the best places to try deep dish pizza is Giordano’s, with several locations near the University of Illinois.
6. Babcock Ice Cream
All it takes is one bite of Babcock ice cream to realize why Wisconsin is known as “The Dairy State.” You can find this creamy and delicious ice cream at Babcock Hall Dairy Store, located on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Eating a delicious ice cream cone is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day, but sweet-toothed students can also enjoy this tasty treat no matter the season.
Bratwurst, a type of sausage made from pork, is another delicious Wisconsin staple. You can give one a try at various restaurants around Madison, a baseball game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, or at most other Wisconsin establishments.
8. Mackinac Island Fudge
Mackinac Island, located in Michigan, is known for banning cars on the entire island. Most residents and tourists opt to use bicycles for their transportation. However, the island is also well known for its delicious fudge. There are various fudge shops all across the island, and over 10,000 lbs of the treat are produced there every single day.
SAF Correspondent Seina Sato from Tokyo Woman's Christian University is chronicling her experience at the University of Oregon.
I, Seina Sato, will start my short journey tomorrow in Oregon. Now my feelings are very complicated because I am nervous, but also excited. In this blog, I write about such feelings and my preparation in Japan.
My name is Seina Sato from Japan. Nice to meet you! I will study at University of Oregon (UO) for half a year starting this fall! At UO, I will study many of my interests like comics, journalism and linguistics. I want to share my experiences with many people!
My departure date is Sept. 18, so now I am preparing for my study abroad. These days, I often go out to buy clothes, bags and commodities. However, this is my first time studying abroad and going to the U.S., so I don’t know what I should do in detail...
Many of my friends already started studying abroad, so I asked them some questions. For example: “What kind of things should I bring? How is your studying in America or the U.K.? Are classes very difficult to catch up to? Is it fun?” They said: “It is very difficult to catch up with the classes, but I visit my professor, so you can do it! It is so fun. I do not want to go back to Japan.”
The other day, I went to the final orientation for going to America. Now I am so excited, but feel anxiety more than anything. That is because I cannot speak English well and I do not have much experience going somewhere alone for such a long time. In addition, my stomach is very weak... In short, I have a lot of things to worry about and tend to feel homesick.
However, some friends and my family cheered me up and gave me a letter, while others gave me useful advice. I cannot help but say thank you to all. I would like to make this opportunity a great time and also change myself. To do so, I will take on challenges as much as possible and think positively.
In my blog, I am going to write about my feelings, both the positive and negative. Also, I will share my studies and activities in UO. I hope my experiences help you in some way.
Thank you for visiting my blog!
SAF Scholars and Alumni