How to Study at UAlbany

Wherever you go, be the best you!

How to study at UAlbany


How is it going everyone? This blog is about my academic experiences at UAlbany.

First of all, I want you to know that no matter why and when you choose to go to UAlbany, you should always remember that education is supposed to be the first priority. College is not only for studying, but studying is the biggest part.

Generally speaking, the education culture is very different between China and the USA. If you are from another country, you may have the same experience as me. Students can have more freedom and rights on campus. You may ask your questions in class whenever you come up with  a new idea or if you are confused. At UAlbany, if you are an exchange student, you may use the first two weeks to try all of the courses that interest you and make your decision freely. I looked up the class schedules on MyUAlbany (UAlbany Student Portal) and researched as many courses as I could during the first two weeks and then finally chose three accounting courses and one community service course.

The first and most difficult challenge for me was the language problem. I still remembered the first day of class, which probably was the worst day of this semester. I found that I could not understand the professor’s speaking most of the time. Everyone else around me was understanding what was going on. I had no idea what was happening when the whole room suddenly burst into laughter at one of the professor’s jokes. Can you imagine how bad it might feel if you were in another world but actually  sitting in the same classroom with everyone else?

A UAlbany Classroom

Apparently, I needed to do more work after class!

Make best use of your syllabus. Almost every professor will post their course syllabus and other resources on Blackboard. Blackboard is an online studying platform used by UAlbany. Because of this online system,  I could find out the content of the upcoming lecture. I would preview the lectures and look up words in the dictionary to make sure I know what the professor would talk about before every class. Even if you still do not understand some points, you can be more confident to raise your hands and ask the professor your questions in class. After class, I definitely needed to go over all the material again and make my own notes! One thing I recommend doing is to check your Blackboard constantly since your instructor might  post the newest information there and most of the homework or group assignments have different due dates.

Speaking of homework, one thing I would recommend is doing your homework as early as you can. Never leave it until the last day. You can never predict what will happen before the due date.

Project MyStory Student-to-Student Success Series: Fall 2019 Schedule
ANNOUNCEMENT: Project MyStory Student-to-Student Success Series: Fall 2019 Schedule

Vending Machines in the Library Another recommendation is to form a study group if you are not a self-disciplined person. There is collaborative area for discussion and also group study rooms for private space.

If you still have problems about studying the course, do not forget the professor’s office hours! Most of the professors here are very nice and helpful. You can always reach out to them by email and make an appointment. Here, I must mention one of the best professors I have ever met. Professor Mark Hughes gave nearly all his time to teaching and supporting students.  He helped me a lot by talking with me and encouraging me to talk with other people. If it were not him, I could not have taken the first step to talk to people here and have so many amazing stories. Before I met him, I just could believe that there could be such a kind person in the world, who is always willing to help with everyone; who will greet and chat with everyone he meets.

The other night, when I was saying goodbye to Jill, one of my candidate classmates in BAP (See previous blog post). We hugged with each other and cried for the farewell. She told me that she loved my personality and that my personality has changed hers. I told her that this was because professor Hughes has changed mine first.

By studying and learning new things every day, I gradually felt that language was no longer a big problem for me. At the end of my semester study, I earned a 3.77 GPA. I am sure if you put your heart into it, any difference between your country and wherever you choose to study should not be a problem. You can do better than you might think.

All right, that is for the study part of UAlbany Please feel free to leave comments below and don’t forget to check out my next and last post!

UAlbany Fountain

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Academic Support Center or the Center for International Education and Global Strategy. These are their stories  – their voices.
About the Author:

Jade Hu Headshot

Jade H.
Spring 2019 Exchange Student
Major: Accounting
Blog Theme:
Wherever You Go, Be the Best You

Wherever You Go, Be the Best You

Picture of a Building in Chongqing, China

Hello everyone! Thanks for clicking into my blog. I promise you will not regret it! As you can see from my title, “Wherever You Go, Be the Best You” and maybe from the picture above, I am not from the United States. I come from China. I have been to Australia and England. Now I am here, at UAlbany! My name is Jade and I am an exchange student for the 2019 Spring semester.

Without any exaggeration, I think I am a person who loves being exposed to new things and making new friends! I am never satisfied with staying in one place forever. Looking back on all the experiences so far, I do have many amazing stories. I mean, really unbelievable.  I have learned a lot of things from all the stories. and I also enjoy writing and sharing my stories. So here I am. I cannot even wait to share with you guys!

Even though it is not the end of this semester yet, I can definitely say that this will be a life changing experience for me because I have already learned and changed so much!

So basically my theme for Project MyStory is about the college students’ study abroad life experiences. My topics include academic experiences, the food, the activities, and the culture, the people, and so on in this lovely city called Albany. I am not going to just pour out what has happened to me. Every story is connected to at least one person I met in my Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. -Henry Jameslife. As far as I am concerned, the reason why people are the most cherished creatures in the world is that we have emotions, love, mercy and virtue. No story can happen without the involvement of personal characters. I do believe in fate now. Think about how many people are in our planet in total? Around 7.6 billion. If we can meet each other at the probability of the 1/7.6 billion (for example,  you are reading my story now), then this must be one reason why I should be friendly to you and keep it for good.

So if you are a new UAlbany student or a student who is considering studying abroad, this would definitely give you some tips and insight of your new stage in life. If you are not, you will also get some idea about how to create a different life, and new inspirations about how to make your life more amazing. At last, I mainly want to prove to you two sentences: The world is better than you’ve thought. People are more generous than you’ve thought.

Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Academic Support Center or the Center for International Education and Global Strategy. These are their stories  – their voices.
About the Author:

Jade Hu Headshot

Jade H.
Spring 2019 Exchange Student
Major: Accounting
Blog Theme:
Wherever You Go, Be the Best You

Welcome New Danes

Welcome New Danes 2018

…And so it begins! 

Summers are exciting at UAlbany because of you, the future of  this university – your new home away from home. Your academic advisors in the Academic Services Center look forward to meeting every one of you and to helping you achieve your goals.

Here are a few stories from our alumni and current students to help you to dream big while you are thinking about your purple and gold future.

Staying Focused…

Click on the images below to read about Buo and Chisom, two UAlbany graduates, who are now in medical school.

Buo Poster 2015a

Chisom Project MyStory 2015.jpg

Learn more about Pre-Health Advising at the Resource Fair.

Click here to join the UAlbany Pre-health List Serv.

Networking Can Start Now!

Joseph DeSantis, served as one of our Project MyStory volunteers, and blogged about finding a home here. Click HERE to check out his posts. He demonstrated how to seek out opportunity when he used our UCAN Alumni networking tool to reach out to one of our graduates for career advice. He did not wait until he was a Junior, but began searching for possibilities as a  freshmen. Check out his story:

Click Here to learn more about UCAN.

Explore the World


Exploring more of the world, allowed Erica to heal and learn more about herself. Click HERE to check out her Project MyStory blog series, “Around the World and Into Myself.”

Visit Education Abroad at the Resource Fair
to find out more about how to Study Abroad
and how to earn Global Distinction Recognition
for your International Activities.

Putting Your Naysayers to Shame


Have you ever been told that you were not smart enough or not good enough to achieve your objectives? Heather Moore knows all about this. If you are nervous about what is going to happen after you get here, her words may bring you life! Check out her blog series, “One Life’s Potential”.


Do you want to read more stories? Click Here!


The Ends, the Beginnings, & the In-betweens Part 2


MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts. 
Yes. We know. It is not Monday.
Our UAlbany MyStory Bloggers share their lives with you to help you to stay focused on your goals, to remind and inform you about the many supports that we have on campus to help you succeed, and to let you know that, whatever you are going through, you are not alone.
This week, we share more Finals Week inspiration, conclusions from last semesters’ posts, and some follow-ups to old themes. But first…

Call for Volunteers

“Since last semester, I feel like I can say that, through time, I have learned to let Albany in and I am just beginning to enjoy it.  In the beginning I felt like I didn’t have an identity but after a while I realized that the world doesn’t stop turning.” 

Was this your first year at UAlbany? Are you like Simonti? Check out the rest of her post, and consider volunteering with Project MyStory. While students are not asked to be biographical, they usually join MyStory to tell their stories. If there are topics that you feel would help other Danes to adjust to UAlbany and to thrive here,  Join the Team!

Mid-Week Graduate Celebrations



Internationalize Your Degree – Consider Adding Global Distinction to Your Diploma

This week Franshelis Calderon shared her last MyStory posts. On Thursday, she will receive the Unsung Hero Award at the Lavender Graduation for sharing her personal journey with the world. Several persons have expressed how her blog has helped them through difficult moments. Your story matters. Own it.
Grad 3

Check out Fran’s last two offerings:


Latinos & Sexuality and Goodbye UAlbany

CS 2

Craig Stropkay graduated from UAlbany in Spring 2007. He has since earned a doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brandeis University, and is now an entrepreneur. Many graduates are unsure about their future. Even those who intend on going to graduate school, may not be sure of their next steps. Craig has some information and words of career advice for those thinking about pursuing a PhD.

Check out Craig’s blog post here.

Leobianny Hilario 2017.jpg

Taylor Grant

Taylor Grant will graduate in a few days and he wanted to share a bit of his journey with future Danes.

The past four years at the University at Albany have been nothing short of life changing. Each year, I have grown academically, socially, and mentally.

As a freshman, I was thrust out of my comfort zone, which was quite an adjustment. Growing up in Long Island, I had the same group of friends since 1st grade. I had to actively force myself to engage with my classmates from various backgrounds and to not just rely on my stable friend group back home. I was also challenged by the new demands of time management – balancing my free time with my course load. – Click here for more.


Brittany Newell graduated in Spring 2017.  We are sharing her last post for everyone who has no idea what is next. We want you to know that your future is bright. Click here for more.

Nicholle Project Mystory 2015




The End and the Beginning: Around the World and Into Myself


If you are considering an Education Abroad experience, visit their office on the first floor of the Science Library, check out their website, and/or stop by the Education Abroad Fair when it takes place during the Spring and Fall semesters. Whatever you do, get the information you need. There are options for every budget.  What may seem impossible, might be highly probable!

Picture of Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre

Last semester, Erica Bertucio shared her study abroad experience in Italy. These are the last three installments of her series, “Around the World and Into Myself.” If you were wondering what happened to the lady who flew off of the ATV in Italy, your wait is over.  For context, you may want to read Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me.  If you are ready, read on!

Continue reading “The End and the Beginning: Around the World and Into Myself”

Belated MyStory Mondays 6-5-17


MyStory Mondays is a weekly digest of our latest posts.
We are all done for the semester, but we are going to go back in time and share some posts that, we hope, will be useful to our new Danes!
New Danes – Make sure to complete your course request form and register for Orientation at

erica a4

Are you thinking about studying abroad? Take a trip with Erica Bertucio in her blog series, Around the World and Into Myself.

Billy L

Billy Lang did not study abroad, but he did spend a semester in New York City, interning at a marketing firm while earning credit for his experience. Yes, you can do that! We have several opportunities for students to earn credit through applied learning. Click here for more information.

Billy ended up transferring to another school, that was closer to his internship site because they were so impressed with his work that they wanted him to stay. Although he is no longer at UAlbany, he is still a Great Dane and he has left his mark by sharing his experiences with future generations!


Interested in participating in Project MyStory? Click Here

Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me


Update, #SPRANGBREAKKK was a major success. But then again, how could ten days of Greek Island hopping be anything but amazing? Ask my bruised thigh, pride, or my swollen foot. They are not my biggest fans at the moment so I am sure they will be happy to tell you.  Continue reading “Mountains & Broken Things: No Stopping Me”