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International Student Ambassadors are a great way to get a local's perspective on your study abroad destination! Check out the profiles of undergraduate and graduate students currently at UCLA. Email them with any questions!

Argentina

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Contact: UCLA.Argentina.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Australia

Name: Marley Ng

Contact: UCLA.Australia.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Sydney

UCLA Major: Undeclared (humanities)

Music: Angus and Julia Stone, Vance Joy, The Jungle Giants, The Preatures, Chet Faker

Food: Australia has a great variety of food from all over the world, but we also have some food that is seen as unique to Australia. Meat pies and sausage rolls are considered an Australian staple, as are lamingtons (sponge cake coated with chocolate icing and flakes of coconut) and pavlova (meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit). Being close to the ocean, the seafood is also amazing, and having fish and chips by the beach is something that everyone who visits must experience!

Must-See Destinations: The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are iconic Australian monuments. They overlook the bright blue water of Sydney harbour and are situated just a walk away from the central building district. Climbing the Harbour Bridge is an exciting experience that provides breathtaking views of Sydney.The best way to experience the Opera House is by having a meal at the Opera Bar and watching the sunset, before watching a ballet or drama performance at the Opera House. 

Must-Try Activity at Home: The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the world's largest coral reef and is home to a huge variety of sea-life. If you visit Australia, you must take the boat that brings you out to this World Heritage Site and try snorkelling or even scuba-diving there. Swimming amongst numerous fish and seeing all the colourful coral beneath you is an unforgettable experience. 

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: There are so many reasons to visit and study abroad in Australia. Firstly, the weather is almost always warm and sunny, even in winter. This means that you can visit everything Australia has to offer all year-round. Australia is famous for its beaches, ranging from the popular and crowded Bondi, to the quieter and more peaceful Watson's Bay. There is always something to do at these beaches, including the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte, having a picnic in a nearby park or by the water, going for a nice meal, shopping, surfing, and even stand-up paddle-board yoga! Further up north, the rainforests in Queensland are another natural wonder that should be experienced. There is a huge variety of wildlife present in these parks, most of which are unique to Australia. Moreover, the Indigenous culture in Australia is fascinating and full of interesting stories about the creation and Dreamtime. Their culture is very different from ours and there is so much to learn from their rich history and customs. Furthermore, Australia prides itself on its multiculturalism and its warm and welcoming attitude. The people are all very friendly and social and will definitely make you feel welcome! 

Brazil

Name: Jin Bruno da Rosa Petrycoski

Contact: UCLA.Brazil.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Pato Branco

UCLA Major: Global Studies

Music: Seu Jorge

Food: Feijoada, is a stew of beans with beef and pork. Churrasco, Brazilian barbecue.

Must-See Destinations: Iguazu Falls: one of the seven wonders of the world. Christ the Redeemer: one of wonder of the world. Rio de Janeiro: the whole city is beautiful. Salvador: biggest carnaval of Brazil and biggest in the world. Amazon rain forest: most species-rich biome... One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Carnaval: biggest festival/party in Brazil... it last a week! Attend a soccer match: Brazilian favorite sport. Bars: every corner with great live music. Beaches: beautiful, warm waters.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Well, Brazil is fascinating! There is a mixture of many ethnic groups. Its continental size does not frustrate visitors, but will make you come back to see it all! Brazilians are friendly and a very warm people. We have great schools with amazing professors. Brazilians scholars lead the world in many areas! There are beautiful people, nice music, great food, and breathtaking landscapes all in one single country! If you want a different experience I definitely advise you to go to Brazil! You won't regret it!

Canada

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Contact: UCLA.Canada.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Chile

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Contact: UCLA.Chile.Ambassador@gmail.com

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China

Name: Shiming Xu

Contact: UCLA.China.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Shangrao

UCLA Major: Epidemiology/ Public Health

Music: Popular among teenagers: TF boys; Popular among 20 - 40 year olds: Li Jian, Xu Song, Zhang Jie; Popular among 30 - 50 year olds: Wang Feng, Xu Wei

Food: Generally, food in middle and southeast part of China is more spicy, the most famous examples are food in Hunan province, or "Xiang" dishes, and Sichuang province, or "Chuang" dishes. If you prefer non-spicy food, northern part of China, such as Beijing, or regions like Shanghai should be your choice. In addition, Guangzhou is the place where all kinds of food are available. My favorite dish is fried meat with pepper. It is a very common family dish cooked using pepper and pork. However, its taste differs across different cities and regions, so it is a good way to test the local food preference. If you don't know what to order in the restaurants, then try this one. I am pretty sure every chef can make this dish. Lastly, the major meat in China is pork, chicken is the second, and beef is rare. 

Must-See Destinations: I don't have a specific preferred site, so I will just go by cities. To learn more about Chinese traditional culture, choose Beijing and Xi'an. To learn more about the modern China, choose Shanghai. Guangzhoud and Shenzheng are the places where you can learn Cantonese, they are also very close to Hong Kong. Changsha is the city of entertainment. A lot of famous talk show and TV programs were produced here. Specifically, I want to introduce you the five famous Mountains, namely Tai Mountain(Shangdong province), Heng Mountain(Hunan province), Heng Mountain(Shangxi province, two different mountains), Hua mountains(Shanxi province) and Song Mountain(Henan province). All the mountains are beautiful and challenging to climb. If you are able to climb all of them, then this is something to "showoff" to your Chinese friends.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Majiang, or "mahjong", is undoubtedly one of the most common activities. Chinese usually play Majiang with their family, relatives and colleagues during the free times. It is a little bit challenging to learn the rules, but it is a very useful games to join lives of ordinary Chinese people and make friends. Be aware that some of the universities forbid playing majiang due to gambling issues, so make sure not to involve any money when you play with majiang.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: 1. Low cost to live. For example, 200-300 dollar per month is more than enough to find a private room(be aware that in Beijing, the cost may be much more expensive if it is close to Tian'an men Square)  2. Enjoy one of the oldest, most original eastern culture 3. Learn Mandarin, which was spoken by 1/4 person over the world 4. World Famous university like Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan university, and so on.

Denmark

Name: Jeppe Alexander Hertz

Contact: UCLA.Denmark.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Copenhagen

UCLA Major: Neuroscience and Health Politics

Music: Suspekt

Food: Pickled herring. Very traditional, eaten on a slice of sourdough rye bread (rugbrød) with raw onions and boiled egg. The curry flavored pickled herring tends to be easier for beginners.

Must-See Destinations: Christiania. Self-governed "hippie-village" in the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen. Very alternative, funny architecture and more...

Must-Try Activity at Home: Go see the castles and fortresses we have around the country.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Copenhagen is a very livable city, it's super easy to get around and everything is within reasonable distance. The neighborhoods in Copenhagen are distinct and unique, which makes exploring the city very interesting. It's also very safe, even at night and full of young people like yourself - which means lots of activities that appeals to students.

France

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Contact: UCLA.France.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Germany

Name: Carsten Rietmann

Contact: UCLA.Germany.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Cologne

UCLA Major: Geography

Music: Joseph Beuys

Food: As much as in the US, you can find a great variety of ethnic food in Germany, but I'd particularly recommend different European cuisines! Also, try some regional variations of German dishes - such as Bavarian - and definitely the Turkish-German Döner Kebab that's taken over the country rapidly.

Must-See Destinations: If you like cities, you should definitely try to see differences in eastern and western German cities such as Cologne/Hamburg or Leipzig/Dresden. And of course, experience Berlin to its full extent. Try to see some rural areas to understand the country better. In addition, Castrop-Rauxel and Rheda-Wiedenbrück are hidden gems that I would not miss. In terms of nature, both the Alps and the seas are worth seeing. A well-kept secret is the Mecklenburg Lake District that will surely impress you.

Must-Try Activity at Home: You should definitely not limit yourself to one activity but explore the variety of adventures and experiences you can have in Germany! Visit Christmas markets, drive on the autobahn, watch a soccer match, enjoy the nightlife, meet Germans and Internationals from various backgrounds and ages, but also get some cultural insights and see museums, old castles and churches.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Being a central geographical hub, whole Europe is accessible for you from Germany! Also, I am sure that you will highly enjoy being in a country that is so rich with history and tradition and yet very multi-cultural and energetic. You will have great opportunities for learning. Further, through the quality of education as well as your daily experiences, you will learn about yourself and gain a new perspective on the United States which will lead to many new insights!

Ghana

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Contact: UCLA.Ghana.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Greece

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Contact: UCLA.Greece.Ambassador@gmail.com

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India

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Contact: UCLA.India.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Indonesia

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Contact: UCLA.Indonesia.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Ireland

Name: Sunniva McDonagh

Contact: UCLA.Ireland.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Dublin

UCLA Major: Mathematics

Music: Hozier

Food: Tayto Crisps. Nowadays you can buy, with varying degrees of difficulty, the ingredients for any meal and make it yourself, no matter where you are in the world, but for some reason it seems you can only buy Tayto Crisps in Ireland! They are the ultimate Irish snack. Although they come in a variety of flavours, the original, Cheese & Onion, is by far the most popular, and for good reason! (For those of you who don't speak European English, Crisps = Potato Chips)

Must-See Destinations: The Ring of Kerry. In the southwest of the country, the Ring of Kerry, a 179km route, is home to some of Ireland's most spectacular views. It includes many breathtakingly beautiful beaches, lakes and mountains, as well as a wide variety of historical sites such as a stone fort from the 4th century, a castle from the 15th, and an old monastery that is now a World Heritage Site. 

Must-Try Activity at Home: Swimming at the Forty Foot. One of the great mysteries of life is why people swim at the Forty Foot. Every day, all year round, in rain or shine (or snow) you will find people braving the waters of the Irish Sea at the southern tip of Dublin Bay. Many an important occasion, such as a christening, or the finishing of exams, or Christmas Day, is marked by a plunge into it's dark waters. It sits in the shadow of the Martello Tower, now a museum, in which the opening of Joyce's Ulysses is set. 

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: There are many excellent reasons to study abroad in Ireland aside from the high standard of education and the many internship and job opportunities. Ireland is known for many things; for it's lively traditional music and dance, it's beautifully wild land and seascapes, and it's rich history, but what Ireland is best known for is its people. Always friendly, welcoming, and up for a good chat, it's no wonder our three largest cities regularly appear in the top five in lists of friendliest cities in the world! 

Italy

Name: Jiale He

Contact: UCLA.Italy.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Rome

UCLA Major: Electrical Engineering

Music: Tiziano Ferro

Food: Spaghetti alla Carbonara. It's an Italian pasta dish from Rome based on eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper and it is simply delicious.

Must-See Destinations: Rome of course. It is a beautiful city full of history. There's something to see and something to do everywhere and it offers some of the best sights in all of Italy. 

Must-Try Activity at Home: You must go watch a football game, or as you call it, soccer, at the stadium. This sport is huge in Italy and when game day approaches the whole atmosphere changes. Also, try learning some stadium chants to further improve the experience.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: It is a beautiful place, rich of history and art. Italy has been a cultural, artistic, religious and scientific center in the world for the past two millennia and it is worth visiting at least once in everyone's life. Studying abroad in Italy is an experience one shouldn't miss on if presented with the possibility.

Hong Kong

Name: Pui Ying  Chan

Contact: UCLA.HongKong.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Hong Kong

UCLA Major: Communication Studies

Music: We listen to Cantopop in Hong Kong. Some famous singers are Eason Chan, Joey Yung and GEM. 

Food: Hong Kong has some of the best food in the world. Street food is definitely my favorite, it is a curious mix of traditional and the downright weird. You can find lots of delicious food like curry fish balls, stinky tofu, egg waffle, egg tart, you name it. The streets of Hong Kong are bound to have something to suit your taste!

Must-See Destinations: The Peak. You can look down the city and see one of the finest harbors and skylines from this famous vantage point. It is even better to go at night, the panorama will become a dazzling galaxy of light.

Must-Try Activity at Home: The nightlife in Hong Kong offers you dazzling array of choices, from late night shopping to all-night clubbing. Hanging out and enjoying a few drinks or a bite of eat in Lan Kwai Fong is a must try. It is a maze of restaurants and bars and the most noted night-spots. 

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: If you are looking to get a taste of East in the dawn of what is being called “The Pearl of East” by some, without abandoning home comforts, or to get a taste of the West in Asia, then without a doubt, Hong Kong is your destination. You can experience unique multicultural vibes and it is also the gateway to mainland China. What's more, Hong Kong has some best universities in Asia.

Japan

Name: Chika Fukugama

Contact: UCLA.Japan.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Tokyo

UCLA Major: Public Policy

Music: AKB48, Arashi, Bz, EXILE, Mr. Children

Food: Japanese cuisine "washoku" is now recognized as world food heritage in UNESCO! Of course sushi and raw fish (sashimi) is very popular in Japan. You can also try sukiyaki and shabu-shabu (Japanese style meat dish), okonomiyaki (savoury pancake). Izakayas serves many dishes I noted above altogether!  They serve drinks, but you don't have to order. Lots of meals are cheaper than in the US!

Must-See Destinations: Japan has many world heritages: In Kyoto, you can see traditional shrines and temples, and try some local culture, such as tea ceremony. I also recommend visiting some hot spring spots, such as Nikko. Hiroshima has a beautiful shrine and the tragedic place of nuclear weapons.  Moreover, Akihabara is the best place to learn about comic culture. Tohoku district is a good place to know how Japan overcame huge earthquakes and tsunami disaster.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Japan has four seasons: in spring, join ohanami, outside party under the cherry blossams, visit fireworks and local summer festival and try a dance of bon-odori, watch fall foliage and try new year customs in winter. On your trip, public transportation is very convenient and punctual.  Especially, you should take express train shinkansen to go outside Tokyo area.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: In Japan, you can learn a lot about Asian culture.  Moreover, Japan is a safe and sofisticated country. You can buy anything you want to get or eat (not limited to Japanese food). Moreover, polite Japanese students are reliable to work together. To get another perspective, to get future research partners, Japan is the one of the best places to study abroad.

Jordan

Name: Farah Nuqul

Contact: UCLA.Jordan.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Amman

UCLA Major: Economics

Music: Omar Al-Abdallat

Food: Mansaf: the national Jordanian dish. It consists of Yogurt (Jameed), with rice and lamb meat. But really, all Arabic/Jordanian food is delicious. 

Must-See Destinations: Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Ma'een Hot Springs, Wadi Hiba, etc.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Learn a few Arabic words. Visit the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Talk to the people. Watch the stars in Wadi Rum. Eat lots and lots of Jordanian food. Go hiking in Wadi Mujib or Wadi Hiba. Experience the hustle and bustle of downtown Amman. Get your picture taken in traditional Bedouin clothing. Visit Petra and tell your friends you visited one of the wonders of the world.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Studying abroad in Jordan would not just expand your horizons, but also it would integrate you into a culture that is extremely different from your own. You get to acquaint yourself with an array of myriad people, experience one of the most richly historical areas in our modern times, as well as our traditions that trace back to our ancestors. Not to mention it will give you a glimpse of the true characteristics of the Middle East that will allow you to form your own view of it, outside the media. And of course, you get to continue your studies abroad. 

Korea

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Mexico

Name: Alejandra Martínez Morales

Contact: UCLA.Mexico.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Mexico City

UCLA Major: LLM: International and Comparative Law Specialization 

Music: Alejandro Fernández, Luis Miguel, Juan Gabriel

Food: Esquites, enchiladas and of course, tacos. In Mexico almost everything you can find is made of corn! Actually, some prehispanic cultures call themselves "Men of Maize" and believe that the flesh was made of corn. Esquites are corn kernels boiled or roasted with the toppings you choose, you will not regret trying them! Typical enchiladas are folded tortillas with green or black mole (a mexican kind of sauce that is a must) with chicken, cheese and cream. What can I say about tacos? Everybody loves tacos and Mexico offers the most amazing and delicious variety of them. 

Must-See Destinations: Chiapas, Oaxaca and the Mayan Riviera are perfect if you want to discover Mexican prehispanic roots and natural paradises. If you like colonial cities with a beautiful display of architectural splendor you should visit Guanajuato and Puebla. Finally, Mexico City offers an incredible night life and cultural activities, from music festivals to street markets. 

Must-Try Activity at Home: Go and visit Dowtown Mexico! Take a touristic bus at the block zero of the city or rent a bike and discover the museums, historical buildings, restaurants, bars, colors and faces of one of the biggest cities on Earth. 

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Studying in Mexico is a great opportunity to get deep in American indigenous roots, Latin American culture and of course, learn Spanish! Mexico is home of some of the top universities in Latin America and its location in North America, but cultural common roots with Central and South America make it a country with unique academic and research resources in several topics. With regard to culture, Mexico is the meeting of two worlds. We have thousands of years of prehispanic inheritance and five centuries of postcolonial history. This encounter built our actual identity as Mexicans and gave us 31 sites included in the World Heritage List (first place of Latin American countries), 68 indigenous languages and a daily life full of traditions. This richness of culture, in all its forms, exalts the value of family unity, loyalty and hard work.

New Zealand

Name: Cameron Gunn

Contact: UCLA.NewZealand.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Christchurch

UCLA Major: Electrical Engineering

Music: Trinity Roots, Fat Freddy's Drop, Hollie Smith

Food: Weetbix and martmite for breakfast; pies for lunch; lamb for dinner.

Must-See Destinations: Nature: South Island hiking is fantastic; you never have to travel far to find mountains, beaches, forests, plains, waterfalls etc.. Urban: Wellington is the country's hub of music, art, performance, film, politicians, and coffee.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Learn how to play cricket or rugby -- preferably at the beach!

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: New Zealand provides a great trade-off between experiences and conveniences. The variety of cities and regions, the fantastic, easy-access outdoors, and the friendly people are all positives. Yet, New Zealand is close to California, speaks English, and is not too culturally distant, making an easy transition for exchange students.

Russia

 Name: Alena Popova

Contact: UCLA.Russia.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Moscow

UCLA Major: Economics

Music: Dima Bilan, Polina Gagarina, Serebro

Food: Homemade crêpes! In Russia, we eat crêpes with all sorts of fillings, from cottage cheese to meet and caviar. Yum!

Must-See Destinations: Russia is immense and very spread out, which makes it very culturally and architecturally diverse. I would say, that top 3 destinations are Moscow, as a modern megapolis, Saint-Petersburg, as a gigantic monument of Tsar period, and the Golden Ring cities, where one goes to see 12-18th century sights.

Must-Try Activity at Home: If you are in Moscow, take a subway! Not only is the cheapest and the fastest way to travel, the paintings on the walls of the stations and the trains itself will provide a great insight to Russian history and culture. 

Why Study Abroad in your home country? Studying abroad in Russia will provide you with a chance to see with your own eyes the transition from socialism to capitalism and its results after 25 years. Moreover, the exposure to different mentality and perspective is a lifetime opportunity to broaden your horizons!

Singapore

Name: Priyam Sethi

Contact: UCLA.Singapore.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Singapore

UCLA Major: Dentistry

Music: We listen to music from all over the world, and music in Singapore is very similar to music here in the United States - especially everything we play on the radio, we even have American Top 40 and Rick Dees charts! But a homegrown Singaporean talent that is becoming quite popular at the moment is Gentle Bones (Joel Tan).

Food: So many food favourites...as one of the food capitals of the world, Singapore has lots to boast about! My personal favourites are: chilli crab (a whole crab cooked in a spicy signature chilli sauce, served with steamed or fried buns); laksa (a popular dish originating from Peranakan cuisine, made of rice noodles with prawns, fish and chicken in a spicy coconut based curry); Hainanese chicken rice; char siew bao (steamed buns filled with barbeque pork); XO hor fun (flat broad rice noodles with seafood in a cognac based sauce); satay with peanut sauce; and roti prata (originating from Indian cuisine, it's like a layered pancake served with a fish curry). Also not to be missed are the Milo Dinosaur (which is our own twist on the iced Milo drink from Australia) and ice-cream sandwiches from street vendors!

Must-See Destinations: We are a small island and you do not need many days to see the whole island, but there are certain places one must visit: watch the sunrise over breakfast atop the Marina Bay Sands; go shopping at Orchard Road; visit the Gardens by the Bay; eat dinner at the Singapore Cricket Club and enjoy the skyline at night; and visit the Night Safari for a nocturnal zoo experience.

Must-Try Activity at Home: If you enjoy the water, then definitely go wakeboarding at the East Coast! Otherwise if you prefer to stay dry, you can visit Pulau Ubin and go cycling there in the peace and quiet. If you are more of an adventurous sort, the reverse bungee is lots of fun at Clarke Quay, or you could visit Universal Studios at Sentosa and have your fill of the rides there!

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Singapore is a vibrant melting pot of people from different cultures and communities - it presents a beautiful marriage of the conveniences and advancements of the West, with the values and traditions of the East. No matter what courses you are taking, or where you are from, studying in Singapore will be an enriching and life changing experience. With state of the art conveniences easily available to everyone, students can enjoy a very comfortable life to support their hectic schedules and indulge in the exciting opportunities available. My advice to students that are interested in studying in Singapore is to keep an open mind and absorb as much of the culture, sights and sounds. Additionally: 1) Make many Singaporean and international friends. 2) Definitely explore all the foods and tastes on offer as Singapore is also considered one of the food capitals of the world. 3) Travel. Singapore’s strategic location gives it easy access to so many beautiful and starkly different countries, all of which can be economically explored during weekends off. 4) Always carry an umbrella and beware of the rain! Although it is criticised for its paternalistic democracy, it is undoubtedly one of the safest environments to grow up and discover yourself in. There are endless opportunities in this beautiful sunny, tropical paradise!

South Africa

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Contact: UCLA.SouthAfrica.Ambassador@gmail.com

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Spain

 Name: Alexía Gavriil

Contact: UCLA.Spain.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Mallorca/Barcelona

UCLA Major: Communication Studies

Music: If you're looking for contemporary high-sugar-dose music, check out Alejandro Sanz. If you want to listen to something more traditional, listen to any 'flamenco' artist.

Food: You must definitely try tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette made with potatoes and eggs); paella (both seafood and meat version); and the famous 'tapas' or 'pinchos': small-sized dishes served in most of Spanish bars, usually along with beer. 'Gazpacho' is a cold-served vegetable soup perfect for hot days! As to drinks, you want to try 'sangría' (wine served with pieces of fresh fruit in it).

Must-See Destinations: There are 17 autonomous communities in Spain, each one of them with its own unique characteristics and interesting places to visit. Besides Madrid and Barcelona (the two biggest cities in Spain), road trips to the Southern region (Andalucía) and Northern Spain are a really good idea. You can also choose amongst lots of idyllic beaches and, if you have the chance, visit the Balearic Islands for a truly Mediterranean experience.

Must-Try Activity at Home: You don't want to miss the cultural festivities. Each region has its own traditions; check out Las Fallas in Valencia, Semana Santa and La Feria de Abril in Seville or San Fermín in Pamplona, for instance. If you visit the South of Spain a traditional 'tablao flamenco' is a must-see. Also, Spain has several cool music festivals like Primavera Sound, FIB, Bilbao BBK, Arenal Sound, DCODE... 

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: I'm sure everyone links Spain to a laidback life-style (fiesta and siesta, right?), but it has to offer much more than that! It is a country with a strong historical heritage, and a rich culture full of traditions. You will find Spaniards are warmhearted and easy-going: when people friend you in Spain, they will soon welcome you at their homes and they will treat you as a member of their family, making sure your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

Sweden

 Name: Emil Larsson

Contact: UCLA.Sweden.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Malmö

UCLA Major: Engineering and Business

Music: The EDM scene is pretty big… think artists such as Avicii, Swedish House Mafia, Alesso etc. Apart from that, a lot of other Swedish and mainstream US music is widely listened to.

Food: If you’ve ever tried IKEA’s food court, you have a pretty good idea of some classic Swedish cuisine, such as meatballs with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes (although the ones my mother makes are better of course). Typical array of dishes is enjoyed during Easter, Midsummer and Christmas. All of these meals include a special kind of sliced herring, egg and potatoes.

Must-See Destinations: You have cities such as Malmo, Gothenburg and Stockholm that are beautifully situated along the coast, with water running through the cities and a lot of really old architecture. The country also offers a wide range of experiences with its long coastlines, abundant forests, and sprawling mountains where you can hike or ski. There is a Swedish law that allows you to camp almost everywhere, if you’re into that. It’s easy to get to many places using a well-functioning public transportation system. You can also cover most of Europe with 3 hours of flying, and a lot of destinations are really cheap to go to.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Go to northern Sweden to experience the cold, northern lights, see the midnight sun (that never sets), and go skiing. Celebrate holidays in a Swedish way. Attend traditional, big, and loud student dinners that include performances and singalongs.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: You will get to experience a totally different society and culture in a country where pretty much everyone speaks English. Let’s not forget to mention that since Sweden adopts a lot of things from the US, many Swedish people will like you off the bat and be interested in hearing about your home country.

You have cities such as Malmo, Gothenburg and Stockholm that are beautifully situated along the coast, with water running through the cities and a lot of really old architecture. The country also offers a wide range of experiences with its long coastlines, abundant forests, and sprawling mountains where you can hike or ski. There is a Swedish law that allows you to camp almost everywhere, if you’re into that. It’s easy to get to many places using a well-functioning public transportation system. You can also cover most of Europe with 3 hours of flying, and a lot of destinations are really cheap to go to.

Switzerland

Name: Steven Sohn

Contact: UCLA.Switzerland.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Basel, but student at the University of Geneva

UCLA Major: Political Science (International Affairs)

Music: 77 Bombay Street, Pegasus, Bastian Baker, Bligg, Seven, etc. 

Food: Cheese Fondue, without any doubt! There is nothing better than to dip some delicious Swiss bread (tip: try banana, pineapple and grapes, too!) into hot, melted Swiss cheese with some good friends and/or family during a cold, gloomy winter day. Other than that, the "Berner Platte" is undoubtedly one of my favorite dishes, too. It consists of several types of sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut. Finally, we obviously must not forget about chocolate, probably one of the most famous Swiss exports; in Swiss grocery stores you will find an immense variety of chocolates, and you should try all of them! 

Must-See Destinations: You definitely do not want to miss out on visiting the beautiful old cities in Switzerland, such as Bern, Lucerne, Zurich, Lausanne, Lugano or Neuchâtel - to name but a few. To make an excursion to smaller towns and villages can also be worthwhile, especially because many of them are located in picturesque areas. Speaking of which, you definitely also want to take advantage of Switzerland's gorgeous and awe-inspiring mountains which are an ideal destinations all year round (hiking in summer, skiing in winter). A must-see is also the Aletsch Glacier - take a look at it before it disappears completely!

Must-Try Activity at Home: Winter sport is something you absolutely need to try. Among others, skiing (or snowboarding if you prefer) is clearly a must-try activity, but to go sledding is also fun! There are even slopes exclusively reserved for sledding. In summer, hiking in the mountains, swimming in the clean and refreshing city rivers or lakes, and going to one (or more) of the innumerable festivals (such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Gurtenfestival or the Locarno International Film Festival) need to be part of your very Swiss experience. Finally, being from Basel (the Swiss capital of carnival), I have to recommend the "Basler Fasnacht", which is Switzerland's largest - and best ;) - carnival. It is basically a three day long celebration that engulfs the whole city with lots of candy, music, parties, and people dressed up in traditional carnival costumes.  

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: On the hand, Switzerland's landscape is just stunning and because of the extensive public transportation system and the immense amount of well-maintained hiking trails, it is very easy to get around and explore the country. Being situated in the heart of Europe, this is also the ideal starting point for your discovering of Europe. For example, from Basel (in the North of Switzerland) you can just hop on a train and you'll be in Paris within three hours; of course you can also fly at low cost to any place you desire to visit. On the other hand, Switzerland is also a very diverse country, given the fact that it blends German, French and Italian influence with its own unique culture. You will notice that the French-speaking part (the West) is not the same as the German-speaking or Italian-speaking part in terms of mentalities and traditions. Because of its four national languages (Swiss German, French, Italian and Rumantsch), it is also the ideal place to learn new languages! Last but not least, Switzerland's universities have a great reputation and are regarded as among the best in Europe. Especially Geneva is a great place if you are into politics and global studies since there are 25 international organizations (e.g. the UN, WHO, WTO, CERN, ILO), as well as up to 300 NGOs (such as the HQ of the Red Cross). 

Taiwan

Name: Sz-Yin Chen

Contact: UCLA.Taiwan.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Taipei

UCLA Major: Undeclared Life Science

Music: Taiwan is home to many famous Asian music artists and bands! These include big names like Jay Chou, A-Mei, Leehom Wong, Mayday, and Soda Green. If you are into Chinese pop, you should definitely visit Taiwan to see the homeland of your idols!

Food: Taipei was voted as the “city of gluttony” by CNN Travel because of our so many delicious dishes! We have 18 streets dedicated only to food, so it’s a dream-come-true for all the foodies out there! Braised pork rice, beef noodle, oyster omelet, boba (which was invented here!), pineapple cake are only a few of our famous delicacies. Come try for yourself the place voted by CNN readers to taste the best food in the world!

Must-See Destinations: Taipei City is the combination of both modern and antiquity. With one or two dollars, you can travel the entire city, visit Taipei 101 (tallest building in the world from 2004~2010) and National Palace Museum, a museum with the largest collection of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Yang-Ming Mountain, along with its world-famous hot springs, is less than an hour drive away. After a long day of walking, it is great to stop by one of the many night markets in the city and stuff your stomach with delicious Taiwanese cuisine for a very low price!

Must-Try Activity at Home: Taiwanese people love celebrating holidays and traditions! Chinese New Year is something every foreigner looks forward to experiencing since it is the biggest holiday of the year. Decorate your place and dress yourself in red, the color that signifies good fortune. Apart from Chinese New Year, you can also engage in a heated race of dragon boat rowing in June or simply sit down with friends and family during Mid-Autumn Festival and enjoy some moon cake and BBQ. During weekends, you can rent a bike and ride along the bank of Tamsui River. If you are into sports, you can also take a 7-day cycling tour around the entire island. Even though Taiwan is small in size, the island has a lot to offer to its visitors from all over the world.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Taiwan is the perfect place to study abroad if you want a taste of traditional Chinese culture and simultaneously enjoy the convenience of urban life. This is a place which can offer you prestigious college education, world-renowned cuisine, and unique life experiences all within one trip. Even though Mandarin is the official language of Taiwan, Taiwanese people are very hospitable and helpful towards foreigners. Taiwan is similar enough to the United States that you would not experience a huge culture shock, but different enough to broaden your horizon and make your trip memorable and worthwhile. The Island of Formosa awaits you with open and welcoming arms!

Thailand

 Name: (Beatrice) Angkana Chawalitnititham

Contact: UCLA.Thailand.Ambassador@gmail.com

City: Pattaya

UCLA Major: Pre Business Economics

Music: Klear,Lula, Aof Thongsak, Lydia Sarunrat,Bird Thongchai , Potato, Palmy,Slot Machine,Mild,Ben Chalatit, 25 hours, Bodyslam

Food: Thai Green Chicken Curry Soup! For me, this creamy, softly sweet and spicy soup served over steamed Jasmine rice or 'Kanom jeen' (rice noodles) is an ideal pick me up dinner.I think the combination of chunky chicken and Thai eggplant gives this dish a hearty feel .The Kaffir lime and basil also adds a lovely aroma to the warm soup! Although the element of coconut milk had me categorise this gentle green soup as comfort food, my aunt informs me that the bitter pea eggplant in the soup is extremely healthy so it is definitely worth a try!

Must-See Destinations: The Similan Islands! White sand, parrot fish, sea turtles, and corals... This world heritage national park containing 11 islands is a great place for anyone to explore! I went there myself and could still vividly remember the experience of snorkelling beside a sea turtle and just overall being intrigued by the landscape under the clear water.

Must-Try Activity at Home: Visit a temple and observe the culture and people.Thai temples are ornate. They are beautifully constructed to be a peaceful place of worship and source religious teachings.They are grand. The Wat Pra Kaew temple (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok situated within the Grand Palance is such a must see destination that there is a saying that 'you have not visited Thailand if you have not been inside Wat Pra Kaew.' Temples, especially on religious holidays, are normally bustling with locals and visitors. You would get to see local Thai people bring food offerings to monks, pray, and even have their fortunes told. As temples are are popular locations, there are normally street vendors outside so this is a good chance for you to try Thai street food. My freinds from my international school informed me that this is one of the things they will miss most about Thailand.

Why Study Abroad in your home country?: Convenience and cost of living are two main reasons why you might want to study in Thailand. In Bangkok you have the choice of taxis, Sky train, MRT (underground train), and of course Uber (depending on where you want to go) all of which have relatively low fares compared to that of LA. Overall, relative to the US, the general cost of living in Thailand is very low. To put this into perspective, a dollar could get you a meal with two sides or a bowl of noodle soup from a typical local resturant. If you eat in local resturants or family style resturants you will most likely have enough to spend on travelling the country or doing other fun activities with your freinds. Even the prices of movie tickets in Thailand are definitely cheaper then here in LA! The convenience shop 7/11 which sells everything from ready made meals to vanity items cover many locations as well as street vendors and local food shops. Shopping malls also offer many international food options under reasonable prices, yet there are high end resturants you could go to as well. Chances are, it is very unlikely for you to find yourself hungry in Thailand! On the other hand, Univerisities in Bangkok, Thailand such as Chula and Thammasat have smaller class size then UCLA, typically sround 30-40 students so you will have lots of opportunities to enagage with your professors. The academics is also rigorous so you would not be missing out.  

Turkey

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United Kingdom

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Contact: UCLA.England.Ambassador@gmail.com

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