Day Thirteen

It was very cold and windy today, but we still took the school bus and went to visit the University at Albany (UAlbany) according to plan. UAlbany is the main campus of the State University of New York (SUNY), as Albany is the capital city of New York State. SUNY has 64 campuses which are located across New York State in urban, suburban and rural areas. From Long Island to Buffalo, from Plattsburgh to Binghamton and everywhere in-between you'll find a SUNY campus.

The school bus took us to the University Hall of UAlbany, where Mr John Pomeroy, Assistant Director of International Recruitment, received us. First he extended welcome to us and then arranged our visit. A UAlbany student showed us around the school. We visited the student center, cafeteria, dormitory, and also the Life Science Research Building and the Science Library.

At the Life Science Research Building, we came across a student pursuing a doctorate who came from Nanjing. She gave us a brief account of the school. She told us that the life science research here had been ranked among the first in the United States. I also met a young man who came from Wuxi and engaged in postdoctoral research here. Both of them had been here in the United States for 4 years.

In the Science Library, the curator received us. In his introductory remarks, the curator said, "I feel very proud of our library." Then he went on to introduce his library unceasingly, as if no one else was nearby. However, for us who had been learning English, this was an excellent opportunity to practice listening ability.

While the curator was talking, there came a Chinese boy. He introduced himself to us as a freshman here, saying that it was Mr Pomeroy who had invited him here to explain how he had come to study in UAlbany.

After being showed around the campus, we were brought back to the University Hall, where the same Chinese boy said more about himself. He came from Shanghai and arrived here after he graduated from a high school jointly run with Canada. He stressed that, if anyone wanted to study abroad, he'd better contact the university directly all by himself without any intermediary institutions, otherwise he would have to pay ¥30,000-40,000 extra for nothing.

Mr Pomeroy also spoke. He said that UAlbany had a cooperative relation with Nanjing University and, in addition, it also cooperated with some universities and high schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang in China. He added that he had been to China many times and would go back once more in March this year. He warmly welcomed the Chinese students to attend UAlbany.

At noon, we had lunch in the cafeteria of UAlbany. While having lunch, I met Mr Pomeroy again. I said to him that our students here today would graduate from high school in one more year. Perhaps some of them might be interested in the UAlbany; Mr Pomeroy welcomed that.

Night Arrival in New York City

We were told by our American hosts that there would be a strong snowstorm tonight. In order to ensure that we could do sightseeing in New York City (NYC) smoothly in the following two days, they suggested that we take the train to NYC tonight ahead of schedule. At 5:00 pm we set out to the railway station. The nearest station was at Wassaic which was 40 minute drive away from Pine Plains.

At Wassaic station we got on the train going to NYC, and we changed to another train halfway. We arrived in NYC at almost 9:00 in the evening. It was snowing heavily and the wind was blowing hard. We got to a small, cheap inn which was booked just before we started. We were surprised at the poor conditions of the inn. After the rooms were distributed, we strongly demanded that the bed sheets should be changed. Fortunately, the attendants' service attitude was okay and our demands were all satisfied. All of us settled down at about 11:00 pm.