Student stories


I Gave Up on My UC Berkeley’s Acceptance


Dean College, Massachusetts

Johns Hopkins University, Maryland


After finishing Form 5 in Hong Kong, Timmy chose Dean College to have an early start on his University life in the States. He studied hard during these two years at Dean, a small liberal arts college near Boston, MA.

By April 2015, Timmy has received admission from some of the Top USA Universities, including UC Berkeley, University of Virginia and University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said that he has to give up on UC Berkeley in favor of Johns Hopkins University because it's a private university and it's easier to change his major if necessary.

"University - an opportunity to get yourself involved in all sorts of activites."

Timmy added that he joined a volunteer organization, UBELONG in one of the summer and went to Mexico, obviously he not just spend all his time in the library, getting out of the classroom and actively involved in other services is an important of his university life as well.  



Additional Information


UBELONG is an international volunteering and learning organization that brings people together across borders to collaborate for the common good.

In 2004, our Co-Founders, Cedric Hodgeman and Raul Roman, met at Cornell 
University, where they were inspired to change the way people engage with the world. 

For years, they traveled, studied and served in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 
However, back at home, there were so many people who struggled to find the right opportunity to travel and fulfill their promise as global citizens.

UBELONG – the Mexico program


Volunteer in Mexico. It starts here.

Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan, home to many of Mexico’s indigenous populations, including descendants of the Maya. The city is far removed from the violence found in the country’s border regions with the United State. Its enormous draw of American and European tourists looking to enjoy its colonial sights, delicious food, lively lifestyle, and warm weather is testament to Merida being a very safe destination.

Tourism and the growing oil industry mean lots of new money in Merida. The area’s strong growth in the last decade mirrors that of the rest of the country, and it has brought improvements in areas like education and health. However, Merida reflects Mexico’s significant disparity between rich and poor. Serious poverty exists, especially among the large indigenous population. Chances to advance are limited for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and, for vulnerable groups like disabled children, life is a struggle. When you volunteer in Mexico you have many opportunities, including teaching, caring for children and working in conservation.