PKU Guanghua Exchange Review –
My exchange experience was filled with surprise and discovery. I think most of us going on a semester abroad are either searching for or have temporary answers to the two questions that we are all faced with as we progress through our university careers- who am I, and what do I want to do? My semester at PKU provided me with the resources to further explore these questions in a unique and vastly different environment, giving me the chance to really view myself through a different lens with neither limit nor regret.
To those who are curious as to the more tangible aspects of my experience, the professors and the staff involved in making the exchange students feel both welcomed and comfortable did a phenomenal job. From the time I landed in Beijing to the time I returned to the United States, I really felt like I was part of a family there. The classes were engaging and the local students offered perspectives that I might never be able to interact with again. There was a plethora of events and activities that provided us with more opportunities to bond with each other, as well as to assimilate into the domestic culture and lifestyle. We went to bars, climbed the Great Wall, played beer pong on graduation day, and listened to established academic keynote speakers like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates – we bungee jumped, ate duck, worked on group projects late into the night, and even clubbed. We worked and we played. Regardless of which, we were always in great company.
I met a group of wonderful and outstanding individuals from all over the world – and although our backgrounds were diverse, what defined us was who we were, then and there. Guanghua offered classes that were stimulating and relevant. For instance, two of my entrepreneurship professors helped find me investors to invest in a startup idea that I had lightheartedly submitted as a homework assignment. I was completely surprised by how much sincere effort the university placed into making this experience a seamless and unlimited opportunity, despite only having us for a semester.
My time at PKU was to say at the very least golden, and I know that everyone who is willing to take chances, learn, explore, and enjoy, will have an absolutely incredible and timeless experience filled with stories to remember and share for years and years to come. It was both my pleasure and an honor to have been a part of such a fantastically led and executed program.
University of Southern California (USC)
*I wish I had more photos of myself, but I liked taking photos of others – here are two that I like that could maybe be thrown into a collage of some sorts. I hope this is helpful*