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Stories from Columbia, Cornell, and NYU
Author:Raju Maskey  Date:2017-05-19  Clicks:

For WHUers, a spring semester at an Ivy League university is no more a flight of fancy. GEP (Global Exchange Program) has made this seemingly far-fetched dream possible for aspiring undergraduates. Exchange program to top US colleges is definitely an adventure of a lifetime. To be able to enroll in a differently structured academic program that is so conducive to creativity, is a monumental achievement in their academic career. It just might be a stepping stone for a graduate program in the US, along their line of ambition.

Last spring, several of the undergraduates went to prestigious colleges in the US through GEP. These smart students were selected from a highly competitive pool of undergraduate students. This corroborates the fact that more and more WHUers are seeking opportunities to have a taste of the world.

They were able to develop their cross-cultural communication skills, expand their circle of friends and welcome new experiences with an open mind. On top of that, they were able to spice up their spring semester with unique American college traditions and local festivals, which varies from one university to another. Winning speeches, strolling in the quads, cheering for the college football team, brunch at the dining halls, weekly group meetings and pulling an all-nighter with dorm mates have left a lasting impression on them. They also bumped into several other amiable exchange students just like them, which made the exchange program a little less intimidating.

As they say, appetite comes with eating. Such a large playing field has spurred them to become global citizens who are able to see the world from the other side of the spectrum. All-in-all, they had a whale of a time and came through graciously—not keeping their noses in the book all the time. They were at liberty to go anywhere they wished and they fleetingly dabbled in a myriad of activities that were completely outside of their majors. Somehow all of this has brought several formative changes in them in many subtle ways. They also picked up a few new traits during their short time there—humor being one of them.

This piece spotlights their narratives as succinctly as possible. All of them unanimously agree that they absolutely loved their time there!

 

I remember during the first week I arrived to New York, it was the welcoming week at NYU in which hundreds of social activities and club events were held. I encouraged myself to participate in many of them such as the salsa dance party, cruise on Hudson River and rooftop BBQ. I took four courses at the Stern School of Business but the study schedule was even busier than when I had seven courses in WHU. I went camping in Pennsylvania with my friends, watched the Halloween parade, ate traditional Thanksgiving dinner in my American friends’ house and celebrated the New Year at Times Square.

Long Shang Shang

New York University

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I watched the Ivy League game against Yale during homecoming week and that's probably the exact moment when I felt the American spirit. All people coming together to cheer for the team, celebrating the triumph and sharing the excitement. It is thrilling to witness the changing of the scenery and sometimes I went hiking nearby on weekends. Cornell even has its own farm, so the milk we drank and the ice cream we ate at canteen are all produced by Cornell. 

Xie Zongling

Cornell University 

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I must admit that I have fallen deeply in love with LA, because the City of Angles will surprise you every day. I usually liked walking along Venice Beach with my friends, shopping at Santa Monica Promenade, watching NBA at the Staples Center and visiting diverse kinds of museums on weekends, which enabled me to live like an American girl there. I was indeed lucky to meet my three great roommates, who are from Japan, Spain and France respectively and living with them gave me the real feeling that I was a global citizen for the first time.

Jiang Yanzhu

University of California, Los Angeles

 

My goal in the last term was to experience and live western culture as much as I can, thus I chose four courses in different departments: Mediterranean sea history, ethics, world history and East Asian studies. During Christmas, my friends and I made a lot of fabulous desserts in my roommate Jonathan’s cozy home. I went to Chicago with my friends twice. Chicago is really a great city with incredible treasures and sceneries. I took thousands of pictures there.

Xu Yunlong

University of Wisconsin - Madison

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At the end of August, I arrived in New York, Columbia University introduced us new students through the New Student Orientation Program. Classes took place from September until December—a total time of four months. I lived on 134 Street, and usually had to take two subways to school. I chose courses in economics and statistics and the overall difficulty was moderate. I ate in school and sometimes I chose to eat at the Chinese restaurant near the school.

Jie Haitian

Columbia University

It's one of the best experiences of my life. Honestly speaking, I felt diffident and stressful initially, but the advisors and teachers were always willing to help me out.

Zezhou Xu

University of California, San Diego

 

Photo by Long Shang Shang, Xie Zongling, Jiang Yanzhu, Xu Yunlong, Jie Haitian, Xu Zezhou

Edited by Edmund and Hu Sijia

 

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