Ci­ti­zens of the world

Grad­u­ates from NYU Shang­hai share their ex­pe­ri­ences

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - The story was trans­lated based on an ar­ti­cle from Shang­hai Ob­server.

At the end of this month, a new batch of stu­dents will grad­u­ate from New York Uni­ver­sity, Shang­hai (NYU Shang­hai). Among them are for­eign stu­dents who aspire to be­come experts of China as well as lo­cal stu­dents who are about to serve in in­ter-govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“How can I learn from Chi­nese and know more about China with­out com­ing to the coun­try,” said US stu­dent Zoe Jor­dan in flu­ent Pu­tonghua about what brought her to NYU Shang­hai.

At the end of the month, she will grad­u­ate from NYU Shang­hai with nearly 300 stu­dents, the sec­ond batch of grad­u­ates from the uni­ver­sity.

Re­ceiv­ing a full schol­ar­ship on a mas­ter’s de­gree pro­gram in China stud­ies, Jor­dan will un­lock a new chap­ter in her life and study at Yench­ing Academy of Pek­ing Uni­ver­sity.

To know more about each grad­u­ate and hear their in­ter­est­ing sto­ries, Yu Lizhong, the prin­ci­pal of the uni­ver­sity, set up a WeChat group on his cell phone.

“After four years’ of stud­ies, they have more knowl­edge of the world,” Yu said.

New experts of China

Hav­ing stud­ied for four years in China, Jor­dan aspires to be a Si­nol­o­gist. “Many peo­ple hold a stereo­type of China. After com­ing to China to study, I got to know the real China and to de­bate with peo­ple from other coun­tries,” said Jor­dan.

Her in­ter­est in China was not formed in one day. As early as high school, in­stead of choos­ing French or Span­ish as a for­eign lan­guage she chose Pu­tonghua. This ex­pe­ri­ence brought her to Shang­hai.

While ma­jor­ing in China stud­ies at NYU Shang­hai, Jor­dan had a deeper knowl­edge about all walks of life in China and helped find her in­ter­ests in pol­i­tics, strate­gic re­search and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions. For her over­seas ex­change, she did an in­tern­ship with the Stim­son Cen­ter, Wash­ing­ton DC, and stud­ied bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ships be­tween China and coun­tries in South­east Asia.

“If Shang­hai is like New York, then Beijing is like Wash­ing­ton,” Jor­dan said, hop­ing to con­tinue to ex­plore in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions through a re­gional an­gle. Her dream is to be a pol­icy an­a­lyst or a re­search fel­low.

Chi­nese stu­dents

Louis Demetroulakos from the US also hopes to be an ex­pert on China. To im­prove his Chi­nese lan­guage skills, he set up a rule to speak only Pu­tonghua from 4 pm ev­ery­day.

He also en­joys chat­ting with lo­cal taxi driv­ers to ap­ply what he has learned to real life. While on an in­tern­ship in Tel Aviv, Is­rael, he con­verted a lo­cal cafe into a Chi­nese cor­ner. With his in­sight of Chi­nese busi­ness cul­ture and in­ter-cul­tural aware­ness, Demetroulakos was of­fered job to work as a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager for a for­eign-in­vested en­ter­prise and now trav­els be­tween Shang­hai and Athens.

While for­eign stu­dents strive to know about China, Chi­nese stu­dents are also broad­en­ing their vi­sion of the world.

Shang­hai stu­dent Li Chang be­lieves NYU Shang­hai of­fers a lot of plat­forms, op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­sources for stu­dents to ob­serve the world, broaden their vi­sion, form val­ues and choose their own path.

Ye Lin, an­other stu­dent from Shang­hai, de­fined her and her class­mates as “world ci­ti­zens.” While in Shang­hai, she was able to share with her room­mate, an Is­raeli stu­dent, their grow­ing-up sto­ries; while study­ing in Florence, Italy, she made friends with peo­ple from Sid­ney and Cal­i­for­nia. After grad­u­a­tion, she will work at Asia-Pa­cific Model E-port Net­work (APMEN) to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for model E-Ports and pro­mote sup­ply-chain con­nec­tiv­ity and trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

“I am so hon­ored to work for this or­ga­ni­za­tion and push for­ward the open­ness and trans­parency of sup­ply chains in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion,” said Ye.

“With stu­dents be­ing widely rec­og­nized by so­ci­ety, I am more con­fi­dent in the ed­u­cat­ing mode of the uni­ver­sity,” said Yu.

He added that though stu­dents come from all over the world to Shang­hai with dif­fer­ent out­comes, they have grown to be more re­spon­si­ble and com­pas­sion­ate dur­ing their time at NYU.

Photos: VCG

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