Citizens of the world
Graduates from NYU Shanghai share their experiences
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.
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.