Experience in China

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XIANTAO LI Author Profile Page said:

Hi, guys, please share with us your experience you have had during this program. This could be about the interaction with the Chinese students, your stay at Peking University, the academic and research environment, how you feel about the city and the country, your visit to local restaurants and attractions, and anything that you did not expect prior to the trip. These experiences would be extremely useful for us and for future joint programs between the two universities. Thanks.

Fan Xie said:

While we learned a lot about partial differential equations in this course, it is what we experienced outside of the classroom that made this class a very special experience. Having class with the local students, we got to understand what their college life is like. It was truly eye opening to walk into their dorms and smell the stench of urine and sweat that lingers there. Living four to a room, there is hardly any space to move around. I was especially surprised when I heard that they did not have showers in their dorms and that they had to go to public shower buildings to take showers. Considering this is what it’s like in one of if not the best university in China, I wonder what college students elsewhere go through. It really made me come to appreciate what I have here at Penn State.
The students themselves are all very humble, giving us a warm welcome and were always glad to help us when we asked. Although we tend to stick with our own schoolmates, there were a lot of interaction between the PKU and PSU students, and some of us became very good friends. The project certainly helped since it forced us to break the ice and work together. Once we got to know each other, we often would meet to just hang out. It was certainly interesting to be able to interact with students from such a different background. For me, it helps me come to understand my parents because their backgrounds are very similar to the students of PKU. I have come to respect their point of view and I now have a better understanding of why they sometimes think differently from me. Other students probably have their own personal enlightenment as well. Overall it was a really worthwhile experience.

September 2010

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