Being a member of Duke Kunshan's Global Learning Semester program has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. I didn't quite know what to expect when I first came to China -- having never been out of America for more than a week, only knowing the bare minimum of the Chinese language, and entirely unsure of what life entailed in China. However, by the program's end, I felt like Duke Kunshan was the most rewarding academic endeavor I had ever chosen. Duke Kunshan is truly a one-of-a-kind learning environment.
While at Duke Kunshan, I worked for DKU's global marketing team as a student communications assistant, creating social media posts and helping to usher in the inaugural cohort of international undergraduate students. I was also able to travel to several of Jiangsu's nearby provinces, including Zhejiang, Hubei, and Shandong. Another fun aspect of my time in China involved playing basketball with students in my Global Learning Semester program and other Duke Kunshan faculty and students. Finally, I learned just how amazing Chinese food is -- and for that matter, how much different it is compared to American Chinese food. These are just some things I will cherish from my time in China.
The best way to describe my experience at Duke Kunshan is one of personal growth. As a student here, particularly from the lens of an international student, you open yourself to be changed. The interactions I had with Chinse classmates, teachers and course subjects, and the various facets of Chinese living bestowed upon me a sense of friendship, invaluable knowledge, and new ways to see others. I have since returned to America feeling more connected with the world around me and eager to be a part of the global community. While I truly love my home at Duke University, it took stepping outside my comfort zone and coming to Duke Kunshan in China to experience growth that I could have never imagined before.