Part I. “I am”
Hometown: Shanghai, China
Major(s) and minor(s): Major in Asian Studies and minor in Astronomy
What are three words to describe yourself? Creative, Adventurous, Various
What/Who is an inspiration in your life? My friends
What has your international spirit powered you to do? Appreciate different perspectives
Part II. Academics
Can you describe your transition into Vanderbilt coming from China?
I enrolled in IB program in high school, so my transition to college learning was overall smooth. During the transition, time management is fairly important.
What about Astronomy interests you?
I read The Three-Body Problem in high school. I was interested in astrophysical knowledge, which is involved in the plot. I was fascinated by the work’s perspective of examining the world. Before entering college, I learned astronomy on my own; I then took courses of astronomy at Vanderbilt. I have read science fiction pieces, where I find the worldviews with rich ideologies enthralling.
(Interviewer’s note: The Three-Body Problem written by Cixin Liu is a hard science fiction novel which won a Hugo Award for Best Novel.)
Can you describe your favorite course?
My favorite course is a first-year writing seminar about Buddhism, in which I learned more perspectives: viewing eastern culture via a western viewpoint and critically evaluating such examinations.
What is one language learning resource that you find helpful?
I am learning Japanese, and talking with people in Japanese is helpful. One of my friends is also a Japanese learner, and we often converse in Japanese to practice new grammar and vocabulary.
Part III. Extracurriculars
What dance organizations are you involved in on campus?
I am on the leadership board of Vanderbilt Kpop VIVID team.
Can you discuss one of your live dance performance at Vanderbilt?
I have performed live over 10 times on campus. Each was memorable, and my very first dance performance at Vanderbilt was the most unforgettable. I was nervous when waiting backstage. As the music started, I no longer felt nervous and could dance at ease.
How has dancing influenced your Vandy life?
This semester, I have devoted the most time to academics and then to dancing. One day, I spent six hours at rehearsal. Many of my friends had similar passion for dancing. I was one of the choreographers of the water-sleeves dance in LNYF. While working with my fellow dancers, I not only made new friends, but also learned how to organize and coordinate.
(Interviewer’s note: “LNYF” stands for “Lunar New Year Festival,” which is an annual cultural showcase.)
Part IV. For the Readers
Can you recommend one thing to do at Vanderbilt?
Participate in at least one of the showcases: Diwali, LNYF, and so on. The experience of performing on the stage or doing behind-the-scenes work is different from watching the showcase.
What are two tips you have for international students?
Regardless of your language skills, do not be afraid to speak and express yourselves. Be open-minded to try new things in the new environment.
Image credits: National Astronomy Magazine, Vanderbilt K-Pop