Hometown: Qingdao, China
Major: Economics and Management
On managing culture shock: Getting over culture shock, for me, was just reaching out to people and speaking up when you need to speak up. The faculty here is very supportive. My FYI advisor Beth Dougherty, a professor of political science, was especially helpful in the transition. She invited us to her home for dinner at the end of our first semester and again at the start of this (last fall) semester. She cares not only about my academic life, but also helps me a great deal with other difficulties.
How she embraces academic variety: I don’t think there’s one particular thing, but all kinds of experiences that shape who I am. It’s every professor I’ve had, every class that I’ve taken. When you learn more, every subject seems to have a connection to another. My major is economics, but I was also a teaching assistant for history and modern languages, a tutor for calculus and physics, and I am very interested in psychology and dance.
On making connections: Beloit’s very small, which helps everyone get connected. I’ve never met any Beloit alumni who were not willing to help. When I talk to friends at larger schools, they don’t have the same resources and experiences that I have. Within the economics department, Econ Day and the Miller Upton Forum have been beneficial in helping me make connections with both alumni and visiting scholars.
How volunteer work incited reflection: I volunteered at the Angel Academy, which provides daycare services. I taught kids math and Chinese. Afterwards, I wrote a paper on how younger girls and boys differ in picking up a new foreign language. This experience also provided me with great information to help me better understand my own culture. It’s only when you’re in another culture that you can reflect back, understand, and gain different opinions on your own culture.
How she knew she made the right choice: I’ve been to East Asia, Europe, Central America, Mexico, and all over the U.S. After visiting all these places, I like the Midwest the best. I have the most connections here. When I visited a friend at another university, I knew that if I had spent four years there, I would have found it harder to be emotionally attached like I am to Beloit.