11/30 MY First American Thanksgiving
There are many international students like me who don’t have to go back to our family to enjoy holiday; either we choose to travel or stay. We actually have a really long holiday, from Wednesday to Sunday. Some of my friends even chose to travel to the East Coast with friends. For me, I stayed. The reason why I stayed is some of my American friends invited me to their house to enjoy the real, local Thanksgiving.
Getting together with friends for Thanksgiving has become such a precious memory for me, and I don't regret staying (local). Maybe I miss the beautiful scene of traveling, but it has been filled with all kinds of Thanksgiving food and laughter. Before the meal, we truly prayed for everyone and everything we have now. I was feeling how great we need to cherish the moments we have in everyday life. Being grateful is actually the core value of this festival and it gave me more meanings than just traveling.
After the days surrounded by the nice smelling of pumpkin and turkey, here comes the “Dead Week”. Have you recovered from the holiday and are you ready for finals?
10/19 Midterm madness Gives Way to Monterey
What I have learned from this cruel midterm is never study alone! Keep in touch with the professor and GSI, send emails or ask questions during office hours. No matter what kind of way, solve all your questions before the midterm. Start reviewing as early as possible. Full preparation is the best way to disaggregate your burden before exams. Definitely, midterm period is tough and tiring! But it’s also a good reflection for period learning, which reminds you to make adjustments for the future.
Having experienced the first midterm in Berkeley, I was feeling so tired and stressed. I urgently needed a break. A trip was definitely the best choice. Driving one hour towards south, we arrived in a very beautiful city near the Pacific Ocean----Monterey. We were so lucky that the weather that day was so great for hiking. The blue sea and sky almost melted together, looking at the scene like that. I was healed by the nature. I can’t stop praising the power of the creator and telling myself I cherish every second of my life.
9/19 My First Month Milestones
I learned how to get around town
Berkeley is a university town near San Francisco, which is a 30 minutes drive away. “Bart” is the most convenient transportation connecting the whole Bay Area. For the reason that I arrived ahead of the program beginning time, I couldn’t take the shuttle SAF offered. But it’s easy to take Bart from SFO airport to Downtown Berkeley where the university located.
I learned how to be brave and ask for help -- in English
Thanks to some of my American friends living in Berkeley, I stayed in their apartment for a night. I have to say that most of the Americans I have met they are so friendly and willing to offer help to strangers. Not only my friends, but also the Bart staff, passersby who showed me the way, and the staff of SAF. If it’s the first time you have been in America, just be brave to ask for help if you need. Don’t worry about your language; they won’t laugh at your accent or grammar. Being brave to talk could be the most important thing for your journey and daily life.
I learned how to navigate a different approach to academics abroad
UC Berkeley offers every student an orientation which almost explains everything you need to know in the future, including academic and basic life tips. And teachers and assistants are willing to help you solve your problems/answer questions -- just feel free to email them. The first week is actually a little bit tiring for every student, because you have to take part in many courses you are interested in and then make decisions about whether the course is appropriate for you to enroll in. Even though we don’t have the priority to choose whatever courses we want, there are still many choices for us exchange students. I major in Finance at my home university, so I have chosen two courses from Haas Business School which is a very outstanding business school in the world. Even though I only take half the number of courses here, compared to the number of courses in my home university, I still feel fulfilled -- and some pressure -- from the coursework. Maybe it’s a result of language barriers or a different learning system, but it reminds me that I have to devote more time to my studying, which also means that I could learn more.
I learned how to make the most of my time as an SAF Scholar
Many of my friends ask me how long I will stay here. I answer:“ one semester”. They always reply : ”That’s so short, but make it count !” Yes! They are right! Just make it count.
Here’s the beautiful view of Haas!
Host: University of California, Berkeley
Home: South China University of Technology
Major: Advertising, Finance