Hundreds of Aspects of Ivy Students

July 28, 2019

On July 28, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing invited Sirui SHAO JRN '16 and Zhaoning Johnson LIU, a recent graduate from College of William and Mary and currently a master student at Tsinghua University, to the tenth event of the Beijing Center's Education Panel Series, discussing the gain and growth of having an overseas education experience with more than 60 prospective students and their parents and more than 102,000 online viewers.

Earlier this year, Shao launched her first book, Hundreds of Aspects of Ivy Students. This book includes Shao's interviews with 28 alumni from Ivy League member schools in the past two years and her dairies of studying and working in the U.S. for eight years. Shao hopes this book could bring courage and inspiration to students who have not obtained an oversea experience but want to take the first step.

The tenth discussion aims at revealing the little-known aspects of student life abroad, addressing the difficulties and challenges facing Chinese students.

Shao noted that in the U.S., students would have enough time to find out what their true passion is. At college, Shao interned at a radio station on campus and later went to a local news agency to report breaking news. Eventually, these experiences led her to realize that writing is her strength and to decide to apply for Columbia Journalism School.

Following Shao’s point, Liu also pointed out that every day one can’t help but encounter a plethora of suggestions and criticisms, but we must listen to the inner voice to find out who we are and what we want to achieve.

Life abroad is not only about courses and tests. To have a rewarding time overseas, Shao gave her suggestions. At Columbia, Shao participated in a wide range of academic and social events and actively reached out to people for advices. Her rich experiences and strong network secured her a satisfying career after graduation.

The two panelists also spoke about their college choice. “To enroll in a research university is wonderful,” said Shao. “Students can have diverse experiences, broadening their mind and helping them prepare for the future.” On the other hand, Liu enjoyed his life at a liberal arts college, given the smaller class size and a low student to faculty ratio. However they both agree that students should select the best fit based on their personal and professional goals.