Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Roommate Pairings at the HNC

Tomorrow, we will be sending out pre-departure forms to all enrolling students, including a roommate preference form. Students who have designated that they will live in a double room will have the opportunity to indicate their study and sleep habits, as well as their main academic interests. The roommate preference form should be completed as thoroughly as possible. Hopkins-Nanjing Center staff take these forms into consideration when making roommate selections, and try their best to make as many Chinese-international roommate pairings as possible. The majority of students found that the Center's multicultural residential community greatly contributed to their overall student experience, and helped facilitate intellectual discussions.

Admissions Coordinator and HNC '12 alumna Lauren Szymanski states, "My roommate and I actually enrolled in some of the same Chinese courses, which allowed us to continue our discussions outside of the classroom, and even throw around a few paper ideas." Shared interests are also taken into consideration when finalizing roommate pairings at the Center. Lauren says, "We quickly realized that we both loved to play the piano, and we also listened to Chinese traditional erhu music together. It was always a nice little study break which we both looked forward to!"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Profile of Next Year’s Class at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

As we process the reply forms that were submitted last weekend, a picture of next year’s class at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center is beginning to form.  The following is based on students who have confirmed enrollment with our HNC Office of International Admissions.  Chinese citizens will make up half of the total student body, but their admissions process with Nanjing University is still ongoing.  For now, let us introduce next year’s class of international students!

40% MAIS

There will be citizens representing:
  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kenya
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • United States

Finally, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center is excited to welcome its first second-generation student!  The daughter of an HNC ’89 graduate will be joining us this fall in Nanjing.

We encourage all enrolling students to join the Facebook group we created for your class to get to know each other over the summer.  Check your email for more information.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Open House and Wall Walk in Nanjing

Thank you to all admitted students who submitted their reply forms over the weekend!  This past Friday and Saturday we also held admitted student events in Nanjing.  Angela Chang, the American Academic Coordinator at the HNC, fills us in on the recent Center happenings:

"Last weekend, we hosted a variety of events at the HNC for some of our admitted students currently based in greater China.  One student, however, even flew in all the way from the US to attend!  On Thursday evening, Robert Daly, a former American Co-Director and creator of the HNC City Wall Walk, gave a lecture on the development of the ancient Nanjing city wall, providing historical depth and context which would have otherwise been lost on us.  On Friday, students had the chance to sit in on classes, have lunch with the co-directors and Chinese faculty, take a tour of the Center and the surrounding neighborhood, and speak with students at the weekly happy hour.  On Saturday, they joined the HNC community on a day-long hike of the Nanjing city wall, making their way through a maze of concrete streets, wooded paths, and mossy bricks.  Although the day was quite cold, they were welcomed back to the Center with piles of 烧烤.  Overall, it was a great opportunity for those who attended to get a taste of life in the Center and in Nanjing.  I hope those of you reading this will come and experience it personally for yourselves this fall!"

Friday, April 19, 2013

Reminder: Reply Form Deadline on SUNDAY

This is a reminder to all admitted students that the deadline to submit your reply forms is this Sunday, April 21.  Thank you to those who have already done so!  If you have decided not to attend the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, please still submit the form or send us an email with your plans.

We look forward to welcoming the newest class to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Break: North Korea, Part 1

It has been a busy few weeks for students at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center!  MAIS student Natalie Sammarco has been working to prepare her thesis plan but had time to send a brief update on her spring break adventure in North Korea.  Stay tuned for a specific piece on her experiences in North Korea coming soon!

"The last two weeks have been quite exciting for me! Two weeks ago, I was fairly stressed out by a couple assignments due for my thesis and last week was spring break! As an ‘out of sequence’ student (meaning I switched from the Certificate to the Master’s program, therefore will graduate in 5 semesters instead of 4), I have to do planning for my thesis this term in preparation for writing it during the autumn term. Needless to say, this is exciting but really doesn’t help with the stress and workload!

After I turned in the general plan for my thesis, I could concentrate on what I was really looking forward to all term: Spring Break. Many students travel during this time both in and out of the China. A few friends explored portions of Yunnan and western China, while another group went to Chengdu to see the pandas and taste some local spicy cuisine. Chengdu food will really give your tastebuds a roller coaster ride -- and mostly in the good way :-) Other friends went to see friends and family in Taiwan.

Of those students who traveled outside China, Cambodia was a very popular destination. 8 students traveled there to catch fun in the sun on the beach and explore local culture. From photos, I can tell they had a great time going to yoga retreats, attending cooking classes, getting pampered at spas and generally enjoying a new culture. I went to Cambodia in November and can attest, it’s a very beautiful place with very friendly people. 

My own adventures during spring break took me, 5 other students, and an HNC professor to North Korea. Yes, there might have been a better time to go (i.e. a time that wouldn’t make my mom so worried :-), but we organized the trip before the recent increased tensions between North Korea and the UN, US, and South Korea. We spent 8 days, 7 nights learning about the country on a trip that was planned through a professional tour company in Beijing with many years experience in traveling to North Korea. I can confidently say everyone who came back had a much deeper understanding of the region, culture, and people! Some people even want to go back for another trip!

Even though we just came off break, there is no rest for the weary travelers of HNC. The spring term has picked up again.  There is much work to be done in the way of writing theses (for the 2nd year MA students), planning and writing draft chapters (for out of sequence students like myself), and finishing up the year in a strong way for other 1st year MA and Certificate students. It’s a bit incredulous to think that we only have 8 more weeks of school left in the year. It’s pretty cool to see where we’ve been thus far. Now, back to the grindstone!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Student Profile: Stanley Seiden

Stanley Seiden

HNC Certificate '11/SAIS MA '13 Five-Semester Option

Weyland, MA

Undergraduate school and major
Yale, Economics

Activities at the HNC
Jessup International Moot Court, Student Business Exchange, HNC Coffee Shop, Dragon Boat Team, Jiu Jitsu, Gourmet Club.

What is the most important thing you took away from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center?
A sense that I know now how to integrate myself into a group of students whose native language is so different from my own.  I restrict our differences to language because one of the most important parts of this revelation has been the realization that, in the end, we're all just young adults with many of the same opinions, behaviors and peculiarities.  But I went from awkward small talk with my roommate to having strong connections with dozens of my Chinese classmates at the Center, and it's a great feeling.

Do you have any advice for students admitted to the HNC?
HNC is not like any other graduate program you will do.  Every graduate program will tell you that about themselves, but those other programs are probably not in China.  Make sure that your interest in China plays a large role in your deciding to apply or attend, because it will without a doubt play a large role in your experience at HNC.  Similarly, if you join the ranks of HNC next fall, make sure that you're taking advantage of what the Center has and is; eat meals with your Chinese classmates, go explore Nanjing once a week, buy clothes at the Chinese markets and eat at every restaurant in the nearby alleys. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center: Then and Now

We recently tweeted some full color photographs of Beijing from 1947.   As the Hopkins-Nanjing Center prepares to welcome its 28th class to the Center this fall, we wondered: how has the HNC changed over the years?  Check out some of the photos we found in the archives from the early years of the Center:

Hopkins-Nanjing Center classroom, 1986-1987

Hopkins-Nanjing Center classes now take place in the new building completed in 2006
The Center's aerobics group in 1986

The dragon boat team, 2011
The HNC in 1986
The HNC now
Shanghai Road, outside the Center's gates
Shanghai Road now

But some things never change... Halloween, 1986

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meeting Your Condition to Admission

Each year, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center conditionally admits a select few students who are exceptional applicants in almost every way but score slightly below the recommended level on the Chinese proficiency test.  The condition they must meet before matriculating is usually to enroll in an intensive Chinese summer language program, retake the CAL test over the summer, or both. 

Were you conditionally admitted?  Follow the guidelines below to ensure a successful start at the HNC this fall:
  • If you are required to retake the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Chinese proficiency test to meet your condition, be sure to request the test with enough time to take and mail the completed materials back to our office for scoring by July 31.
  • For those who are required to enroll in an intensive language program over the summer, please confirm your summer plans with our office.  If you need any program recommendations or have questions on what qualifies as a summer program, please also contact us at nanjing@jhu.edu.
  • Although you have until the summer to meet your condition, be sure to indicate your intent to enroll by submitting your reply forms by the April 21 reply form deadline!
  • One final tip from alumni: Reading Chinese news articles and listening to podcasts over the summer are also great ways to build or maintain the vocabulary needed to succeed at the Center.
Best of luck to those working to meet their condition to admission!  For all admitted students, don’t forget the April 21 reply form deadline!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Springtime is upon the HNC!

MAIS student Natalie Sammarco sends an update on her activities outside of class this spring:

"Spring is busting out in Nanjing and it has brought some good weather with it! Since I’m from Ohio, and have spent a good number of years in the northeast, I am used to the cold weather. Yet, there’s something so nice about waking up, seeing sunshine, and having the weather hover around 55-60 degrees F for the first time all year. It’s not especially warm outside, but so nice to see the weather changing and see blossoms on the trees.
Natalie on the Sacred Path to the Ming Tombs in Nanjing

The last couple weeks have been really enjoyable. A couple friends and I hiked up to Sun Yat-Sen’s Memorial on Purple Mountain and had lunch last Friday. It was beautiful out and was the first time I’d gone back to that site since I studied abroad in 2007. Taking a picture at the same spot where I was before reminded me how much China (and I) have changed throughout the last 6 years. We also walked across the mountain to the Ming Tombs and took photos with stone animals, and then headed home.

Easter Sunday was a special day for me and my friends. A generous friend offered to host an Easter Brunch at his house and there was a smörgåsbord of food to eat when we went over there at noon! Everything from chocolate-Nutella french toast with real maple syrup to breakfast burritos with bacon and fried onions was on the table for us to munch upon. It was complete with mimosas and pastries to boot! I can honestly say that most of us rolled ourselves out of the apartment afterward to lie in the sun on the HNC courtyard across the street for a couple hours. It was an amazing day. 

This week we celebrate Qingmingjie, Tomb-sweeping Day. This is when our Chinese classmates go back to their hometowns and sweep the graves of their ancestors to show reverence. I plan on going to my friend’s home in Changzhou (40mins by train) to pass the holiday with her family. Since this is my first time being with a Chinese family during this holiday, it will be nice to see what their traditions are and see a smaller Chinese city where I have not been before. We are getting geared up for Spring Break next week, as well! All in all, things are moving right along here :-)."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HNC Career Day and the Upcoming Beijing Trek

HNC's annual Career Day in Shanghai gives students the opportunity to interact with professionals and HNC alumni currently working in China.  The day includes a series of panel presentations and opportunities to network with employers.  Read HNC Career Counselor Robert Shields' report from this year's Career Day in Shanghai and an update on the upcoming Beijing Trek below:
Career Day
On March 22, the HNC held its annual Career Day; a career forum where HNC students have the opportunity to hear insights and perspectives of nearly 50 distinguished professionals.  While there were many memorable moments from this year’s event, there were a few that I wanted to highlight. 
The event began with a keynote address from Han Lin, Senior Vice President and the Deputy General Manager at Wells Fargo’s Shanghai office and a member of the SAIS class of 2003.  Mr. Lin shared many lessons with those in attendance, but there were two that I felt were particularly important.  First, learn to sell yourself no matter what career you pursue.  “When I look at a resume, the first thing I look for is whether the person has experience selling something,” he stated.  The importance of the ability to sell permeates all industries and is ultimately an essential skill whether you work in government, NGO, multilateral, or private sectors. 
The second important takeaway was his advice for students to be prepared to allow their career interests to develop over time.  To highlight this, Mr. Lin used an example from his career prior to joining Wells Fargo.  When he was a member of the United States Marine Corps, he was in the Philippines when a volcano erupted.  The marines were called in to provide humanitarian assistance, which he truly enjoyed.  This prompted him to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ukraine, something he hadn’t previously considered.  To me, the lesson here is not to become too entrenched in what your career must look like.  It will change, evolve, and develop with time. Let it.  
In addition to the keynote address, there were panels featuring a broad range of industries, such as Energy & the Environment, Finance, Consulting, Law, Government, and several others.  The panels gave students the opportunity to hear the perspectives of both young and more experienced professionals.  As the moderator for some of these panels, I can attest to the value of the advice panelists provided students.  For example, on the Entrepreneurship panel, Brian Linden (HNC ‘89) told students that his motivation for starting the Linden Centre stemmed from his desire to dedicate his career to giving back to China.  He stressed the importance of sacrifice and following your heart’s true motivation.  Shortly after Mr. Linden’s broader career advice, Terry Crawford of Initial View shared with students the specific steps he took to procure the licensure necessary to establish a business in China.  These experiences and many others gave all students ideas and perspectives that they can then apply to navigating their own careers.
At the end of the afternoon, panelists and students alike were invited to a reception at the Pullman Skyway hotel hosted by the Shanghai Alumni club which featured an address from Dr. David Chen, Vice President of Microsoft China.  Dr. Chen has led a most unique and distinguished career, spending 25 years working to establish GM’s presence in China and has now moved to Microsoft to oversee their China operations.  In addition to hearing from Dr. Chen, our students and alumni had the opportunity to enjoy some informal networking and a chance to build relationships that will likely prove professionally and personally significant moving forward.   

Coming Soon: Beijing Career TrekWith the conclusion of Career Day, the next major event for HNC students to meet with professionals and gain insights is the Beijing Career Trek.  From April 10-12, my Chinese colleague Niu Xiaohu and I will accompany 18 students to meet employers in government, non-profit, media, and law.  During these visits, employers invite our students to come to their offices to learn about their organizations and share their personal career paths.  This year we are lucky that several of the organizations hosting us will have HNC alumni present, including Greenpeace China (Li Shuo), the US Embassy’s Department of Commerce (Rosemary Gallant), the Gates Foundation (Matt Chitwood), and the US-China Business Council (John Lenhart).  In addition to our employer visits, there will be an alumni reception at the hutong headquarters of Project Pengyou hosted by our Beijing Alumni Association.  At this event all attendees will enjoy delicious food and spirits while hearing from our alumni in a panel moderated by American Co-Director Jason Patent.  Additionally, Holly Chang, the head of Project Pengyou, will speak about her organization’s involvement with the HNC. If you are a prospective student interested in attending this reception, please email me at rshields@hnc.nju.edu.cn.