Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet Emily: HNC Student Blogger

Meet Emily Shea, our new student worker based in Nanjing!  Emily is a first year MAIS student.  Read on to learn more about Emily and her first few weeks at HNC:

Hello blog readers!

Emily and HNC classmates
Nice to meet you, my name is Emily Shea. I’m originally from beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington. I graduated from the University of Washington, majoring in Chinese language, this June 2014. I enjoy running and reading and am an accomplished doodler. I have studied Chinese for about six years, beginning in high school. This is my fourth trip to China and will be by far my longest. I am a first year in the Masters of Advanced International Studies program here at HNC, only about three weeks in to this two-year adventure!

It’s been a whirlwind first month getting started here. We are currently halfway through our Chinese National Week break, and I finally have a spare moment to blog. Classes will start up again this Wednesday, so most students that aren’t on a day trip to Shanghai or spending an afternoon seeing the sights of Nanjing are busy studying. It hasn’t taken long for many people to find their favorite study corner or coffee shop, mine being the fifth floor study lounge – huge windows and peace and quiet!

In this post, I’d like to rewind a bit and tell you about our first week here at the Center. Orientation week was September 15-19. Every day was a blur of multiple orientation meetings in the auditorium going over all the important information: library resources, fire safety, choosing classes, health insurance, thesis basics for the master’s students, and much more. We also heard from all the professors who briefly introduced themselves and their courses.

My first highlight of the week was surprisingly enough the mandatory health inspection! Chinese health clinics are very different from the US, so it is always a learning experience to visit one. Privacy is not nearly as much of a concern in China, as such doors are left wide open. Frequent blood draws are also standard here. This health inspection, part of the residence permit application process required for master’s students, was my first time having my blood drawn. I was lucky to have new friends around to help me be brave and talk me through it, as a result I barely felt a thing!

The second exciting thing that happened to me during orientation was getting elected to class committee. Each semester, the student body elects four students as representatives to HNC’s Co-Directors and as the main event planners. There is one female Chinese committee member, one male Chinese, one female international, and one male international. I’m thrilled to have been chosen and already really enjoying being involved. Class committee’s first event was the finale of orientation week.
Following the Opening Ceremony, in which the Co-Directors both spoke, welcoming and encouraging the incoming class, everyone enjoyed a large buffet dinner in the cafeteria. After dinner, the class committee organized and hosted talent show with students performing songs, martial arts, dancing, and playing guitar and violin. We ended the night in the lobby with ice cream and music.

It’s incredible to me that orientation week was such a short time ago, between the newness of life in the Center and the busyness of starting classes, it feels like so much time has passed already. I very much look forward to writing future posts, after three weeks here there is already so much to share!

祝好!(Best Wishes!)