Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day in the Life of a Hopkins-Nanjing Center Student: Sam Olson

Student blogger Sam Olson describes a typical day at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. 

6:30-7:20am: Workout with my roommate 
I start off the day with a workout with my roommate, Adam Zhang, to get myself going and mentally prepared for class. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center has its own gym with an excellent variety of weights and exercise machines. In addition, students that apply for Nanjing University student cards can use the gym at Nanjing University, and there are private gyms nearby.

 The Hopkins-Nanjing Center gym

7:20-7:40am: Breakfast 
After working out, I head upstairs to eat breakfast at the cafeteria. The cafeteria offers good food at fairly affordable prices. Beyond the on-campus options, there are multiple restaurants on the main Nanjing University Gulou campus, as well as coffee shops that sell coffee, pastries, and small breakfast sandwiches at low cost.

8:00am: Review readings for my international politics class and catch up on homework
Next, I head to the library to review some readings that we will discuss in our international politics class and go over the PowerPoint slides for today’s class. The library is a very quiet, comfortable environment to do homework and offers an outstanding selection of books and other research materials.

9:50-11:20am: International politics class

In class, we discuss traditional and non-traditional security concerns from realist and non-realist perspectives.

A typical lunch at the 中美中心食堂

11:20 -11:40am: Lunch

12:20-1:40pm: Chinese Constitution class
In my Chinese Constitution class, one of my favorite classes this semester, we continued our discussion of the Chinese political system. One of the reasons I like this class so much is that it serves as a fascinating basis for comparing Western and non-Western legal cultures and values, which adds further dimension to the cross-cultural education we receive at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

2:00-5:00pm: Homework, read papers for MA Tutorial course, and begin outlines for papers
After Chinese Constitution is over, I do some readings for my MA Interdisciplinary Tutorial course, as well as for my class on social issues of China’s modernization, and work on some outlines for upcoming papers due in other classes.

5:00-6:00pm Research internships
I use the hour before dinner to research internships and put together application materials for positions next summer. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center provides students with a great career services office that offers extensive guidance and support for students.

6:00pm: Dinner 

6:30-8:30pm: Do additional readings for classes 

8:30-9:30pm: Relax and play pool in student lounge
After a long day of classes and homework, I unwind by playing some pool in the student recreation room with my roommate and a few other classmates. The recreation room offers students a variety of activities for students, such as gaming consoles, a music room, and a place to practice Chinese calligraphy.

9:30-10:45pm: Make reading notes and call home
I end the day by making some reading notes for tomorrow’s classes, calling my family in the U.S., and then going to bed.

11:00pm: Sleep

And that wraps up a typical day in the life of a student! Whatever you need to do during your day, be it doing homework or pursuing a good work-life balance by working out or relaxing, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center provides an excellent living environment in which to do so.

Written by Samuel Olson, Master of Arts in International Studies ’20