Friday, March 29, 2019

Winter Break at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center

Student blogger Sam Olson talks about what members of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center community did over Winter Break.

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center academic calendar includes a number of breaks to celebrate both Chinese and American holidays. Our longest break, in the winter falls from early January to mid-February to coincide with Chinese New Year and gives students the opportunity to intern, travel abroad, or go back home to spend time with family and friends. Below is a snapshot of how some students spent their winter break.

“I spent almost the whole break interning at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Beijing office. Despite working for most of the break, it was totally worth it. I liaised with the secretaries of TNC China board members to confirm the board members’ participation in TNC activities. In addition, I helped work in conjunction with the TNC Africa Office to design three visits to Kenya, Namibia, and Botswana. Now I have a better understanding of how international NGOs work in China!” - Xu Ci, Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) 2020, International Politics 

  Xu Ci (MAIS ’20) outside The Nature Conservancy office in Beijing, China.

 “I met up with my classmate, Amy Bodner (MAIS ’20) in Reno, Nevada, for four days of fun, including skiing, hiking, and shopping. Amy and I went to the famous valley casinos, where I taught Amy how to play Blackjack, and we even won a hundred dollars! Aside from that, I spent the rest of my time in Montana, with my folks, and in Iowa, visiting a potential employer. I had two goals, skiing and writing my thesis, both of which were successful.” - Andrew Rankin, MAIS 2019, International Politics

 Amy Bodner (MAIS’20) and Andrew Rankin (MAIS’19) skiing and snowboarding in Reno, Nevada.

“我寒假的时候回老家乡去,跟父母在一起。差不多每天傍晚我都会和爸爸出去散步,这也是我第一次主动找机会和他深入聊我的想法和各种各样的心情。其实他比我想象中的更加理解我,拥有这样的家人让我觉得很幸运。” - Zou Yue, HNC Certificate 2019

“At the start of winter break, I headed straight for home. Soon after touching down in Boston, I retraced my old stomping grounds in the city on my way to reunite with my mother and brother. I then headed to South Carolina to visit my father and grandmother for a belated celebration of her 90th birthday. Together, we looked at family photographs, some through an old-fashioned slide projector, and carefully unfurled family letters dating back to the 1940s and even the late 1800s. Returning back up north to fresh snow, I continued my travels back in time by hitting the ski slopes of my youth in the Berkshires. When it was time to head back to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, I took a pit stop in Shanghai to visit old friends – a newly expecting couple who had first met at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, as well as fast friends I met during my work days in Wuhan who had just welcomed their baby boy to the world. Having celebrated my own birthday over break as well, I returned to Nanjing with a vow to live the last year of my twenties to the fullest!” - Randall Telfer, HNC Certificate 2019 + Johns Hopkins SAIS MA 2020

“I spent most of my break at home in Moscow. It was nice getting to breathe fresh air again, and I did have a great time relaxing with my friends at a Russian banya (a Russian-style sauna where people hit themselves or each other with branches to promote good circulation). While I was in Moscow there was a record amount of snow followed by sunny weather, which made for awesome walks around the city. I noticed that Moscow’s most famous and historic shopping mall was decorated in a Chinese New Year theme for the first time ever, and I saw a lot of Chinese tourists there (the stores there also accept WeChat and Alipay now). Probably the coolest part of my break was randomly running into my own advertising poster for Haier when I walked by their official store in Moscow. I never imagined any of the posters or ads from modelling jobs I did in China before would pop up somewhere abroad. I guess you can say I was constantly reminded of China's growing global presence even in a place far away from its borders.” - Dmitry Bergoltsev, HNC Certificate 2019 + Johns Hopkins SAIS MA 2020.

Dmitry Bergoltsev (HNC Certificate’19 +SAIS MA ’20) at the Haier store in Moscow, Russia.
Sam Olson, Master of Arts in International Studies ’20