Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Meet the 2021-2022 MAIS Student Bloggers

Meet some of our new student bloggers at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC)! Kalina Pateva and Grace Faerber are both pursuing the Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) program at the HNC, and will be sharing their experiences throughout the academic year. 

Kalina Pateva, HNC MAIS '21-23 

Hi All! My name is Kalina Pateva, and I am a first year MAIS student at the HNC. I am originally from Bulgaria, but I’ve spent most of my time in the US, and this past May, I graduated from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) with a BA in Chinese and History.  

I started studying Chinese nearly ten years ago while I was in high school, and since then I have always known that I wanted my future education and career paths to be related to China. Before joining the HNC, I Au-paired in Shenzhen for one summer and studied abroad at Peking University in Beijing during my third year of university. While living in these places, I had the opportunity to travel to some of China’s biggest cities, and a few of its ancient capitals. These experiences placed me in a truly immersive environment, which only made me increasingly interested in China. After working as a consultant and taking Chinese policy classes during my undergraduate studies, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in policy. I chose the HNC because of the unique opportunity to learn about China’s development not only in an interdisciplinary way, but also entirely in Mandarin. As an international politics concentrator, I’m excited to learn from all my Chinese professors in the next two years and to complete my entire thesis in Mandarin 

This semester, I am taking four courses: the MA Interdisciplinary Studies Tutorial, Contemporary International Politics, International Organizations and Global Governance, and Social Issues of China’s Modernization. Even though we can’t physically be on campus, all the international and Chinese students have come together to build a true virtual community that involves study groups, game nights, and lots of social activities. I’m excited to make new friends and study-buddies through all that the banwei (班委) have planned for us, and I can’t wait to finally be back in China, exploring all the restaurants, coffee shops, and scenic spots that Nanjing has to offer.  


I look forward to working with the entire admissions team this year and connecting with any students who are just as passionate about joining the HNC as I was! I hope you enjoy all the exciting topics we will be covering to help you get to know the HNC better!   

Grace Faerber, HNC MAIS '20-22 

My name is Grace Faerber (冯思思), and I am aHNC Admissions student worker involved with managing the HNC’s social media presence. I am a second year MAIS student at the HNC and concentrating in International Politics. I was also a work-study employee in Fall 2020, serving as a Student Ambassador and Career Services student worker.  

I am originally from Arizona and studied East Asian Studies and Global Studies at the University of Arizona. I started studying Mandarin at age 10, and studied abroad in Hangzhou, China during my undergrad. I moved to Taipei, Taiwan in March 2021 as a Boren Fellow and have continued living there since. I'm currently a Visiting Student studying political science at National Taiwan University in addition to attending my HNC courses virtually. This past summer I was a Research Intern at Taiwan NextGen Foundation, a think tank in Taipei. This Fall semester I am interning at the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan and working as a Research Assistant at Taiwan’s premier research institute, Academia Sinica. My research interests include cross-strait relations, Taiwan’s domestic politics, US foreign policy, and international law. I enjoy writing op-ed’s and have been published in CommonWealth Magazine, 9DashLine, and Taiwan Insight Magazine. More of my works can be read on my LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/gracefaerber and on Twitter @grace_faerber.