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International News | November 23, 2017

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Student’s Perseverance & CU’s Supportive Environment Equal Success

Student’s Perseverance & CU’s Supportive Environment Equal Success

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| On 10, Sep 2015

Chinese Statistics Student : “University of Colorado Denver Was Such a Wonderful Choice”

Mengjie Yao
PhD student, Mathematical & Statistical Sciences
University of Colorado Denver

WHY DID YOU WANT TO ENROLL IN THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER?

I come from a less developed part of China, I didn’t know very much about American universities before I came to the U.S. The reason I chose the University of Colorado Denver was because it gave me a teaching assistant position. I really appreciated this kind of trust. After I came here, I started to realize it was such a wonderful choice since the people in Colorado are so nice, and Denver is so great to live in every way.

WHAT ADVANTAGES ARE YOU FINDING IN RECEIVING AN EDUCATION IN AN URBAN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENT?

Generally speaking, people from urban areas have broader views and are more open, it is easier for them to accept things that are different from themselves. It is also more convenient to commute. It is also easier to find job opportunities.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A GLOBAL EDUCATION AND A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF ANOTHER COUNTRY?

Having a global education can help you meet with diversified cultures and people, it helps you to introspect and improve yourself more quickly, and helps you to understand the things and people that you would never understand without experiencing and seeing them.

Also, I feel there is a great necessity to show the world a new China. I feel China has been misrepresented. Most of the valuable qualities and important elements of China have not been fully demonstrated. Having a global education means you can have better and more chances to represent your country.

For America and China, I feel like this kind of educational based communication is very necessary. I have sensed that there exists a huge misunderstanding between the US and China. It is the responsibility of this and the next generation to construct and promote a better relationship between the US and China. Being willing to understand is the first step.

DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

Since this is my very first time leaving my home country and the first time I have had to take care of myself entirely by myself, I met with a lot of challenges upon my first arrival such as communication and housing problems. I did not do well in the program in the beginning. As a potential PhD student in the math department, we have to pass two important exams within the first three semesters. We have three chances for each exam. I tried three times for my analysis preliminary exam. Although my first score was somewhat low, the professors in our department never said any discouraging words.

Next semester when I took the test again and did better, the professors gave me great recognition and encouragement. The third time I took it, I got one of the highest scores among all the students who took it at that time. I was told that I became a model student of our department. I learned a lot during this process, and I also feel the sincerity and kindness of the people in our department. I cannot describe how happy and proud they were when I passed both of my preliminaries. I was really, really touched. I love my department and all the people in it. The two years in the U.S.A. at the University of Colorado Denver have changed my life, and I believe I will continue learning and growing. I love the U.S.A.

WHILE YOU HAVE BEEN EARNING YOUR DEGREE, WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND WHY?

The most challenging part for me personally is to emerge into a different culture. To be more specific, Americans and Chinese have different attitudes towards rules, criteria, and regulations, and they also value different things. In other words, what you think is unimportant might be very important here, and what you think is very important might not be so important in another culture. It takes some time to change your thinking to adapt yourself into a different culture. The people in our department are very nice and always explain the differences to me. They give me plenty of time to grow. They are very patient with me, and they are very generous and forgive my mistakes.

WHAT CULTURAL EVENTS AND RECREATION DO YOU ENJOY IN DENVER AND IN COLORADO?

I was mainly involved in the events and recreation held by our department for the past two years I have been in Denver. The part I enjoy most is how people from different cultures use different ways to reveal the human part of their culture. For example, for Thanksgiving, people get together to sum up their past year’s experiences and express their gratitude to someone. Also, I was always invited by different families for each important holiday. The people in the U.S. are so warm hearted and super nice!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WHO ARE CONSIDERING STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO DENVER AND IN THE U.S.?

I found that many international students stay in their own circle built up by the people from their home country when they arrive in the U.S. Personally, I think this is not the goal when coming to America. Trying to walk out of your small circle and communicate with people from different countries — it is the first step toward improving yourself. Try to absorb the good parts of different cultures and abandon the bad parts of your own culture.

Learn More

International Admissions
international.ucdenver.edu/admissions

ESL Academy
esl.ucdenver.edu