So I always knew I wanted to study
abroad, to kind of get outside my comfort zone, and I feel like I learn best
outside my comfort zone. And my roommate actually, in my fraternity,
Nathan Glynn, he also studied abroad with me, we both signed up. And I don’t think
either of us were really too sure we were gonna do it, but then things just,
you know, time just start piling on and, you know, the day came and we signed the
papers, and we’re ready to go! So I didn’t know the language at all,
which sounds scary. Shanghai’s a whole different animal. But
we had Wei, who does a great job. She was there with us for the first half of
the program. It helped being a group flight, we all went together, so there are
a lot of safety nets, I guess, in place. But you’ll have those moments, and
struggling through those types of adversities and having a good close crew
there with you really helps. But getting through that adversity is just gonna set
you up for more success down the road. Something I’d encourage people that are
think about studying abroad to look at what classes are you gonna be taking there. So
are you just gonna be taking tech electives and then you’re gonna come back to
school next fall and get slammed with coursework? Because you don’t
need to make ME any harder than it already is. I was able to take Heat and
Mass Transfer and Thermo 2 at a top university.
Unlike Purdue… at Purdue you’re here and your world’s easy but your classes are
very very difficult. There is so much more learning taking place beyond the
classroom. In Shanghai, navigating a huge city, or learning the Chinese culture. I
joined like the club baseball team at one point, and people join clubs. So that
was nice having a little bit more free time outside of the classroom
to really involve yourself and immerse yourself in the community, it was great.
You have to find kind of a middle ground. So there’s obviously things that they do
that you’re gonna have no idea and not be good at,
and things that we do that they’re not going to be good at. So a middle
ground for me was always athletics. So playing a lot of basketball, getting in
the weight room with these guys, and developing friendships that way. So you
kind of just have to find your niche and find relationships to build off of. China
is crazy. The landscape is beautiful. I went to Beijing twice, saw the Great Wall
twice, I went to Xian. We did a lot of hiking. We went to, actually my favorite
place was definitely Zhangjiaje, which is the place that the Avatar movie… mountains weren’t
actually floating in real life! They really lead the world in a lot of
technology, and as an engineer that’s a great opportunity to go over there and
see what they’re doing. And especially in my own line of work, in my past
internship experience, I’ve worked with Chinese manufacturers. So being able to
now kind of see that relationship firsthand,
I knew that would help me down the road for sure. It’s definitely ME’s flagship
program, so there were a lot of pros to it. I was able to take, you know, two of my
hardest classes at a top-4 university in China and get to study in
the great city of Shanghai. It was kind of a no-brainer for me.