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UC Davis 2020 Winter Quarter Exchange Impressions:Lingxi Chen

Author: Time:2021-03-08

For me, the exchange experience to America will be kept in my mind forever. I was a short-term exchange student at a foreign country during such a special period. How many times could I have this kind of unique experience?

I had not only seen the breakout and vanishing of the epidemic in China, but also experienced America’s indifferent attitude towards the virus and the breakout in just 3 months. There is such a joke on the Internet- An overseas student bought unimaginably many masks and mailed them back home. Just one month later, his family sent them back. To be honest, this could precisely conclude the situation of overseas students in recent months.

Let's start with the topic- Davis is located at northern California, about 100 kilometers north of Berkeley and about 120 kilometers from San Francisco, which is a really quiet town. I lived in an Asian host family. The owner is an older woman from Vietnam (in the following passages she is referred to as "grandma"). The home is about 4 kilometers away from school. I went to school by bike every day.

UC Davis is famous for its agriculture and veterinary. The two majors have ranked at the forefront of the world for a long time. Here, each student is called "aggie", which fully reflects the agricultural characteristics of the school. It is not a joke that Davis is famous for its agriculture. There are large farms around the school. There are also student farms in the school, where you can raise your own plants.

My courses are Topology, Discrete Mathematics, and English Writing. Let me talk about the two professional courses at first. Before coming to the United States, I always thought that studying basic science courses abroad was a horrible thing—accepting brand new knowledge in an unfamiliar language is really challenging.What surprised me was that I could just keep up with the progress of the courses just after two classes, because I found that the process of class is just infinite repetition of professional nouns and typical proof sentences. As long as you are familiar with these words and sentences, the only thing left to pay attention to is the essence of mathematical thought. I list a few typical sentence patterns here, and there are so many professional terms that I will not list them one by one:

For each x∈A

There exists y∈B, such that…


It follows that…

Hence, …


During the class, at least half of the content is from above. Did you suddenly feel that taking a foreign language course is not so difficult?Besides, I really like the Discrete Mathematics class weekly discussion classes. In the discussion class, at first we will be divided into groups randomly, and then discuss the questions issued by the professor with the assigned group members. You will be forced to express your own mathematical perspective and explain it clearly in English. One interesting thing was that I often unknowingly come up with Chinese while talking, which often made my team members confused. It is very difficult to change your language habits. As for English writing class, which impresses me most is that it is professional. I have to say that most excellent passages in the College Entrance Exam, CET4 and CET6 are “ordinary” in the perspective of my professor for the reason “not authentic”. There are many timed writing tasks in my classes. Many articles that I think are fine will be picked out with more than a dozen mistakes. They are not serious mistakes, just not authentic. For us who have learned Chinglish at a young age, this is indeed a huge problem we face when dealing with English, and this problem is not easy to solve because we need an English environment. Therefore, I think it is necessary for students to take an English course during the exchange period. It will give you a different feeling, and it is different from any English course you have taken since your childhood.

In terms of life, my most impressive feeling is that although I felt busy, I still have plenty of spare time. I really like the arrangement of Davis's first class, which begins from noon, so that I can free up morning time every day. Even if I was busy until late at night, I could still get enough sleep. This quiet little town also brought me a quiet mood. Although sometimes I was very busy with a lot of homework, I never felt irritable. Grandma cooked for us every day. At noon we usually had sandwiches, and in the evening, we usually had Asian foods (rice, grilled potatoes, baked potatoes, curry, fried noodles, etc.). Occasionally, we had American food(pizza, grilled chicken and steak). On holidays, grandma will take us to restaurants, not only Asian restaurants, but also European restaurants and American restaurants. The American restaurant is just like that in the movie, but frankly speaking, the price is very expensive. In the United States, a small bowl of rice charges 1.5 dollars (equivalent to about 10.5 yuan), a plate of stir-fried dishes more than a dozen dollars (equivalent to about 100 yuan), and more than 40 dollars are needed for fatty food like meat and fish (equivalent to about 300 yuan). Therefore, remember to take enough money when you go out in the United States. As for the outlook of Davis's city, I don't think I can describe that kind of immersive feeling. I won’t describe it here. It’s better to visit it for yourself.

When UC Davis started school, China was facing the most difficult dilemma.At that time, I began to watch the news unconsciously, and the situation worsened day by day. I also looked at the family's WeChat group, but I was unable to offer any help. Fortunately, our prevention and control were effective, and we went through this difficult time. After the U.S. epidemic began to spread, people didn't seem to have any sense of crisis, except some Asians. I had never seen a local person who wore a mask. On the contrary, my relatives, teachers and friends from China had given me great care and encouragement. What impressed me most is that Cuiying Honors College always keeps us in mind. During my exchange period, I usually received greetings from Miss Du, and the teachers also convened many video conferences with us to care about our recent situation. Although we are on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, our hearts have never been missing.

I strongly recommend you should have a try about exchange programs. What I described is just a tip of the iceberg. When you experience it for yourself, you will find a broader world.

I want to share a saying with you:

Wherever you are, don’t forget to live a wonderful life.

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