Firstly, I want to thank Cuiying Honors College and everyone who made this trip possible. On July 5 2013, after my flight landed safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport, I took my first step onto the land of North America, excitedly but cautiously!
A Brief Introduction to the Yale Summer Sessions
The whole Yale Summer Session includes Yale Summer Session A and B and the English Language Institute. The one I participate in was Yale Summer Session B from July 8 2013 to August 8 2013.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Being one of the top universities around the world, Yale is most famous for social science and has nurtured many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents and 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
Me at Morse College
Becoming a qualified Yale student requires diligence, perseverance, and a little intelligence. Diligence is needed because your instructors will only give you the basic, minimal requirements, but there is always so much more for you to explore. Perseverance is called for because there is always a long reading list of English materials which must be read for you to be fully prepared for every lecture. Finishing one paper might just be due to enthusiasm, but completing all the assignments requires great perseverance. Lastly, intelligence is also one of the necessary qualities because you must have your own thoughts about the new research findings in class discussions and with the instructors. Intelligence is what that makes those conversations inspiring. Those nights when I studied until dawn are also still vivid in my mind. The tasks seemed like “Mission Impossible” and I swore I would hate my life at Yale like prison. However, it turned out to be the most meaningful study experience of my entire life, at least until now.
Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History
The Peabody Museum of Natural History
I took two introductory courses at Yale: Cognitive Science and Biological Anthropology. My cognitive science class was special because of its discussions and active class participation. Dr. Ruiz loved to come up with challenging topics for our class discussions and gave further explanation after our responses or recommended some more studies when answering students’ questions. On the other hand, what stood out in my biological anthropology class was its combination of classrooms and laboratory. I felt I entered a brand new world of anthropology when I first set foot in that classroom with its shelves full of bones of different primates, and I soon fell in love with it. Furthermore, Prof Buerlein liked to share interesting stories from her research site in Uganda.
Inside Beinecke Library
Inside Beinecke Library
Encouraged and Motivated
In those first five weeks abroad, I learned how to survive and study in a different country. I learnt to study according to my interests instead of just for the test. Friendly citizens cheered me up when I was deep in culture shock and couldn’t connect with my American peers. Every time I stood alone in front of a set of stairs with my heavy luggage, strangers helped me. I was especially impressed by an American lady, Lora, who despite being in her sixties, still wants to study at Yale and works on her assignments at least 16 hours a day. So I can now confidently say that I’ve grown up, not just physically, but also psychologically.
How to Apply
If you would like to go, you will find more information on their website: Yale Summer Session (Course information will be available in December.)
Read more about my experiences which I shared in a lecture on my return.