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Building My Network Around a Career Focused on US-China Relations

photo of Grace

Grace Faerber
Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) ‘22
Boren Fellow
Hopkins-Nanjing Center Sunny Dupree Fellow
Johns Hopkins SAIS Tai Fellow

Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS?

A: I applied to Johns Hopkins SAIS because of the unique opportunities presented by the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC). I had been studying Mandarin Chinese since the age of 11, and believed that living in Nanjing and taking graduate-level courses in Chinese was the best way to develop my language skills to a professional level. I also was excited by the prospect of studying with Chinese students and understanding their perspectives on various issues. Additionally, as an undergrad I had the opportunity to live in Washington DC for three months and intern at the U.S. Senate and USAID. During that time I was introduced to Johns Hopkins SAIS and the HNC, and was impressed with the school’s vast network within the federal government. I knew studying at Johns Hopkins SAIS would be the best way to develop an advanced understanding of international affairs and prepare for a career focused on U.S.-China Relations, so I was thrilled when I was accepted!

Q: What has been the best part about studying at Johns Hopkins SAIS so far?

A: I have greatly enjoyed connecting with the HNC community, particularly my Chinese classmates. One of the greatest perks of studying at the HNC is the opportunity to connect with Chinese students, so I have taken every chance I can to connect with them. I enjoy learning about their perspectives on various topics such as social issues in China, U.S.-China relations, and the 2020 U.S. presidential election. I also enjoy practicing my language skills with my Chinese classmates and helping them with their English skills.

Furthermore, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have learned in my courses despite the virtual format. The HNC professors and staff have done a wonderful job at adapting to the virtual format and making classes as interactive as possible. Plus, the virtual format has enabled me to participate in virtual school-hosted events I otherwise would not have been able to attend if I were in Nanjing, including Dean Eliot Cohen’s lecture series, the school’s career treks, employer meet-ups, and more.

Q: Could you please tell us about your fellowship and how it has helped support your graduate studies?

A: I am grateful to have been awarded the HNC Sunny Dupree Fellowship and the Johns Hopkins SAIS Tai Fellowship. Receiving these fellowships greatly offset the financial burden of attending graduate school and has enabled me to pursue many of the academic and extracurricular opportunities the school offers. I was also awarded the Boren Fellowship, and although travel to China has not yet been approved, I look forward to studying overseas as a fellow in 2021.

Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?

A: Following graduation, I plan to enter the federal workforce as a Boren Fellow Alumna and pursue a career in national security and foreign affairs. I hope to use my skills and knowledge to work as a China Analyst for the U.S. government.

Want to support students like Grace? Join the Johns Hopkins SAIS community on Giving Tuesday, December 1, as we take part in this global day of giving. Learn more and #GiveTueSAIS early at

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