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The HNC Community is Like Family

Junjie Chen

Name: 陈俊杰Junjie Chen 
Hometown: 山西Shanxi, China

What led you to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center? What made you choose the HNC?

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center provides a great learning environment to be exposed to different cultures and have an opportunity to study with students and teachers from all over the world. I get to experience different teaching models since the HNC has both Chinese and international professors, which relates to my previous studies. I think that if I want to be a good educator in the future, I should cultivate myself through interdisciplinary learning and experiencing diverse perspectives, and the HNC will help me do that.

Do you have any tips for future students?

They have to prepare to face cultural differences and have an embracing attitude. Studying here is very different compared to studying in other programs in China, as many students do not always get the opportunity to interact with international students every single day and perhaps even have an international roommate.

Since I have made many international friends at the HNC, the best thing that has happened to me up until this point is that I have learned to look at things from a new perspective.

If you are involved in any extracurricular activities or student groups, could you please tell us about that?

After classes, there are activities every day. At the HNC, the many different interest groups help people pursue their hobbies and make friends while doing so. As for myself, I am crazy about board games, so I participate whenever I have time. HNC has many types of board games, my favorites being Catan, Werewolf, and Chinese poker games. Regardless of the day, students can always find a partner to play a game and have fun with.  

What is your favorite HNC tradition?

I like the festival traditions. Every holiday, HNC will prepare activities and happy hour. The HNC community is like family during those times, and it makes me feel warm inside. At Halloween and Christmas, we combined both Chinese and American traditions, which was another way for me to experience cultural differences and get to know other cultures in a deeper way.  

What is your favorite thing about Nanjing?

I like Nanjing’s food and scenery. Nanjing’s local food is very delicious, and the city has many historical spots to visit. Nanjing’s foliage also is extremely beautiful, including the Chinese parasol trees near the campus.

What do you plan on pursuing after graduation? 

To be honest, I am still thinking about my future and trying to figure out what I want to do. However, I do know for sure that I want to be an expert in international relations and devote myself to solving global problems. For example, I can use my interdisciplinary knowledge to help others choose a major they’re interested in when applying to university. If I have the chance later on, I want to dig into international relations and become a professional. 

What was one of the things you learned during your time at the HNC that transformed your perspective or way of thinking?

Since I have made many international friends at the HNC, the best thing that has happened to me up until this point is that I have learned to look at things from a new perspective. I am always interacting with people from different cultures, so their viewpoints may not always be the same as mine. HNCers have different backgrounds and life experiences, and living here feels like a dream because it is very different from other places in China. With the unique living environment where we all live together in the dorms, we learn and adapt to each other’s cultures.  

Whose support has made your journey at the HNC possible?

The first person I would like to thank is myself since I managed to pass the Chinese graduate school exams to enter the HNC. Without my effort, I would not be here. Additionally, I would also like to thank my parents for supporting my decision in coming here and encouraging me in everything I do in pursuit of my future. Finally, many graduates and alumni from the HNC have provided useful information and encouraged me to study here.

If you are looking to learn more about what it's like to be a current student at Johns Hopkins SAIS, we encourage you to schedule a virtual appointment with one of our Admissions Fellows.

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