17th August 2015, 5 A.M. I was heading out to Birmingham international airport to catch a flight to Beijing, China. Coming from South Korea, living in China for six years, and in the UK for nearly five years, it was a great opportunity but a challenge at the same time. Leaving everything behind and move back to China? It was a tough choice but I must say I would choose to do the same every time (Though saying goodbyes to my beloved friends and the love of my life was especially hard; hardest part of coming to Tsinghua was leaving my love alone). I must admit though, back in the days where I was living in Beijing, I have never imagined having my own bike, riding it around Tsinghua University. It was like a dream.
Coming to Tsinghua, pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at School of Public Policy and Management was definitely a right choice. One thing that I really love about the course is the cultural diversity of the class. It is rather amazing to be able to connect with people from different cultural backgrounds. I have learned more about other cultures at Tsinghua than in any other places. All the courses that I have studied so far are very enlightening and helpful. It was especially great to share all the ideas and opinions from different perspectives, culture to culture and person to person. Academic-wise, therefore, I have no doubts or regrets, but only satisfactions, and expectations for the future.
Outside curriculum, I have had one of the best semesters throughout my studies since 2006. The beginning of such a fantastic semester started with the work with Chinese Institute of Engineering Development and Strategies (CIEDS) as a research analyst. It has been an amazing opportunity given my Tsinghua to further broaden my knowledge and to earn necessary funds for my survival in China. After the semester kicked off, it has been getting better and better. I have been elected as a first ever international Mr. SPPM with all the supports from my colleagues and the international student office; it was a true honour to be standing side-by-side with all the international and Chinese students during the ceremony. I would like to take this chance to thank everyone who has contributed to the first ever election of an international Mr. SPPM.
Also, I was truly honoured once again by being selected as one of the grantees of the 2015 Chinese Embassy in South Korea Ambassador’s Special Scholarship. It was an amazing experience to have a face-to-face meeting with the Ambassador and also with the two core councillors of the Chinese Embassy in South Korea. Moreover, it was a great opportunity for me to meet with great Korean students who are determined to study further about China, Chinese language and Chinese culture. Last but not least, really a good news has floated on the water a few days ago. We were given a chance to apply to work for UNESCO Beijing Office from January, which I believe could be a life-changing experience for everyone. Three hours after the phone interview, I had to scream out loud and celebrate that I have got ‘THE’ opportunity.
Overall, it has been an amazing experience at Tsinghua SPPM since the day I got here. It is astonishing how much the school can offer, and also do for you. It is definitely not easy to make a ‘good experience’ (Studying at the TOP university of China) ‘wonderful’ (Being a Part of Tsinghua), but once it is done it truly is amazing. My first semester at Tsinghua has been ‘wonderful’ and I am sure it will be better for the upcoming semesters. I really hope that I can keep it up and be a part of such a lovely community. Semper Paratus! In other words “Always Ready”!!