In fall of 2011, I was looking for few course works to fulfill the technical elective requirement towards my Aerospace Engineering Degree. I cannot recall the exact circumstances but somehow I ended up applying for a Nuclear Engineering course which was offered in Xiamen, China for Spring/Summer 2012 through IPE which is the CGIS equivalent of College of Engineering. My initial reasons to apply for this course work were far from my interest in China as I didn’t have any.
I was much skeptical towards my trip to China due to very less information I can get about the student life in China. This skepticism was further exacerbated due to the fact that I have somewhat negative preconceive notion towards Asians. I translated their quietness and shyness as arrogance and lack of sociability. At that point, Chinese culture and traditions were merely a fable of distant lands which stand out due the Great Wall of China.
Nevertheless this trip came out as a blessing which not only helped me tremendously on academic level but also broadens my horizon towards interacting with people. Following are few skill sets I acquired through this course.
- As Aerospace student, nuclear Engineering was strange field for me. This course introduced me to another great field of research and broadened my knowledge in applied sciences. Academically, this was nothing less than a treasure.
- Course was taught by one of the elite professors of Nuclear Engineering Department. His mentorship taught me a valuable lesson in dedication and professionalism.
Michigan students were also required to take a 2 week course work in Chinese Culture and language.
- Many aspects of Chinese culture were like Déjà Vu to the culture of Pakistan (Where I came from).
- It shattered all my beliefs for China and Chinese people. It introduced me to a completely different world.
- These cultural experiences subconsciously changed my interaction towards the people.
- I really understood the meaning of diversity.
I can easily say that it was life changing experience Academically and Sociely.