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Chinese Student Works Towards Dual Master's Degrees At Vanderbilt University


This week we talk with Zheng Fu. He is attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. My name is Zheng Fu and I am from China. I was born in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan, its a beautiful place in the West. I came to the U-S to get an education at the master level and I am starting as a graduate student in Vanderbilt University in Management Technology program and then after I finish that one I will get my second masters in Electrical Engineering,” he says.

“So basically I came here because I wanted to pursue a better education and I want to expand my world and see what America is like.”

Many international students each year are interested in coming to the United States for higher education, but the steps in which one takes to get here varies from person to person. Zheng shares his process. “First job I needed to take GRE and the TOFEL test and you have to ace this standard test because we need the kind of scholarship to sponsor us to get into the U-S. Sponsorship is kind of a criteria for us.

Second, we try to select the most interesting program to match with our background,” he says. “Like me, my background is electrical engineering so I tried to further this field and I selected a lot of universities from the web site to compare what kind of research they are doing which I have interest in and which match my background also.”

“Then I try to talk with the professors and send an email to see what is going on there to know some detail information and then I send in my application, pay my application fee and then I receive feedback from the U-S [saying] ‘we are glad to meet you’ and I am glad to come.”

Zheng says Vanderbilt University has everything he needs to help him both academically as well as socially. “Vanderbilt is not a familiar name to Chinese people because Vanderbilt is not named as a state’s name and it is a private school and it is kind of difficult to spell. For Vanderbilt, I choose because this program management technology, this one is a very good program and in the U-S it’s not many universities that has such a program that can match my interest” he says.” “It also helps me to pursue my second master degree in Electrical Engineering and I am so glad.

“This environment is so unique because Vanderbilt is giving me a lot of opportunity for example I joined a lot of student associations like the America Asia and the Chinese student organization and I try to get involved in activities and not be alone and try to be social able as possible,” he adds. “I enjoy working out in the recreation center and people stereotype thinking Chinese people are workaholic.

Actually, Chinese people are workaholic, but we want to change that,” he says. “We are not only focused on studying we need to do something more to make ourselves enjoy [other things] not only just focus on the books. So I go out with my friends and I am also a photographer.”

As they say a first impression is a lasting one and for Zheng his impression of America is. “The first thing that gives me a high impression of America is it is team-oriented and people huddle with each other. They try to help each other,” he says. “They build a team and work on the project and I did not feel that in China before.

The second one is it seems everything is very organized. I use to think that is was not very efficient, but it seems like here the organization especially the institution like school everything is very efficient and that gives me a very good impression.”

Once Zheng completes his studies at Vanderbilt University he will have two master degrees. Then he wants to stay in the U-S for a year to gain some work experience before going home to China.

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