Program: Institute for Academic Studies
The one month spent in Penn was really an amazing experience for me. I enjoyed the ELP program not only because it improved my language skills, but because it allowed me to explore American culture. For many, experiencing a different culture may be difficult because they might experience cultural shock. However, I really appreciated this opportunity to dig into at least some aspects of American culture. For example, our assignments on Benjamin Franklin helped me to learn about American identities and values, and the Phillies game let me know the sports spirit of Americans.
Another fantastic thing about the program was that I met a lot of people from different countries and made friends with them. From them I got to know that Korean people are also crazy about baseball and that people in Chile speak Spanish as their first language. A multi-national group was also a challenge for us since we needed to express our ideas clearly in English and had to meet halfway. I particularly love the small video clip I shot with my group members on home robots. We wrote scripts and revised them together, and then we spent the night working on the video, during which I really enjoyed myself.
The thing I loved most about Philadelphia was the art museum. Though I’m not an expert at art, I found myself fascinated by the exhibits there. It was truly exciting to see a real Monet or Van Gogh right in front of your eyes. Also, I like the sculptures of “LOVE” everywhere in the city. I knew from my teachers that the word Philadelphia means the city of brotherly love in Greek.
Now I’m attending university in Shanghai, China, and I think my experience at Penn will influence the way I behave and how I think. I’m really thankful that through the IAS program I gradually gained confidence in talking in front of people, which will have a profound impact on my life.