Yinpeng Feng '21
My Experience as an International Student
I am a senior from Hangzhou, China, and 2021 marks the 8th year of studying abroad in the United States. Four years of high school in upstate New York provided me with plenty of opportunities to advance my language skill, get to know the American culture, and in general fit into a foreign country. To be honest, Boston College was not my first choice, but in the end, coming here was definitely a wise decision. I enjoy the suburban atmosphere that Chestnut Hill offers and also the strong academic environment that Boston has. Living in Claver Hall during freshman year, I established friendships that could potentially last for a lifetime. The helpfulness of faculty members at BC is also unimaginable.
Deciding on which major to pursue was difficult. International Studies was my top selection, but interdisciplinary majors tend to be controversial. Certain parents might have this feeling that we should choose a major that is useful and practical; I am fortunate that my parents supported my decision. Since freshman year, I have been determined to pursue a legal education in the future. As a result, my decisions during undergraduate study are influenced by this factor to some extent. I believed that majoring in International Studies can help me develop a set of skills, like writing and logical reasoning abilities, that would enable me to better adjust to the environment in law school. When deciding on the topic for my thesis, I did not hesitate but chose a law-related one, as I consider the thesis-writing experience extremely helpful for me to broaden my horizon and advance my skillset.
This school year has been quite different. I went back home to China in April, 2020, and completing my senior year without seeing all my close friends and professors is definitely one of the biggest sadnesses of my life. Remote study has been quite challenging for me, as I struggle to concentrate and participate during online classes. However, there is also a positive side as a result of this global pandemic. I have the precious chance to spend a considerable amount of time with family and friends back home, something I cherish because I have been away in a foreign country for the majority of the past eight years. Furthermore, I have missed too many opportunities to appreciate the culture of my home country, and I finally have the time to travel around to see it with my own eyes. As I write this reflection, people in China are celebrating the Chinese New Year. The last time I was home for this festival was 2013. Seeing me in family reunion, the smiles on the faces of my grandparents and great grandparents are priceless.
As I am graduating and heading to law school shortly, I sincerely wish that in the future, I could live up to the standard of a BC alumnus. This four-year journey has been full of surprises, challenges, ups, and downs. I hope these memories can follow me forever and become stories that I can comfortably share with others.
Yinpeng Feng ’21