Summer in the USA

Posted on: 3 March 2020 by Xiaodan in 2019/20

Xiaodan shares her experience of a summer in the USA

My name is Xiaodan and I am a final year BSc Mathematics with Finance student. I was born in China and moved to the UK with my family when I was seven years old. I’d never left the UK except to visit family in China, so when my friend told me about a fully-funded summer programme to the USA, I applied knowing that I had nothing to lose.

I was so excited when I was offered a place but as our departure date got closer, I got more and more nervous. I’d never travelled by myself before so it was a bit daunting, plus I was so worried that I would sleep through my alarm and miss the flight!

The week we spent at UGA was jam-packed with lecturers and activities in Athens and Atlanta. One of the key highlights for me was a lecture about American culture which focused on race and diversity. Professor Dawn Bennett Alexander who delivered the lecture was so passionate and had such a different presentation style to my lecturers in Liverpool. The session made me more culturally aware, especially when thinking about how historical events still impact society today.

I am naturally quite a shy person so it was great to go to the USA with other Liverpool students as we were all in the same boat. Everyone was so nice and we all got on so well together, we are all still in touch now. One of my favourite things about the trip was experiencing an American college campus (especially the dining hall!) as it is so different to Liverpool.

Before going to the USA, I thought about working abroad after graduation but it felt it was too far out of my comfort zone. After having had the experience of travelling by myself, I feel I’ve grown in confidence and know that I can do it and push myself to go further. I’m more independent since coming back, so much so that I am planning a trip to Japan and South Korea this summer with two friends. After that, I’m going to participate in the Year in China programme and I can’t wait to visit some of my family while I’m studying at XJTLU!