Brian with his 7th grade students while teaching in China
AU DEGREE: MA Comparative & Regional Studies
CONCENTRATION: Asia & Chinese Politics and Foreign Policy
Are you an international student with questions about the SIS student experience? E-mail Brian to learn more!
Why did you choose to participate in the GNP program as an International Student Mentor?
I chose to participate in the GNP program as an International Student Mentor, because I have experience being an International Student. When I lived in Guangzhou China, I took Chinese classes at a Language Center, There was a Chinese girl at the language center that really helped me, she gave me the confidence that I would be fine, and suggested that I challenge myself so I can be better.
What is a favorite activity or event you have participated in at SIS or in Washington DC?
Since I am a native Washingtonian, I have tended to take an unorthodox approach to enjoying D.C. escaping from the usual tourist spots. I enjoy going in to local communities that have not yet been transformed and spending time in the smaller family owned restaurants, and seeing the talent of local artists especially poets. My favorite SIS event, is when I had a chance to visit the World Bank and the IMF. It is something I will always carry with me.
What is some advice about navigating graduate school that you would share with an international student?
Have fun! Often times we put so much pressure on ourselves to get the internship, the job etc. However, it is important to just enjoy the moment and remember that graduate school is a chapter in your life, and it is not the entire book. Meet people, explore Washington D.C, join clubs. Also, never be afraid to ask for help.
How do your cross cultural experiences allow you to assist international students?
My cross cultural experiences will assist me because I embrace diversity. When I lived abroad, I made sure that I did not live in an area with fellow Westerners. The building I lived in in China was full of Chinese residents, I was the only foreigner. When I went out , I went to the African community that settled in Guangzhou, to further expand my horizon. Success is never found in your comfort zone, often it is on the outskirts of familiarity.