Monday, September 15, 2014

Different Life Opportunities in the U.S. and China


By Bang Qu
MS Finance, Fordham University

I would like to share some of my views on the different aspects of life, benefits and career opportunities you may get by attending graduate school in the U.S. versus China. I received my bachelor’s degree in accounting from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Currently I am studying Master of Science in Global Finance in Fordham Graduate School of Business in New York.

Let us start with life in New York. The first day I came to New York, I was very disappointed because I was brand new to this city with no friends and no place to live. I had to figure out everything by myself, such as opening a bank account, renting a room, and getting a cell phone. Then classes began, but you find it is hard to catch up with the professors, you struggle to finish all the reading material, and not to mention all the different kinds of events. You also have many things to get used to, such as food, language, culture. Sometimes you will ask yourself, why you left behind everything you had in your past 20 years.



Ten people can have ten answers to this question. Mine is because of my dream and for a better education. Despite all the difficulties of coming to the U.S., I survived and learned a lot from this experience, by live independently, being open and embracing new things, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and keeping a smile. I made friends from all over the world, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Colombia, America, Korea, India, and China. I visited many great places like the Museum of Natural History, Universal Studios, and Las Vegas. I am also working for an amazing professor, who takes care of me and includes me into many real world projects. One of which may bring me an opportunity to work for a leading company in the emerging battery industry in both U.S. and China. For me, it is this experience in New York that made me grow. This will definitely be my life long treasure. I am grateful and do not regret my decision to study abroad.


Halloween in NYC.
Now let us talk about graduate school life in China. This summer, I went back to Shanghai and talked with many graduate students there. Therefore, I briefly know the current situation. Generally the lifestyle will not change much even in graduate school, because you have been through most of the changes when you entered college. You can still go back home and see your parents when you want to, have dinner with your best friends from time to time, go shopping on the weekend, and watch a new movie. Everything is so familiar that you do not need to change. At school, you will have more resources as a graduate student such as, having a mentor, who can be a significant influence on your academic study and future career. Life is not easy in China either but you would feel less lonely.


However, it is about getting out of a framework, raising your horizons, and starting a journey to answer questions in your heart. There are also many opportunities besides U.S. and China. Your success does not depend on where you went to graduate school time. For me, success is about whether you used your every effort, found peace in your heart, and did not let yourself down. So, follow your heart, make your decision, and hold on to it.



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Bang Qu was born in Changshu, a small town near Shanghai, China. After receiving his bachelor's degree in Shanghai, he came to New York in August 2013 for his master's degree in finance. He hopes to start a career in investment banking or a data related position in NYC.

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