After spending a summer in Beijing, China, as an EAPSI Fellow (East Asia Pacific Summer Institute), I can easily say it was one of the best and most
productive summers I have ever had. The program brings a group of Americans over to various countries to work on a research topic of their choice. All projects for the China fellows were approved by both the National Science Foundation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since my academic advisor at The University of Tennessee has a contact at Tsinghua University in Beijing, I was able to use him as a host for my summer research. One of the attached pictures is of the three of us outside the School of Environment on Tsinghua University’s campus. This summer I took my stormwater, rooftop runoff research to a new level by adding locations in China. This work will be a part of my dissertation which I plan to defend in the next few months.
Aside from research this summer, I was able to explore most of Beijing. One of my favorite places was the Olympic Center and park. I also enjoyed my trip to the top of the Great Wall, after the fact, of course — it was way harder than it looks.I visited many temples and museums, and even got to experience tea houses. After coming back from this trip, I have a newfound appreciation for diversity, Chinese culture, and international students. I have a better understanding of why some of my cohort here behave the way they do, such as getting lunch at 11:30 every day. Overall the experience was better than I could have ever imagined, I already miss my friends, the food, and the city.