A Highlight of Recent Graduates

A Highlight of Recent Graduates

This past May and June, I had the great honor of joining my classmates in walking across the Johns Hopkins SAIS and Hopkins-Nanjing Center commencement stages. It has been a challenging, yet rewarding two years, and I could not have done it without the friends I have made in this program. While I could go on about my experiences, advice, and journey through the program, I wanted to highlight some of my impressive classmates and friends here.  

Joseph Baldock, from North Carolina, studied in the Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) program, concentrating in Global Politics and China Studies. Cao YuanPeng, from 安徽省安庆市, was enrolled in the one-year HNC Certificate program. Abena Oduro is from Ghana, and studied in the HNC Certificate + SAIS MAIR program, focusing on economics, finance, China, and Africa.  



Why did you choose the program that you are enrolled in?  

JOE: I knew I was interested in International Relations with an emphasis on Politics and China Studies, so the MAIS seemed like the right program for me. I really liked the concept of being able to learn about China and global politics through a Chinese lens, especially using Chinese, while still being able to maintain academic freedom.  


Yuanpeng: My criteria for choosing courses are interest and professional relevance. I wanted to do some political science research, so the courses I took in the HNC Certificate program were mostly related to political science. 


Abena: I chose the HNC Certificate + SAIS MAIR program, because I thought it would give me a good understanding of learning in an American context versus learning in a Chinese context. As someone who was interested not only in international relations and improving Chinese proficiency, but also in China-Africa relations, I thought that I would get an even richer experience learning in both environments.  


Were there any challenges you faced during your studies? How did you overcome them?  

YuanPeng: The first challenge I encountered was the language. This was my first class in English and initially I couldn't fully understand what the teacher was saying in class. My solution was to turn on the subtitles during the class which allowed me to take better notes. The second challenge was writing. When completing my course papers, I often made mistakes in my English writing. I solved this by seeking help from my American classmates!