International Student Spotlight: Meet Jiaqi

Name: Jiaqi Zheng

Age: 24

Home country: China

Home university: Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology

Field of study: Technology & Innovation, Sports Architecture Management

Why did you decide to study in the United States, specifically at Millersville University?

My personal experience in my undergraduate school helped me to make the decision to go abroad to learn more about sports development. Even though the Chinese government already came up with codes and standards to promote sports to public and more and more people participated in sports, the relatively backward concepts and people’s prejudice are still a problem in China. I hope to do my part and improve this situation in the future. It was my pleasure coming here and accessed to innovative ideas and critical thinking not only in sports but in my life. Millersville University gave me the chance and helped me open my mind in different areas.

What totally freaked you out prior to arriving at Millersville, but turned out to be no big deal?

I was not really good at English before and I was afraid to talk to anyone prior to arriving at Millersville. After I came here, my English skills improved quickly because Global Education, ESL class, and the writing center helped me a lot in speaking, listening, and writing. Most importantly, everyone here is kind and patient and they like to teach me and listen to me carefully.

What did you like best about Millersville and the United States?

I really enjoy learning at MU, not only the environment but also that there were equal opportunities and chances for everyone. It is a place where you can make your life whatever you want to be. You can start a project with your classmates and advisor, join in the clubs which fit your interests, find a job, or intern on the school websites. It’s a microcosm of United States in that there are so many different cultures which vary widely in just one nation.

What is something you tried for the first time while you were studying in the States? Did you enjoy it? (it could be an activity, a type of food, etc)

What I tried for the first time while study in the States is watching a professional baseball game and NBA. It such a huge difference between watching them on TV and going to the stadium. It’s all about the atmosphere and it was my first time felt the passion people have about sports.

What food or drink do you miss most from China?

Different kinds of Hot Pot.

What are you most looking forward to when you return home?

I hope I can work with my advisor in my country to organized the National Games in 2021 with my experience from here. In addition, I will tell my friends and classmates about my experience and encourage them to come here.

What did you learn about yourself personally over the past year?

Taking online or face-to-face classes encouraged me follow a schedule which establish a positive habitat in time management. I have laid out personal goals and made a schedule to achieve my goal. After concentrating on my time management skills, I also learned that by writing down and prioritizing each step I needed to take, I was able to better visualize the journey, which helped me manage my time more effectively.

What did you gain academically and/or professionally?

I have made an effort to develop my skills and experience in numerous different ways. As an operation intern for the local baseball team, Lancaster Barnstormers, I have matured as an individual and my experience of working with colleagues and customers has contributed a lot to my interpersonal skills. Furthermore, I reinvested in my career goal in the field of sports because I understand that sports can influence people’s lives. I met with a customer who has watched baseball games at Clipper Magazine Stadium for 13 years and has made friends with everyone who worked here. I also interviewed a facilities designer who assisted in building the stadium. When he told me the building process and the problems they solve, I saw passion in his eyes.

I am also better able to see the bigger picture and how my role relates to the overall goals of my life and in my program, Technology & Innovation. Taking classes with my professors, I admire their study and achievement. I have learned a range of critical thinking, decision making, and integrative learning skills to handle unusual or difficult situations.

What is your dream job and why?

My dream job is working in the field of sports. I want to be a sports manager or a professor in college. Managers and professors influence people and students on a daily basis. By sharing their knowledge, they make a difference and help guide their workers and the next generation to their goals. I’ll pursue my passion and do what I can to improve sports industry.

Why should other international students come to MU?

MU helps students achieve their goals and find success. It is a chance for students to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and try their hand at activities and feel interactive.  It will be an amazing experience in life.