When I was at high school, I had a friend from Turkey. We were very close, and she was a lot cooler than any other students. Because of her, I started to have a strong interest in Turkey, its culture, history, and language. I learnt Turkish by myself since 2014, but I did not find enough sources. After I entered University of Illinois, I started to take Turkish classes in time. I attended Turkish language program for two years and I traveled to Istanbul in 2016.
I am very satisfied that the Yunus Emre Institute took me to Erzurum this summer. As a Chinese historian living in the USA, I will study contemporary Turkish history in my academic career. After I complete my PhD study, I am planning to work at least one year in Turkey. I always had good feelings and thoughts for Turkey, thanks to the summer school that happened this year, my love of Turkey got stronger. This experience that I went through made me keen on knowing more about the Turkish language, culture, and history to understand this amazing country better. This summer school changed my mind about my future plans. I have met friends and my colleagues from different countries. I realized that I was rather narrow-minded before, by staying only in academia. I am affected to get out of my comfort zone, I perceived that I am ready to learn new things outside the academia. Besides, to contribute my this strength, I will also apply for the internship in the center of the Yunus Emre Institute in Washington DC. Again, I am so grateful to Turkey for having me this summer. I extend my appreciations to the Yunus Emre Institute for accepting students by not considering whatever ethnic origin and cultural background they belong to and for embracing all the participants.