October 11-14, the McDonnell International Scholars Academy holds its 7th International Symposium in Beijing. The event is co-hosted by Tsinghua University.
The start of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy’s 2018 Symposium is just around the corner, and we will be leaving for China in less than two weeks. This will be my first time visiting China (besides changing planes in the Beijing airport twice, which doesn’t really count), so naturally, I am excited to experience a new environment, eat new food, and see the sites of the city. Also, the symposium itself offers many exciting lectures and events that I am sure will help generate thought provoking conversations and debates.
However, what I am most looking forward to is seeing what the McDonnell International Scholars Academy looks like outside of the confines of Washington University in St. Louis.
As an American scholar, my only interaction with the Academy so far has been at WashU. However, a vital part of the academy is our partner university, and without their support (and their students) there could be no academy. To this end, the opportunity to visit Tsinghua University, the host of the 2018 Symposium, is what excites me most. This is especially true because a number of my close friends in the Academy are from Tsinghua University, and they have told me a lot about their time as students at the university (it also doesn’t hurt that they have promised to show me the best places to eat and drink near the university). Also, the symposium is a chance for representatives from the various partner universities to come together as a truly international gathering.
We have this on a smaller scale in the Academy itself at WashU, but since this chance at the symposium only happens every few years, I look forward to being able to make new connections with representatives from the partner universities and, hopefully, broaden the scope of my academic and social networks.