There are over 5,000 international teachers and students working or studying at ECNU every year. Living in a new place with a completely different culture must be an unforgettable experience for most people. How do these international teachers and students live out their life here? And what expectations do they have for the University? You may find some in“Expats at ECNU”.
My name is John Patrick Durkin. People call me Durkin, Durk, Jake, 杜强, and a few other names. I have been studying at Bryant University, in Smithfield Rhode Island, for about three years now. Bryant University is a well-known business school, with far reaching international relations with other schools. Upon arrival at Bryant I knew that I would be studying in China at some point because I had been studying Chinese for seven years and was a part of the International Business program.
Jake sings a song at a show held on Zhongbei Campus.
Apart from that, I started writing and playing music when I was about 13 years old, long after I had started singing. I have always had a strong passion for music and have never lost that characteristic. Freshman year of college was the first time that I performed music in front of a crowd. It was then that I fell in love with the performance factor of music. This love for music and performance has continued to today.
Jake wins the first prize at an ECNU's Talents Show.
When I found myself at ECNU this past fall (2014), I continued playing music on a regular basis out of my dorm room, among many other activities. On a daily basis I would go to a two hour Chinese-language class, as well as one or two other two to three hour classes ranging from business to culture. Apart from that, I found myself exploring around the city, eating venturous foods (for an American), and building strong relationships with many different people, both Chinese and other.
My time in Shanghai was an absolute joy and, while it was difficult at times, the overall experience is something that I would not trade for the world. My favorite experiences were those that I had while traveling through China and practicing all of the Chinese that I had learned through my seven years studying. If I could go back and start the semester over again, I would definitely try to travel more but as long as I am on a College student budget, that will be hard.
I will absolutely be returning to Shanghai at some point for Business or travel. I have had a plan to tour China with a band, alongwith a few other countries and, when my music finishes getting produced in the U.S., that process will most likely begin. In other words, I’ll be back to see the beautiful city of Shanghai in the near future. It was a blast the first time and I expect that the second and third time will be just as rewarding if not more.
Written by: Jake Durkin