Pablo Mello Da Silva
What’s your major?
I am majoring in Mathematics and Chinese Area Studies with a minor in Computer Science.
Where are you studying?
Peking University in Beijing, China.
How long will you be abroad?
What type of courses are you taking?
I am taking advanced Chinese and Mathematics courses in Chinese.
What is your favorite memory from your study abroad experience?
My favorite memory so far is walking by myself on the streets of Beijing and looking at Chinese people doing common things in their culture, such as practicing Tai Chi, drinking tea, playing Ping Pong, dancing, and all of this being done outdoors with no fear of judgment.
What would you say to someone considering studying abroad?
Studying abroad definitely is something that needs consideration. Adapting to a new culture is quite challenging, especially to one that is quite different your culture. Studying abroad is an opportunity to learn about yourself, mentally mature, understand other people, and consequently become more tolerant. Learning a new language is absolutely crucial, as it helps you develop your communication skills.
What is/was your favorite local landmark?
The Great Wall of China.
What are your living accommodations?
I live in an exceptionally comfortable apartment exclusively for international students on-campus, which makes me feel a little bit bad, as Chinese students themselves are not provided with such accommodations.
What is your greatest challenge while being abroad?
Being away from my family is very tough, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
What skills have you acquired abroad?
I have gained fluency in Mandarin Chinese and a considerable understanding of Chinese philosophy, history and culture. Moreover, I have obtained experience in dealing with people whose culture and way of thinking are quite different from mine.
Has study abroad influenced your academic/career path?
I have always wanted to become a professor, and that is still my academic and professional goals. However, I simply adore China, and I believe that I still have a lot to learn from Chinese people. Thus, I intend to come here again to study abroad while pursuing my PhD degree.
What were questions you were asked by local residents?
The most frequent one is if I can teach them English in exchange for them teaching me Chinese. Also, why I am studying Mathematics and Chinese, as they do not have an apparent relation.