Editor’s Note: Katherin Thouvenin, a first-year Global Business Journalism student at the School of Journalism and Communication, shares her story about her extraordinary life at Tsinghua.
At the beginning of 2020, I was stuck at the crossroads. After finishing my bachelor’s degree in a French business school and being offered a full-time job in Beijing, I was still indecisive about my next step.
For some students, working right after their bachelor’s degree was part of their plan, but not for me. I missed the feeling of being in class and absorbing the knowledge shared by the professors and students.
However, opportunities do come during the hardest times. I decided to decline the job offer and move on to choosing a graduate program suitable for me. The several weeks of quarantine was a good break from the habitual routine and ideal for self-introspection. At this point, I understood what I wanted and where to go. And Tsinghua University had the ideal program for me.
Growing up in a Sino-French family, I always followed a French education, but was very unfamiliar with the Chinese society and customs. Studying in a Chinese university would be a perfect way to reconnect with my Chinese roots. With its worldwide recognition and excellence in education, being able to join Tsinghua University was like a dream come true. Not only does Tsinghua provide exceptional courses taught by experts in the field, but it also provides opportunities to get out of the comfort zone and try new activities.
Even before the start of the semester, Tsinghua gathered students from around the world for their 2020 Global Summer School, where distinguished faculty members would discuss topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although students and professors couldn’t meet in person, the level of passion and professionalism they shared was remarkable and made me ready for a new start.
September quickly arrived with new classes and students. As a way to be more engaged in campus life, I joined the Global Communication Office (GCO) as a student journalist.
GCO is where you can become a great storyteller at Tsinghua. It gives amazing opportunities for students to practice their writing, journalism, and hosting skills. It was also a way for me to get out of my comfort zone and find what I was capable of.
I ended up enjoying being in front of the camera after my first video, which was an interview with the newcomers. Other opportunities also include partnerships with TV cables and newspapers. I had a great discussion with CGTN on topics surrounding education during the pandemic and had the chance to share my life in Tsinghua with the effects of the pandemic, in a vlog partnered with Xinhua News Agency.
I always felt the need to share the stories surrounding me, to the students abroad who could virtually join through social platforms.
One of the main projects I was working on was to share interesting stories of Chinese history through the artifacts from the Tsinghua Art Museum. Being part of such projects also allowed me to discover more about China.
With the fall semester coming to an end, students were impatiently waiting for December to arrive, with Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and of course, the Gala Night. Never had I ever thought I could be hosting such a great evening, but there I was, standing on the stage, trying my best not to forget my lines while staying natural. Preparing for the Gala Night hosting was intense with all the work I had, but I never regretted a single second of this opportunity. Hearing all the laughs during the jokes, the applause, and cheering at the end of the night meant the world for me.
Life at Tsinghua was full of excitement. Looking back at my first semester at Tsinghua, the people I have met, the works I have done, every moment was worth the time and effort. I do hope this fire inside me would last through the two years of my master’s program, but I believe I will always have this passion to collect and share the amazing stories surrounding me.
If you'd like to share your story at Tsinghua or join the Global Communication Office as a student journalist, read more on the post "Join us and tell Tsinghua stories to the world" .
Writer: Katherin Thouvenin
Editors: Liu Zhaoxi, Sangeet Sangroula, Liu Shutian