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AST Graduate Student Katherine Messer at Nanjing University in China

AST Graduate Student Katherine Messer is currently studying at Nanjing University in China. Here’s an update about what she’s been doing overseas!


Katherine Messer and Professor Lu, who teaches speaking.


After being lucky enough to obtain the Chinese Government Scholarship (CSC), allowing me to spend a year in China to study Chinese language at Nanjing University (NJU), it has now been three months. Time has flown by!

In one term I have learned a great deal, both inside and outside the classroom. I take three classes at NJU, all taught in Chinese, and I feel my Chinese has improved enormously in the short time I have been here.


Group picture we took on a class trip to Zhenjiang, a city also in Jiangsu Province. In the background you can see the Cishao Pagoda.


I am very much looking forward to next semester. Classes last around four hours each day, and although much of the work is challenging, I still have plenty of time to relax and explore the city.

Along with these language classes, I also attend a Chinese calligraphy class. NJU offers a handful of extracurricular activities, ranging from traditional Chinese arts and Tai-Chi lessons to badminton tournaments and marathon racing. Nanjing is a diverse and exciting city, rich in history and cultural heritage.



Xuanwu Lake, with the Nanjing Skyline in the distance.

Along with visiting the Sun Yat-sen Memorial and the Nanjing Massacre Museum, I have also been able to fully immerse myself in day-to-day Chinese life. There is nothing better then having a late night snack of squid or chicken skewers made by a local street vendor.

I feel this is an amazing opportunity for me to experience life in a different country, meet amazing new friends from all over the world, and improve my language skills in a native environment. It is truly an unforgettable experience.