Photo for Feedback, 2012 JRI Summer Research

Feedback, 2012 JRI Summer Research Program at PKU



Tammy Chang (two time participant)

Because of my work with Professor Anpeng Huang at PKU last summer, I was able to boost my resume with research experience as well as have his recommendation when applying to graduate school, for which I give much credit to my acceptance into Stanford.  Additionally, through my continued collaboration this summer with Professor Huang and Computer Science Professor Yang Wang, we were able to submit our paper to an international communications conference.

Research at PKU has a different dynamic in China than it does in the States, and it is worth experiencing a different approach to not only research, but also relationships, food, lifestyle habits, and even faith/perspectives.  Travel broadens perspective, but to actually live as a student in a place like Beijing -- it not only broadens, but deepens perspective to an entirely new level.


Jonathan Chiang

Don’t be fooled. This program is not a study abroad program, nor is it simply research in a different country. The opportunity to experience the socio-cultural dynamic and nuances of daily living in China under structured oversight make for a truly unforgettable experience in a foreign country! Not only was I introduced to the implementation of the scientific method in a pharmaceutical chemistry laboratory (Chinese version, of course), but the lessons, stories and insights that I’ve gained through conversations with my co-workers have made an incredible, unique imprint on my understanding of China. And it is not all about work, either. Though I worked full-time, I still had plenty of time to enjoy what China has to offer—sight-seeing, shopping, theme parks, concerts, you name it! The intangibles that I gained through this program have broadened my understanding of the Chinese culture and will no doubt continue to impact my perspective of science at the global scale. Definitely a summer well spent!

Ian Ferguson

Academically, I taught myself how to use SolidWorks, a CAD software program that is very common for engineers to use. Outside of the lab, experiencing a different way of life and culture in China helped me gain a new perspective in general and I believe it will help make me a more well-rounded person.

The program allowed me to gain research experience in my field as well as provide the opportunity of going abroad to China, which can be attractive especially with China's growing economic power.

I would recommend this program to any person looking to study abroad, especially in China, and experience a new culture and lifestyle. The experience I had in China was unbelievable and I would want everyone else to share that same experience.

I am truly thankful that I had the opportunity and that I chose to pursue it. Before the program, I was wondering if I should have decided to pursue an internship instead, but I know now that nothing can replace what I have learned and experienced through the JRI program.

Matthew Hecht

The knowledge I gained from working in Lab pales in comparison to the knowledge I gained experiencing a different culture. The most important thing I learned was the way the culture works in china.

The program did not help my academic goals directly, since the research I was doing is only tangential to what I will be studying in grad school. In the future I anticipate though it will look really good on my resume.


Michiko Suwoto

The most important knowledge I gained from the program was working in the laboratory itself and work in a foreign laboratory. I learned new techniques and I'm sure this will be useful for future research. I also worked with people I was not familiar with and explored a new environment so I can be more open in the future. 

I'll definitely recommend this program to UCLA students. Not only that I got laboratory experience, I also got to explore China!  It's an unforgettable experience.


Helen Vuong

I learned a lot about doing science in a different culture. I learned so much about my field from a different perspective. At UCLA I focused much more on the molecular biology of the retina, whereas in PKU I delved into connecting the research of molecular biology with a clinical perspective and a disease model. So, I feel that the most important knowledge that I gained from the program came from my time spent in lab.

The JRI program has opened up many doors for my graduate studies, including future collaborations and production of papers.


Steven Weiss

While I did gain a lot of insight into Chinese culture, the most valuable knowledge I gained was just how little I knew about what motivates people of other cultures. I was astounded by how hard my lab-mates worked, regardless of how they felt about their given tasks. Because of this, I've learned to find enjoyment in things that I don't usually appreciate; I've seen clearly that doing so is beneficial to both myself and others, and I have no doubt that this will help my academic and post-graduate career.

I would recommend this program to anyone who's looking for the chance to step into someone else's shoes, much more so than to someone merely looking to learn about Chinese culture. There are classes that would probably be just as--if not more--useful for learning the nuances of Chinese culture; seeing the culture's effect on people's attitude and motivation is something that can be hard to get out of a class, yet I believe that this is far more important than merely knowing about a culture.

Thank you a million times over for putting together this program. I really enjoyed it!


Drake Williams

I learned a lot about Chinese culture.  This program expanded my research background to a field outside of my major, an opportunity not many people get.


Dalia Zhang

The most valuable thing I gained during this program was the work ethic of my lab mates. They were there often 7 days a week, past midnight most days, and often didn't go home for months at a time. But they were like a family in the lab, and because the workplace was so enjoyable, they rarely, if ever, complained.

The program definitely helped me gain research experience particularly with physiological experiments.

Overall, it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'm so, so grateful for the opportunity and would do it again in a heartbeat!