Yanan Zeng: Why I Chose to Spend a Semester Here at Berkeley

A visit/study experience encouraged me to take the next step

Back in the winter vacation of 2019, I attended a study 2-week program as a visitor to University of California, Berkeley. It was through that short period of time that I made up my mind to take on a one-semester exchange program to UC Berkeley and to seek a more colorful adventure into the beautiful college.

What did I see at the campus?

The campus

Back when I stepped into this enormous campus, I was fascinated by the beautiful campus, the lanes, the crossroads, the lawns, it all seemed huge in my eyes. The visit was the first time I ever been to a U.S. college and also the first time I traveled to the country, everything was new and interesting to me a year ago.


The students

When our group had some free time, we went on adventures around the campus. And we noticed that, students in UC Berkeley students could study anywhere, such as at a bench, in hallways, on lawns. Their studies were not at a regular study place, yet it seemed so normal to them. Deep in my heart, I truly admired the spirit of just pure study and not being distracted by surroundings.

What fun experiences did I have?


San Francisco

One thing about staying at Berkeley is it's location- near to San Francisco, the culture, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. We had wonderful trips to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, and Union Square. They were all splendid and worth-seeing tourist sites.


We also had a visit to the famous Silicon Valley, which is located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. As is broadly known as the global center for high technology, innovation, and social media. As most of our group members were majoring in engineering and computer science, that visit was a dream come true to us.

What is the difference between exchanging and visiting?

The biggest difference between being an exchange student and a pure visitor is the identification. This semester at Berkeley, I am considered a registered student on campus. I receive almost the same treatment and make use of the same resources as the undergraduate and graduate students here at Berkeley. Additionally, every day that is spent at this magical school is genuine joy and grace for me!