Experience report-University of Maryland

Date: March 11, 2011

Department of Biological Science and Technology, College of Life Sciences, Student, Sheng-Nan Kuo
Editor, Graduate Institute of Cancer Biology, College of Medicine, Assistant Professor Shian-Ying Sung

Despite the awful preparation for my graduation with the biochemistry and molecular biology that I am going to study this summer, I decided to take an opportunity of summer exchange program at China Medical University for the oversea scientific camp at University of Maryland. Starting from the day 1 of the program is subjected of exciting experience to me, even taking the airplane with high pressure and muggy cabin that make me lethargy during the flight.

Once arrived the destination, I was surprised the gigantic and sophisticated construction. For example, the huge and beautification swimming pool in recreation center that you even can hear music under the water. The indoor basketball court is the best sports place that I have ever seen. I enjoy use the early morning to prepare the classes and tests. I also feel that the peaceful and quiet university town made me away from secular and rethink some issues that I always neglect before.

Dr. Lo raised a topic of KISS as “keep it simple and strength” in his class, that impressed me very much. Education should strength our skill of solving problems in a simpler way. I always miss the key when I study. Now I could focus the study in the KISS, and not to worry about the lost of major issues, especially for my graduation examine. Dr. Lo also took us to visit laboratories in the University during class. Noticed that not too much different between laboratories of China Medical University and University of Maryland. China Medical University is actually better than Univ. of Maryland in some points. The thing that really impressed me is what Dr. Lo’s explanation about the creativity and vision of investigators is the true value to create a great University rather than most expensive equipment, and that is all about the advantage study in the USA, which I couldn’t agree more. Another old and solemn professor taught us the electron microscope for 20 minutes in the class mentioned that he would be happy if we could understand even just one sentence of his lecture and remember it. Otherwise, he would rather go home and drinking tea himself. That was the only time I saw his smiling face. I feel it is interesting.

We also take some easy time during our study. For example, we spend one Sunday at Dr. Lo’s house. That was the time I saw exciting heart under ordinary person. Don’t value how much power and benefit would come to you, but value the diversity and opportunity of your choice in the lifetime, said by Dr. Lo in his house. Open your heart to learn things and be prepared so that you could have choice and ability to capture it once opportunity comes to you. These lessons only can be taken when we visit his house, and I truly appreciate his deep heart talking which is far better than have fun of his entertainment system and gymnastic equipment in the house.

Dr. Wei accompanies with us during the traveling and we always play basketball and eating meals together. He encourages us going to play everything while we are young and do not wait until older age with regretful that I could not agree more. A great student should be a student with the heart to study hard and playing hard that will let one learn social experience during playing.

So many good advices I have learned in this traveling that was what I could not obtained in my normal life. It definitively worthy every penny for what I learn in this summer education. I sincerely appreciate everyone taught me during the summer learning processing. Although the courses are not a difficult to learn, as my major is the food biotechnology, the final oral presentation really drives me nervous. The topic of our presentation is the processing of Pu’Er Tea fermentation. We spend some time to prepare the presentation but still felt terrible due to English presentation. Dr. Lo asked many good questions after our presentation. I noticed that his questions are something that he really wants to know. This really inspired me of his continuing learning in every chance.

In addition, we also visited Smithsonian Institute, the largest museum system in the world. Most of the museums of Smithsonian Institute are located on The Mall of Washington D. C., which took us a lot of time traveling across the museum under the sun. I definitively got sun tan while we visit the museums. We could not see the entire exhibition in the museums even spent so many times in it. We also took the elevator to the top of Washington Monument and the view was gorgeous. American food is simple and easy to prepare. For example, the cheese noodle, the favor dish I like, only needs cooking of noodle and toping with lots of cheese. Pepsi is also my favor beverage, the very few beverages that I really like in USA.

 I had a heavy loading of package when we returning, most are souvenirs for my friends and family. However, sharing the exciting experiences in this trip with them is the best reward for my friends and me. When my parents asked about study oversea in the future, I replied surely of my ambition. However, I know right a way that I am not fully prepared, yet. This immediately reminds me what Dr. Lo said about being well preparation and you will be able to capture it once opportunity comes to you. I will take the graduate program in Taiwan for now and will prepare myself carefully; in case there is another opportunity comes to me for choosing between Taiwan and oversea.

(Chinese Version.)


Group photo in University of Maryland
Group photo in the White House