China→ Seaside Park, NJ and Portland, ME
As a Summer Work Travel participant in 2015 and 2016, Ru Sun gained a deeper understanding of American culture and the U.S. political system. Today she is pursuing a Master's in International Relations and hoping to work in international education or policy analysis.
"I participated in the Model United Nations at the university to role-play diplomats from different countries, discussing the heated global issues with other students nationwide... That’s how I got to know some international guests. I was sent to receive a group of people from the United States when I was a junior at the university, and that is how I met Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg [pictured with Ru at left]...We kept in touch, and I visited him and his family twice, once after my first WAT program, and a second time during my studies in Texas last spring. Through him, I had the chance meet the Governor of Colorado to discuss politics with lobbyists and other politicians. After talking with those politicians, I became more interested in American politics!"
"I think that being in the United States affected how I see life and the world. I would say that the U.S. is more complicated than people usually think. It’s diverse and there are also different kinds of problems that exist. Observing, exploring, and thinking about what I saw and heard did make me more rational and calm when I faced something in life.
"I chose Diplomacy as my major at university when, actually, I didn’t realize what it would mean to me. I had no idea what was going on in the world. However, I always had a curiosity about things happening not only here in China, but all over the world, from all perspectives. I wanted to figure out what was right and what was wrong, and I wanted to hear diverse voices from other places. All of those reasons made me start to be interested in politics and international relations."
What she’s up to now:
Pursuing a Master's degree in International Relations at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, and then searching for opportunities in international education or policy analysis. In 2017, Ru was selected by the Institutes for a reciprocal study abroad program at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M University.