Meet Victor, the Program Manager at SLE Brandeis…
Hello! My name is Victor Zhu and I’m really excited to be part of SLE at Brandeis University this year! I am a currently a junior at Brandeis, studying Biology (possibly double majoring) and aiming for a minor in East Asian Studies. I hope to play a big part in SLE at Brandeis by helping make the program bigger than it already is, and I’m excited myself to participate in the Cantonese language class! Through SLE, I hope to pass on my passion and love for different cultures and countries to other people on campus.
I am an avid traveler, having traveled around many places in Asia. I was around eight years old when I left the US to visit my grandparents in FuZhou, China. It was an eye-opening experience for me to see what life outside the US was like for the first time. Ever since then, I have returned to China four other times, and visited various cities and provinces such as Beijing, Shanghai, and the Zhejiang province. Two years ago, I attended a Chinese language program at National Chengchi University in Taipei for a semester (this was during my fall semester of freshmen year since I am a mid-year at Brandeis), and it was— to this day— the best experience of my life.
I got to really immerse myself in the lifestyle of another country, especially through meeting and befriending the local students at the university. During the four months I spent in Taipei, I got to explore everything the city and its people had the offer. I also met other exchange students from all over the world, ranging from Iraq to Ireland to Korea to Japan and many, many more in my classes. I even went on a trip to Macau and Hong Kong during the semester with two Japanese classmates that I became friends with! I loved Taiwan so much that I could barely let go when it was time to leave. In fact, I love Taiwan so much that I volunteered to teach underprivileged middle school children in Taiwan English for two weeks this past summer!
My language learning experiences began early in life. I always spoke Chinese back at home, so for me Chinese was a huge part of my daily life. I began learning Spanish in 6th grade, and continued up until 11th grade. I began to take actual classes for Chinese when I went to Taiwan, and have continued for a year now at Brandeis. This year I am currently taking the intro Japanese class, and I plan on continuing for at least 2 years. For me, learning a new language is a hobby, and I hope that at SLE I’m able to make that a bigger part of my life and for the community at Brandeis!
Victor is a junior at Brandeis University majoring in Biology and minoring in East Asian Studies. He loves traveling and exploring new countries and cultures around the world; and of course tasting all the delicious foods they have to offer!