Bringing Language Learning Excitement to Brandeis

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!

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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!




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