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Welcome to the Middle Kingdom!

Da JiaHao~. This is Ling from China and I will be accompanying you for this amazing Bridge Year. I can’t wait to meet all of you this month!

I was born and raised in Chengdu, a major city in the South-West of China. 玲(Ling) is my Chinese given name, representing my parents beautiful hope in me. I’m an only child. At the age of 5, I began to learn about drawing that is still one of my favorite hobbies.  I completed my official school education in this cozy city with a bachelor’s degree in Art Design from Sichuan University in China. I was a good student, passing all subjects with satisfactory results.

And then, I was completely lost. In China most of us worked so hard to get into university but very little of us understood the true meaning and process of learning. So when I found I have to step out of the ivory tower and face the real life, I couldn’t see any passes.

I decided to travel, starting my journey of discovery by going on a Tibetan horse camping trip alone. I believe in the Chinese saying:” 读万卷书行万里路 ( Du Wan Juan Shu, Xing Wan Li Lu).”  Which literally means: “read ten thousand scrolls; walk ten thousand miles,” emphasizing that study and travel are both very important to gain wisdom.

I can’t describe how much more I’ve understood myself from my travel experiences. There were many moments that have changed my entire mindset and became the new milestones in my life. Those experiences have helped to shape my character and learn different philosophies of life while getting an in-depth understanding of culture differences. Now I still know very little about this world, but I think my infinite desire to learn and share knowledge in me will lead me to meet the greater good.

For me, China is my motherland, and to be fair it is one of the most amazing and complex places I’ve traveled through: the rich history, the incredible landscapes, and the colorful ethnic cultures. I can list dozens of reasons why I find my country fascinating, but we have discussions and thoughts against the rapid development of society as well, and I think that dynamic and conflicting realities makes China one of the most educational destinations.

I have been working in travel and culture related fields for over 12 years now, and this will be my first time working with the Princeton Bridge Year Program. I am absolutely looking forward to this coming year with all of you; we are planning to put together many exciting and challenging subjects for your experiences. I wish you would come with your open mind, passion and patience. I wish you could see the truth of the land that used to be the Dragons’ Empire, and I wish this program could be one of the milestones in your life.

See you soon!

Ling Zhao

Local Director Princeton Bridge Year Program
[email protected]