Prospective Scholars: Testimonials
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Not sure if CCS is the right fit for you? Check out some of our experience reports from our scholars below!
What first drew me [to CCS] was the East Asian Studies Library here at the University of California, Berkeley was its impressive collection of premodern texts and just the number of available library resources. It did not take long to discover that the actual heart of this university is the people.Raffaela Rettinger, CCS Visiting Student Researcher (2022-2023); Julius Maximilian University of Wuerzburg, Germany.
After this long period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, I was delighted when traveling and academic exchange became possible again. For me, who had just embarked on her PhD-journey, this meant one thing: I could go abroad for a research exchange. So, I thought to myself: what better place for this, than Berkeley?
What first drew me [to CCS] was the East Asian Studies Library here at the University of California, Berkeley with its impressive collection of premodern texts and just the number of available resources.
It did not take long to discover that the actual heart of this university is the people. I am more than grateful for all the amazing colleagues here, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and who have helped me tremendously on my academic journey.
Right from the start, everybody was very welcoming and there is always someone to ask for advice. It did not take long for me to feel at home and I would like to thank the CCS team and my sponsor, Prof. Michael Nylan of the History Department, for their warm welcome and support. This is not limited to my research and campus life, but also includes tips and help outside of academia. One example might be a list of “Berkeley Institutions” one must not miss. Because, honestly, if you haven’t visited these, have you even studied and worked here?
Not only the researchers and the beautiful library (which still makes me gasp like a fan going to their favorite idol’s concert), but the environment of the Berkeley campus as well inspire and allow me to fully focus on my research.
A typical day leads me through the whole campus, passing the Sather Gate, glancing up at the Campanile, Berkeley’s bell tower and landmark, onwards to the East Asian Library.
On a sunny day, you will often find me sipping a coffee and working on my research project at the Free Speech Movement Café. Since we are in California, what better way than to move your desk from the depts of the library to one of the many cafés around campus?
When I don’t feel like researching alone, I head over to the IEAS/CCS office and exchange ideas with the other international scholars.
And after all the hard work is done, why not join the other Berkeley students and workers by stretching out on the grass of the Memorial Glade and chatting with friends?
What is more, I was able to audit many different classes, some related and some quite different from my field of research. This has allowed me to branch out and broaden my horizon, or, as Prof. Sophie Volpp, Chair of the Center for Chinese Studies, has put it nicely, to pick all the delicious candy out of the candy store that is the University of California, Berkeley.
Since coming to Berkeley, I have felt so inspired through auditing different classes, exploring the beautiful campus, and exchanging ideas with all the researchers here. I am entirely grateful for this opportunity.
It is without a doubt that I recommend CCS at Berkeley to anyone who is seeking a place to experience study abroad in their research field.Ji-jen Hwang, CCS Visiting Scholar 2018-2019; National Defense University, Taiwan.
It was my great pleasure to be named a research scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) at UC Berkeley in 2018-2019. During the year, I productively finished my research on examining China’s international discourse power through an empirical analysis of text mining on Xi Jinping’s official speech texts. Before that, I was an Associate Professor & Program Director of the International Masters Program in Strategic Studies at the National Defense University in R.O.C. Taiwan. As a native of Taiwan, though I earned degrees in the United States and the U.K., I remained unfamiliar with the circumstances of campus life in Berkeley. CCS skillfully organized various social activities, both indoor and outdoor, in order to let us get to know each other quickly and explore the area as well. In addition, CCS provided plenty of resources, such as visa meetings, writing workshops and visiting scholar programs, to help international scholars adopt the life smoothly.
Last but not the least, I feel blessed to have spent the year in CCS at Berkeley, which provided me not only with an outstanding working environment and also an academic atmosphere I was immersed in order to produce good research work, not to mention that the staff in CCS were also very supportive and responsive. It is doubtless that I will recommend CCS at Berkeley to anyone who is seeking a place to experience study abroad in their research field.
UC Berkeley is a fantastic place to conduct research on China.Elena Lichtenthaler, CCS Visiting Scholar (2017-2018); (2018-2019); Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany.
UC Berkeley is a fantastic place to conduct research on China. I particularly enjoy the collaborative spirit and the interdisciplinarity. For all methodology related issues, D-LAB is the place to go. To read and write, enjoy the materials and wonderful atmosphere at C.V. Starr East Asian Library. While at CAL go to colloquia, audit classes and engage with people outside your immediate field. This is how I often get my best ideas and there is certainly no shortage of interesting things to explore and inspiring people to meet at CAL. Enjoy your time at UC Berkeley and GO BEARS!