I came to Bucknell wanting to learn Chinese and thus, the East Asian Studies major made sense.

Olivia Koufakis

"I found out about Bucknell from my best friend's dad who is an alumnus. He always said that the strong friendships, small class sizes and great professors could only come from a close-knit community like Bucknell's. His love and passion for the institution are what got me interested in Bucknell in the first place. I came to take a tour with my mom October of my senior year of high school, and the weather was dreary, rainy and gross. Despite the bad weather of my visit, I knew this was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my education.  

"Having just declared my East Asian Studies major, I've had time to reflect on why I chose this as my academic path. In high school I took two years of Chinese and visited Beijing with my family. I fell in love with the language and culture and knew that I wanted to learn more about them in a formal academic setting. So I came to Bucknell wanting to learn Chinese and thus, the East Asian Studies major made sense. After having taken a few classes, I knew that Professor Wang really cared about me as a person. When preparing for an oral exam she made time on a Sunday night to help me practice. I know the quality of my major and my professors would not be possible without the type of community Bucknell facilitates.

"For the foreign language piece of my major, I have a recitation section with our teaching assistant from China. She's young, nice, and professional. Our recitation classes are only four students. So I've really been able to get one on one interaction with a current citizen of China who is close to my age and able to give me the accurate, youthful perspectives of someone like me on their culture. With these experiences in mind, after graduation I hope to work with an international arm of a major corporation."

Olivia is from Manhasset, N.Y.

Posted May 9, 2013

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