Reflects on a Short Video that Paulo Freire Talks about Curiosity

I was impressed by several points by Paulo Freire in this short recored interview.

The first point is remaining your own personality, while being tolerant as educators. It is difficult to recognize and agree to other point of views while defending your own thoughts without swing.

In the Warring States period of ancient China (BC 770-BC 221), many wise ideological tendencies sprouted out. Three major philosophy system, the Confucius, Lao Zi and Mo Zi, together with many other philosophers built up an booming prosperity of ideas. Philosophers communicated with each other, and learned from each other to consummate their own ideology. No one philosophy was dominate, or tried to kill the others. But they evolved and perfect together, contributing a significant portion to the whole Chinese philosophy.

The second point is teachers should appraise and confirm that the speaking from students are as beautiful as the experts. Teachers should be democratic in class to ensure that every student has the right to speak out what they are thinking.

This principle is not conduct very well in Chinese education in general from my perspective. The respect to teachers is rooted deeply in every Chinese mind since we were born. The disagreement with teachers will be considered as un-respective conduct, especially when students express different opinions in the classroom and cause embarrassment on the teachers. Students are expected to be submissive, follow every rule from authoritative teachers, and be diligent on learning. Things are gradually changing since the whole Chinese society are more open, but exchanging academic believes between teachers and students are not as free as it is in the US. Secondly, students with wrong answers should be punished without any excuses. This is quite straight-forward rule in China; wrong is wrong. The part of correct within the overall wrong answer will be hidden and ignored in most cases.




Diversity drives us move smarter

I was amazed at the relationship between diversity in workspace and the sales profits. And I believe diversity brings more creativity and critical thinking in working environment, especially in academic areas.

Based on my own study abroad and travel experience, I found that people who speak different language think in different ways. Partly of the reason is that the grammar is different, for instance, the sequence of words or phrases that you put into sentence. That will affect the sequence of which part of the sentence comes to our mind first, thus reflects on the priority in our thinking.

Additionally, we all admit that the ideology is very different based on culture. As the globalization moving forward, there is a strong need that the students want to learn about different cultures and how everything works in different regions around the world, so they can better survive in the globalized work market. I was talking with a winemaker in New Zealand on the wine sale in China. His company wanted to open the market in China, tried very hard to import their wine to China. But they were kind of failed, until one Chinese guy helped them set up the representative office in China, took care of the Chinese officials who oversee the wine market, and used the local advertisement and promotional skills to open the market. There are some tricks in this, and the single Chinese representative well played the game and increased the wine sales much more.

Multinational corporations embrace diversity. Sadly, it is not easy for international students to get in. Companies, like Nestle and PepsiCo in US, state very clearly in the job postings that they will not hire students who need Visa sponsorship. It is totally understand from the profit perspective, and the diversity they are looking for is the diversity within people who are US citizen or with permanent residency.

It is fun working with people from different background and culture, and I really enjoy it. This is one of the main reasons that I came to US for graduate school; the diversity within myself is strengthened, and hopefully will make me smarter.

Authentic Teaching Self

This may not be a full list of what I value as a teacher, but I want to use this as a starter, and I will add more when new ideas come to my mind.

Pay attention to top students and students who are falling behind. 

I am not saying the students in the middle should be neglected, but more attention should be paid to students on the extremes than they normally received. Accessibility should be provided to every students.

I was a straight-A student from the first day schooling, and benefiting from that, I was appraised by teachers and got positive emotions towards learning. But I did not feel that I got what I want from the teachers. My Inorganic Chemistry professor told me if I want to learn the advanced knowledge that most students cannot understand, I need to learn by myself. She was not going to cover that in class. I wish she can briefly introduce the knowledge beyond the syllabus, and offer the willingness to discuss it in her office hours rather than telling me that it will not be tested therefore you do not need to learn it. We have to admit that some students, overall they may fit in the class, but on some aspects, they are way better than others. Teachers are there to inspire their talent, rather than let the gifts diminish.

The other experience is from an African student of mine last semester and she fell behind in writing lab report. English is her second language, but she is working hard. As teacher, we can tell her to seek assistant from the writing center, or we can be more patient on advising and help her build self-confidence. She was excellent and very lucky to receive the scholarship and study in the US. We as educators should provide the biggest possibility for her to succeed. Her success will not only be her personal accomplishment, but will also benefit her family, her children, and her country.

I would like to recommend an ancient official textbook that I am reading now, called Great Learning. This book is a precious legacy from our ancestors, and concisely talks about the wise principles in education. The classical Chinese are so beautiful that its soul will be damaged from any translation.



No one less

Most young Chinese at my age seen the movie No One Less in some kind of encouragement activity arranged by schools when we were in primary school. The movie talks about a story about a young teacher looking for her poor dropped student and getting him back to school around 1990s in Chinese countryside. We were asked to watch this movie together in the auditorium because the teachers wanted us to be aware that some kids were too poor to go to school and we should cherish our opportunities to receive education.

No one can deny that economic ability is one step stone to the access of education. We talked about open access, connected learning, but how about the kids that are too poor to get accessibility or too poor to be connected? From 2008, the Chinese government pay for all the tuition and books for all school-age kid from the first grade to the 9th grade. The free education for primary and secondary school attract back millions of poor students back to school.  College students can take loans without interest, and brilliant young scholars can get the scholarships to study abroad. Financial assist does improve education accessibility.

But, let us look at the high college drop rate in developed US. In the blog titled “Setting Students’ Minds on Fire” By Mark C. Carnes, President Obama stated in 2010, “more than a third of America’s college students fail to earn degrees“. Do the students drop because they cannot afford the tuition? Yes, the expense to go to college in the US is unexpected high but this is not the only or primary reason, since students are eligible to work part-times, take loans, win scholarships and all sources of financial aid. Why they still drop before they get degrees?

Think about the football tickets when Virginia Tech played with Ohio State at the Lane Stadium. From my view on Facebook, they are no less than $200 for a non-student ticket. Big football fans will still get it by borrowing money from family or friends or raising money from strangers, even if as nearly-bankrupted college students they do not have $200 in their pocket or bank account. Why did not my advisor who earns $100,000 per year buy only one ticket? Because she did not like football games at all! She would rather spend $20,000 on her vocation to Florida and swim with Manatees instead of $200 on a football ticket. It is a matter of whether you consider it worth or not when you can afford but you do not buy it.

The students with full access to all sorts of financial aid but still quit college share the same reason. They do not think it is worthy to receive college education. It is understandable. We all know there are plenty of problems in higher education, it is hard and pressure-burn to carry a huge student loan, or maybe simply they cannot see a direct input and output from college, and they still do not figure out their life puzzle. Educators are trying to improve the quality of higher education; government are putting more education budget to help out students financially; public media are promoting the short and long term salary increase with a college degree. What else we can do to help those kids who are in chaos?

No push, no rush. Maybe we can let them enjoy their gap year or gap years as volunteers, experience how it feels with full time work even as waiters or labor workers, or play video games even doing nothing. When they realized they lack the skills to make a better and meaningful life, they will come back to school and learn and strengthen themselves. The society or community should provide the opportunity for them to come back. When they come back, they will be more motived since they know what are they interested in and what they should learn. Not only the schools admitting older students, government providing financial aid to them and their family, but they need emotional or spiritual encouragement and more. For example, Virginia Tech Graduate School arranges over 30 casual picnic, and provide free weekly drop-in child care for VT students with children who need a break or have to study or attend a lecture or want to catch up on work.

I wish everyone who drops or quits but wants to go back to college can have the access to receive higher education. I consider this as an important part of accessibility to education.


the true motivetion


The video from Dan Pink left me with into thinking.

The result of the study by MIT and the one in India is consistent with my own experience on test to some extent. I always did not get a good results on me test as I expected or my teachers expected. I am not nervous, or in a huge tension during the test. My heart beat normal, and my body temperature was normal. I feel like I was doing a homework at my cozy room during the test. Why I always did not perform well? Because I cannot concentrate very well. I was thinking about the reward if I had a high score rather than focus on solving the test problems. Bigger reward equals to bigger un-success if you fail. Of course the test is weighed much more in my final grade than a simple homework. I was intimated to fail on the test, so I got distracted during the test which led to poor performance compare to what I did in my homework or in class. The risk of failure constrains my mind and my ability to work out the problem.

Motivation is related to self-consciouness. If it is only money driven, it is easier to cross the ethical border compared with responsibility associated. Think about the Chinese milk scandal on Melamine in 2008. After consuming the formula milk powder with more melamine than national standard, six infants died from kidney damage with an estimated 54,000 babies being treated in the hospitals as reported by the Chinese government. Melamine can function as an addictive to increase the nitrogen content in milk, which was used to estimate the protein content by the milk industry at that time. The milk powder producer Sanlu Group was bankrupted after this breakout. The public think they deserved it, since this profit-driven company bought the milk added with extra melamine and they lack of supervision and management on the source of the raw milk. If they were a little more responsible on their product, if they did not lower the price of buying raw milk and indirectly to force the farmers to add melamine in milk diluted with water, if their motivation was more on to provide a health supplement to babies, like all parents will feed the most nutritious food to their baby, this disaster would not happen. This is a very sad lesson in Chinese food industry, and arose the public concern on food safety to an exceptional high point.

Hope my post can initiate your deeper thoughts on how true motivation drives us to the good outputs.


Reflects on Ken Robinson’s video: How to escape education’s death valley

We watched the TED video How to escape education’s death valley by Ken Robinson this Wednesday. When he came to the point of no students should be left behind and human beings are inherent of creative, it reminds me of my exchange experience in University of Helsinki, Finland during my junior year.

The professor in Food Micro lab surprised me at the first class. He asked which language we would prefer when he was teaching, and our options are English, Finnish (the native language in Finland), and Swedish. As all the students were finish people except me as a Chinese student, we agreed to use English in class, but Finnish students can choose all three languages to write the lab report. All students were required to use English in slides and presentations. If the professor lacks the ability to use English, my accessibility to this class would be very limited. His professional English gave me the chance to enrol in this class and explore the world of Food Microbiology. More surprisingly, he always said some simple Chinese greeting sentences before or after class, which made me less homesick and feel more about being supported. It is not easy to study abroad, especially with less native people around (there are about 5000 Chinese in total in Finland). But every time the Finnish people speak Chinese, I felt warm and their friendliness, and respect to my culture.

Many of you may heard of the story of Tower of Babel.  Language should not be a barrie between students and learning. Both students and instructors should put efforts to minimize it. From my personal perspective, uploading the slides or notes is very helpful instead of only talking and writing on the blackboard. It can be very difficult to read hand writing.

Another professor left me a deep impression was the professor in Academic Writing. Most of the students in that class were greaduate student, and the assignments was to write a research proposal and peer reviewing in class. As a junior, I did not know much about research proposal and I did not see why I need to write a research proposal. But I knew that I need to develop my skills to written English, and know more about the language used in academic. So I talked with my professor, and he suggested I can write a personal statement and curriculum vitae for my graduate school application as I would apply soon. I was very happy with that, because the getting into graduate school was more important to me at that point. I will probably never need to write a proposal if I failed to get into graduate school and got a job after college. The composing of personal statement and curriculum vitae also drilled my skills to write professionally. The customized assignment and flexibility benefited me more than the standardized tasks.

I really valued my education experience in Finland, and it was my first time abroad but not bad, even not close to at any point. The value and need of individual student was recognized and respected.


How education is connected amazed me

I am very pleased to become a member of the GEDI learning community at my second year in graduate school. All the information we shared and the discussions in the classroom open my eyes to the current trend of higher education. The closely connected environment and accessibility of resources shock me as a young researcher.

I work in the Enology and Fermentation lab in Department of Food Science and Technology, analyzing the chemical component of  grape and apple juice, and of course wine and hard cider that everyone likes. My special interest falls into the health-beneficial compound group, the polyphenols. From my research world, the connection and accessibility are well demonstrated in a comprehensive database on polyphenol content in foods, called Phenol-Explorer. With this database, I am able to compare my results to other results of researchers around the world. All together, we are building the database with structures of the discoverd polyphenol structure and content in a variety of food by each individual effort. Until June this year, 500 different polyphenols are presented in the database as well as their over 35,000 content values  in more than 400 foods. All these information comes from more than 1,300 scientific publications. One single small brick does count in this magnificent structure!

I am taking GEOG 1024 World Regions by Professor John Boyer, the most popular class at Virginia Tech. What surprises me not only is his enthusiasm of teaching, but also his teaching philosophy of Accessibility and Relevance, and more surprisingly, the muilt-media platforms in this online course. We interact in Twitter, in the course management platform Moodle, and share information with iTunes, Youtube, and he holds office hours on Ustream. I even found his video courses translated into Chinese on Wangyi Open Course, a Chinese open course sharing platform. Just with a computer that connected into the Internet, a Chinese student who never come out of his or her village, and who cannot speak English, can explore the whole world with Professor Boyer on the other half of the planet!

I also would like to bring up a hot ongoing debate in China with the comparison of Chinese education style and British style. Five Chinese teachers from the best Chinese secondary schools were participated in an exchange program conducted by BBC, and they went to Bohunt School in Hampshire,  England and taught 15 students in 9th grade in Chinese teaching styles. Here is the documentary series, Are Our Kids Tough Enough? Chinese School. Because the whole world is connected, there is more need to open our mind, see different pedagogies around the world, and learn from each other.

I am looking forward to the new adventure with fellow GEDI knights this semester, and we, a strong team with a wide range of different backgrounds, will become more connected as the class discussions becoming deeper and deeper.




Improving Higher Ed

Write a blog post about one thing you believe should change in higher education.

I think China should change the format of college entrance exam.

On June 5th, 6th, and 7th every year, these are the most important dates in Chinese families, even compared to the Chinese New Year festival, because of the national wide College Entrance Exam. More police will be on the street to clear the traffic around the schools where student will take the exam, and if one car with student going to take the exam gets into the traffic jam, the car will appear like a emergency ambulance, and all the cars will give their way out to this car. All the ongoing constructions with noises will be forced to stop both day and night. Real ambulances will be waiting out side the exam rooms, incase any health issues with students or their parents. The real time news about the exam will occupy all the headlines of newspapers and webpages. The composition topic in Chinese will become the hottest topic across China once it has been released. All of these crazy things definitely happen each year on these 3 special days, as the College Entrance Exam is considered as the most important exam in every Chinese’s life.

Nowadays, some provinces can make their own exams, but in general, students will take Chinese (150 points, 2 and a half hours ), English (150 points,2 and a half hours), English (150 points, 2 and a half hours), and either General Science (300 points, 3 hours, including Chemistry, Physics, and Biology) or General Liberal Art (150 points, 3 hours, including Political Sciences, History, Geography). Within one month, every province will select the teachers from high school and take them to a isolated and secret place, and the selected teachers will grade all the exams in that province. One month later, the grades release. That is the most intense moment to every candidate and their family. Depending on the scores and rankings, the students will apply to an appropriate university. All the highest scores, lowest scores, average scores, numbers of admitted students and other admission statistics of the past a few years are published in a manual for the students as reference. The admission plan of each majors in every university are also open to public. The real application is only the total score of the College Entrance Exam. The university will rank all the scores from all applicants and selects the students with highest scores to meet their new student schedule. One exam will determine whether student get the ticket to get in their dream university or not. If failed, the students need to wait a whole year and take the exam again.

The system needs to be changed. Many aspects, not only the scores, should be evaluated on the potential talent of students. The transcript from high school, reference letters, and personal statement on why you choose the university and major and the plan after graduation should all be took into account. They are difficult to operate in China, since the population of exam takers is huge. But we need to think about it and gradually change it, to give more chance for the student to get better high education, to relieve the pressure from the College Entrance Exam on both student and their family, and to select the best students to receive the higher education.

Scholarly Essay_Sihui

As discussed and agreed by Dean DePauw on April, 1, 2015, I will cover the difference of higher education among China, United States, and Finland based on my own experience.

Part 1 How to Get in University: China, Finland, and the United States

The Chinese College Entrance Exam system has be described in the post named “Improving Higher Education”. I would like to introduce the College Entrance Exam in Finland. It is a nation wide exam as well, and all the high school graduate students take the same exam on the same day. The exam is held twice a year, one in the fall, and one in the spring. There are 4 subjects in total, and native language test is compulsory. But students can choose the best language they master among Finish, Swedish or Sami. For the other three subjects, students can choose from Finish or Swedish, other foreign languages, math, and general studies (sciences or liberal arts). Students can not only choose which subject of the exam to take, but can also choose the difficulty of the exam. For subject math, Finish or Swedish, and other foreign languages, a easier version and a harder version are provided. But students are required to take at least one harder version of the subject. For the students who pass the test but not satisfied with their scores, they can re-take the exams as mangy times as they want or until they are satisfied with their scores, except the native language test.

The atmosphere of the College Entrance Exam is much more relaxing compared to that in China. Students in other grades will keep the normal educational activity, and no police, no headline news. Students can take food to the exam room, and can go to the bathroom during the exam, which are impossible in China. After the exam, every student will get a certificate of taking the exam of 7 levels depending on their performance in the exam. The certificate, together with the transcript from high school is the reference index for college admission.

Compared to China and Finland, the college admission in the United States is more complicated, since the admission office in universities will evaluate more aspects of the applicant. SAT score, personal statement, transcript from high school, resume, and extracurricular activities will all be taken into account. All these aspects will be evaluated, and best applicants will be the winners to get in the university.

Part 2 Financial Aid in Chinese University and Finland

The cost of higher education is always a concern for students and their family. Luckily, the tuition in most Chinese universities are not expensive. In general, the tuition for each academic year ranges from $500 to $1500 depending on the university and more important the major.

The tuition of normal education universities and majors are cheaper, since the government encourages young people to devote their career into education and it will pay part of the tuition for all the students who majored in. Some students in this major will sign a contract, stated that they will work in a fundamental education institution (elementary, secondary, and high school ) as a teacher for at least 2 years, and they get tuition waive in this way. The contracts encourage them to serve in institutions in less developed areas in China, such as west China.

For majors relating to agriculture, forestry, and fundamentals such as biology, chemistry, math and physics, the tuition is relatively cheaper too. For example, I paid $600 per year for major Food Science and Engineering in Northeast Forestry University. Every student in my major also got a stipend of $50 from Department of Forestry and Agriculture in Chinese government each semester, but the students in biology, chemistry, math and physics got a stipend of $80 from Department of Education each semester. They got the stipend because they are more likely to be a teacher after graduation, so the government supports them to get educated.

For majors art, design, computer engineering, medicine and more, they cost of their education is higher than other majors, so they paid more expensive tuition, normally more than $1000 per year. But this amount is also an affordable expensive for most Chinese families from my perspective. So most of students that I know do not take a student loan or work part time to pay for their tuition, and our parents will pay for that.

But there are family that cannot afford their children to receive higher education, and students will can get student loans from the government without interest. After providing the wealth certificate of the family, and the leader of family proving that they are under poverty, the students from this family can get the loan covering their tuition and basic living expense. These students least likely go to graduate school after undergraduate graduation, because they need a job immediately to pay off the debit. I had a talented roommate during my undergraduate, and she took the loan and worked as a tutor for several students during night and weekends. She wish she can get further education, but the needs to pay off the debits and her parents’s wanting her to support their family drove her to find a highly paid job, as a sales representative, even not relating to our major. I feel sad for her, and I wish her to get back to graduate school at some point, although getting back to school after work is much more difficult in China than in the United States.

Besides tuition, the expense of living is quite cheaper in Chinese universities. Most students will live in the dorms on campus, and it costs $100 to $500 per year depending on the quality of the dorms. But most university will only have one type of dorm, and students have no options. I paid $100 per year living in a room shared with other 7 female students during my undergraduate, and it was an old dorm. We sleep in the same room, and everyone has her own bed provided by the university. There are 20 rooms on each floor, and we share 5 bathrooms (no shower) and about 10 taps. All the students take shower at the same place, and there are 2 very big shower room for females and males separately for the whole university. We paid $0.1 cent per minute for the hot running water, and the student ID put in the device before showering will record that. Some newly built university provides better dorms, and 4 or 6 students sharing one room is most common in Chinese universities.

Following are pictures of a fashioned dorm (1) and a tradition dorm in China (2).



Students are not required to eat on campus, since there are more delicious and all kinds of food outside but near campus. Students prefer to eat off campus, because there are more delicious options to choose. We do not have dining plans, and we pay the food directly, about $1-$2 for a really nice meal. Following is the image of the dining hall in Northeast Forestry University (3).


The books in China are much less cheaper than in the United States, around $10. We also get used books for more cheaper prices. The gyms are normally free to students, and the buses on campus are also free. These are all the expensive that I can think of for a undergraduate in China.

Most scholarships are need-based, which means students who can prove their family is poor and also get good grades can get the scholarship. Students from middle class level, or whose both parents have jobs, are only eligible for a few scholarships. In my undergraduate school, these students can only get one scholarship from the Chinese government, which is very competitive (only the best one student in my department for 2 semesters can get this one) and one scholarship with the highest only 100$ per semester from the university. But other students from poor families, are eligible for many scholarships provided by the industry or alumni with much higher amount of $500 each semester. The best student can not receive the scholarship more than once. I do not agree with the scholarship system in China, because it is unfair for the students who work hard and come from a not poor family. These students also need the scholarships to approve their talent and hard work. The evaluation on students who is eligible should not be conducted only on the family level, since students in universities are adults and we should make a living by ourselves. I agree that some scholarships go to students from poor families but the receipents should be above a certain level of their academic performance. Harding working and gifted students needs to be awarded no matter what kind of family they come from.  All the universities are strict about the ethic rules. If the students cheated in the exam, or broken other ethic rules, they lost the chance to get the scholarships for the whole undergraduate period.

For graduate studies, the tuition is higher, around $1500 or above. Before 2014, top 20% of the graduate students receive totally free education from our government, which means the tuition is waived and they get a stipend enough for living every month. The rest of the students with relatively worse performance need to pay the tuition and living expense by their own. But starting from 2014, all the students need to support themselves. There are scholarships for excellent students, and the students are evaluated on GPA and research performances and selected each semester. Only the best 10% students can get their total cost covered by scholarship, and 50% students get proportionally covered. I cannot tell it is right or wrong, since it has not been conducted for a long time.

For the students studying abroad, it depends on the programs. As undergraduate exchange programs, since most of these programs are the agreements between 2 universities, students need to cover the expense. But students want to pursue a PhD degree and visiting scholars can get the sponsorship from Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) (4) for whole tuition and living expense, even the 2 way air tickets. But the students who get the support need to sign a contract and agree to come back to China for serving 2 years after graduation, otherwise they need to pay off the money they get. The CSC prefers to support students who get admission in world famous universities and majoring in needed fields in China. The scholarships from CSC are great support for the students and benefit the higher education in China, since most students will come back and get faculty jobs in Chinese universities. Chinese universities favour to get in faculty with abroad degrees(5).

The Finish students are very lucky, because all the higher education is free in Finland. Students will also get a living stipend from government each month, and even the PhD students benefit from the student discounts in public transportation, meals in a chain restaurant around Finland, and the cheaper off-campus housing. There are no dorm on campus in the University of Helsinki, and I assume that most universities will not have on campus housing since it is a small country. The government support the students who study abroad, and I am not sure about the specific amount the government will pay, but they pay a similar amount compared to the cost of educating students study in Finland. Students need to cover the rest if the government do not provide enough financial support.

Part 3 General Student Experience in Chinese University

I attended Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China in 2010, majoring in Food Science and Engineering in College of Forestry. It is a 4-year undergraduate program with bachelor’s degree in Engineering. There are 60 students in each grade in my department, and about 300 students on the same grade as me in my college. One undergraduate advisor took care of the 300 students. He held a master degree in Philosophy from a top tier university in China, and the reason he got this job is that the university wants undergraduate advisor from better university to bring the advanced education pedagogy to our university.

All students take the same courses in our fields, but as an engineering students, we are required to take at least one course in art, history or politics each semester and we are free to choose which course we take. We graduate based on whether our credits meet the requirement. Most of our course are lecturing and lab. Generally, 80% of the scores are on the final exam, and 10% on homework, and 10% on attendance. I cannot compare the work load among China, Finland and the United States, since I use my second language to study when I am abroad.

Once the Chinese students get in a major, it is very difficult to change the major. During my undergraduate, only the best student at the end of freshman year get the precious to transfer to other majors. More and more universities build the bridge with foreign universities, and provide the chance for their students to study abroad. I got the chance as an exchange student in the University of Helsinki in my junior year. All the sophomore and junior students are eligible to apply, and TOEFL score, GPA are the preliminary evaluation. The second selecting round is interview in both Chinese and English, and the selected 3 students each year will be trained shortly. All the credits I gained in the University of Helsinki are transferable to Northeast Forestry University. I wish more programs like this are available to students and more funding will be provided.

Overall, the higher education in China, Finland and the United States are a lot different. I am appreciated that Northeast Forestry University, the University of Helsinki and Virginia Tech gave me the chance the experience the difference and educate me to a better one.