Omar Albert is an alumnus of the 2016 CLS Chinese program in Changchun, China. He is currently a senior at the City University of New York, Hunter College majoring in economics and Chinese. He is active on his campus, serving on Hunter’s senate and the executive board of multiple clubs. Next year he will participate in the Overseas Chinese Flagship Program at Nanjing University. A native of Queens, New York, you can often find Omar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during breaks from classes. Omar also enjoys practicing yoga, studying languages, and visiting the countless other museums around New York City.
Shortly after beginning my undergraduate career I fell in love with Chinese. I found it more difficult and rewarding than some of my other classes and I enjoyed the challenge. I also felt that learning Chinese would help me in my future career, as I hope to become a leader in improving Sino-American economic relations. Learning Chinese has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has brought an entire new world of ideas into my own perspective. Through my Chinese studies, I have been able to make new friends around the world, experience life in different cities, and get a competitive edge for internships and scholarships.
My most rewarding experience during the CLS Program was comforting my roommate in Mandarin after he got into an argument with his girlfriend. I felt gratified because I had never been able to use another language to help comfort someone before. I talked him out of making rash decisions and he thanked me for it later. This not only brought us closer as friends but also proved to me that my Mandarin proficiency had dramatically increased.
Stepping Up as a Leader
Being an orphan, I am used to living on my own. However, many of the other students on the program had difficulty adjusting to being on their own in another country. During the program I spoke to multiple students about the frustrations of being on your own and helped them through these rough patches.
In a Word…
One of my favorite Chinese sayings is“有一利必有一弊”, which means “every good thing has its faults.” It reminds me that obstacles are found everywhere, even in the good parts of life, so it is important to stay resilient and persevere.