When I went into the campus of Columbia University, I shocked by the amazing buildings which are full of history. Because of the language program I took, every classes were given in Lewisohn building. There was a three-hour class every morning and sometimes there was a class in the afternoon. There are eleven students in our class and three teachers were responsible for giving us lessons. The topic of our group was the research and discussion on environmental issues. Every day, the class discussed various kinds of environmental problems. It included writing the paper and preparing the speech. At the end of the project, there was a presentation, which needed to be given to teachers and students. We had been preparing for this speech and paper all month.
In our class, the teacher would ask students to discuss problems in groups, and also played TED talks for listening exercises. Teachers encouraged students to talk more and helped them correct their mistakes. Our homework was handed down by a system: Cavas. After the teacher posted the assignment to Cavas, students could check it out and submit it.Almost all homework required a computer.
Through my study in Columbia University, I deeply realized the high-level education under the American model. I can feel the difference between American education and Chinese education no matter it is small class teaching or thesis speech. American schools pay more attention to the cultivation of individual ability and team spirit. When we were in the class, the teacher encouraged us to open our minds and imagine bravely. For example, in one class, the teacher asked us to discuss in groups, choose an environmental problem, develop a product to alleviate this problem, draw the product and show it to everyone, and make a speech to explain why this product can be developed. I think the cultivation of this aspect is the reason for the high level of education in the United States, and China needs to learn from the United States. Personal knowledge is important, but what is more important is how to integrate into the society, how to integrate into the team, how to cooperate with others to achieve the highest efficiency. Blindly learning textbook knowledge is single and undesirable.
Another thing that impressed me most is the diversity of course contents. In class, we not only learnt from textbooks, but also learnt from various online resources, such as TED talks, official government websites, etc. At the same time, we also were arranged to visit and research museums that relative to our topic in New York City, and participated in lectures and discussions gave by experts or relevant researchers. I think this kind of study is very comprehensive and vivid, which is very conducive to arousing students' interest. During the one-month study in Columbia University, I mastered the writing method of the paper, the basic use of English and the skills of giving speech. Personally, the most useful thing is that I learned how to express my ideas in English and how to chat and discuss with others in English. In general, this learning experience not only improved my personal ability, but also made me realize the gap between China and America. It also made me understand what I want in the future and made my goal clear.
Living in the most prosperous city in the world makes me feel like living in the future.
Despite of the narrow street in New York City, there are a lot of people hanging around. The Street distribution in New York is very interesting. Take Manhattan for example, the north-south road is Avenue and the east-west road is Street. Shops and homes line the streets. People like to chat or drink on the roadside, where residents walking their dogs can be seen everywhere. When night comes, the real New York City begins to wake up. Climb to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, and all of Manhattan is in view. Bright New York seems like a city of the future. All kinds of tall buildings and pedestrians make up the most prosperous city in the world -- New York.
Living in such a bustling and vibrant city is really fascinating. Unfortunately, New York is not a good place for me to live, because the prices are too high. But New York City is definitely a place to visit and experience the pace of New Yorker’s life, what’s more, to feel the inclusion and diversity in the center of the world. There isn’t a place as futuristic and historic as New York. In whether area of fashion or finance, New York is always at the forefront of the world.