ASN Profile: Nina Wu’s BFSU American Studies Experience

July 23, 2018


Nina Wu is in her first year of the American Studies graduate program at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU). As an undergraduate, she knew she wanted to major in area studies because of her interest in the discipline’s approach of analyzing different regions. After selecting a course entitled “American Culture and Society,” she became exposed to the study of America in an academic setting.

Wu explained that while taking this class, she was “immediately attracted to the diversity and ideals in American culture.”

“I am intrigued by the constant pursuit of progress in American society,” she said.

In Wu’s third year at the university, she had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program at Barnard College in New York City. Through this experience, she developed “a very personal connection to America.” It allowed her to compare her observations of race relations in the United States with her own experiences of racial discrimination in China and it inspired her to dig deeper into the study of race and culture in America.

Wu (First Row, First from the Left) primarily focuses on critical analysis of American culture. In her opinion this includes a diverse array of topics: for example, she recently wrote a paper on the mass consumption of cupcakes in America. She is also interested in issues of political correctness and cultural exchange. Recently, Wu decided to write her thesis on American students’ study abroad experiences in China. “As a Chinese student who studied in America, I need to see what it is like the other way around,” she said.

The American studies program in which Wu is enrolled at Beijing Foreign Studies University is ideal for her because the students can follow different tracks: politics, society, or culture.  “The major [goal] for American studies programs in China is to cultivate talent for the development of US-Sino relations,” she said. “My interest, on the other hand, is in American culture and society, not just politics or the economy.”

Wu explained that when she tells peers she is in an American studies program, they are very interested in the multidisciplinary approach of the field, which she believes is its strength. American studies experts make use of sociological, historical, and anthropological methods to conduct research, making the discipline more diverse than many others in China or the US.

In the future, Wu would like to be a teacher. After graduating from her master’s program, she hopes to pursue a PhD in education in order to work at an international school. “I want to use my knowledge of America to teach content courses on American studies,” she said.

American Studies lies at the core of USCET’s organizational mission. This profile is part of a series to highlight various students across China who are majoring in American Studies and who plan to use it in their careers. 



Nina Wu是北京外国语大学研一的学生,主修美国研究。当她还在读本科的时候,她就知道自己想主修区域研究,因为她对该学科分析不同区域的方法很感兴趣。在选择了一门名为“美国文化与社会”的课程后,她开始接触美国研究。