Meet Huizhong Wu: Pengyou Intern

Huizhong Wu is a CBC—China-born Chinese—raised in America. A soon-to-be sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, she’s glad to return to China after a 3-year hiatus and is looking forward to a summer of great food, great people and doing great work for Golden Bridges. Emphasis on the great food.

I am Chinese, but China, in many ways, is still a completely foreign country to me.

My name is Huizhong and I was born in Xi’an in Shanxi Province. I left China at the age of six and moved to the United States with my parents. I’m joining the team here at Project Pengyou with some Chinese skills, faded memories of my homeland, and newly developed ideas about the China I left so many years ago.

Since moving away from China, my life has been filled with a struggle between two cultures and two worlds where I never quite fit. But I’ve moved past the adolescent struggles and, like many Chinese-Americans my age, have taken an interest in my own culture again. A little belated perhaps, but I think this is a hallmark of the lives of many Chinese-American children.

So I started reading up a bit on China and listening to a lot of history podcasts. I also started taking Chinese formally in college. Once I started thinking about my plans for the summer, my thoughts settled on China. I haven’t been back since 2009 and a lot has changed since then. I wanted to see this new China.

I applied for an internship through a program at Penn and ended up being chosen for Project Pengyou. Having lived in both the U.S. and China, becoming an intern with Project Pengyou seemed like a perfect way to explore my interests and it also fit with my background. Having experienced, on a personal level, the clash between these two vastly different cultures, I appreciate how important a project like this is.

The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most vital for our future. I want to be part of this small but significant movement and help improve relations between the citizens of each country. I believe that Project Pengyou is operating in a vital area, working on building a community of Americans who appreciate China in all its multifaceted aspects.

This summer, along with my fellow interns Paul and Mariah, I’ll be helping to produce content for the new Project Pengyou website. I’ll be working on our Internet presence through social media avenues such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as our blog. I’ll also be helping to curate a selection of literature on Beijing and China, which will serve as a guide for all those English speakers who need a way to understand China without being completely overwhelmed.

In the seemingly tense relationship between the U.S. and China, Project Pengyou is a bright spot. And as Holly told us on our first day, we need to replicate bright spots. That’s what I’m here to work on this summer. 加油!