UC San Diego International Student Profile: Yi Zu

My name is Yi Zu. I was born in Beijing and grew up in Turin, Italy. I graduated from Boston University in 2017 with two bachelor degrees: B.A. in Economics and B.S.B.A. in General Management. I was a Market Researcher for New Alchemy, a cryptocurrency and security consulting company, and developed a passion for front-end and web technologies. I am enrolled in the University and Professional Studies program through UC San Diego Extension and my goal is to get a front-end web development internship or job in the summer of 2019.

Why did you come to UC San Diego?
I want to become a web developer and UC San Diego offers many courses in computer science and cognitive science. The academic experience so far has been a fulfilling learning experience. I was impressed by the computer science department because of the many resources available to students. Most importantly, the professors’ research and work experience have been fascinating and sources of energizing conversations. I was also impressed by the cognitive science department because they are the pioneers of the field and offer many front-end related courses that align with my professional goal.

What do you like most about San Diego so far?
Definitely the weather. After living in Boston for 5 years, I fervently desire a warm climate year-round because I love doing outdoor activities. The beautiful scenery across the coast of San Diego is something that I will never get tired of. The sunset views from La Jolla Shores and Torrey Pines State Reserve have been blissful moments that made me grateful for having the opportunity of studying and enjoying this gorgeous city. Unsurprisingly, with warm weather comes warm people; everyone that I have met so far has been friendly and open for conversations. The open-mindedness and diversity of people in San Diego has been another factor that I have cherished so far. I can see why San Diego is considered “America’s Finest City”.

What do you wish you knew before coming to San Diego?
All the beautiful hikes that you can do.

What are your hobbies?
I love programming and building products from scratch because it gives me an empowering feeling that my creation can potentially mitigate problems or make someone else’s life better. In my free time, I like powerlifting, playing soccer, going to sport and music events, traveling and seeing new places.

What are your weekend activities?
Powerlifting, playing soccer at one of the UCSD fields, relaxing at Pacific Beach, hiking, trying out new restaurants, hanging out and getting drinks with friends. I recently signed up for surfing classes through UCSD Recreation so I am excited to learn how to surf. We are in San Diego after all.

What is your favorite food you’ve tried in San Diego? What is your favorite cuisine?
Tacos at Fat Fish Cantina Grill in Pacific Beach were delicious! My favorite dish is lasagna with Bolognese sauce. The juicy and creamy meat sauce makes the dish taste superb! Side note, my mum makes amazing lasagna so if you see this article mum, I love you!

Where do you go around San Diego that reminds you or helps you identify with home?
Little Italy reminds me of when I grew up in Italy because of the Italian restaurants and people in that neighborhood. In terms of my Chinese side, I had a déjà vu of Chinese supermarkets when I went to 99 Ranch Market in Clairemont. Being able to find authentic Chinese products abroad was a blessing and a grateful moment.

What else do you want to do in San Diego?
I briefly visited Balboa Park through UCSD’s bus tour and I am planning to further explore the beautiful scenery of the park. I still want to hike Potato Chip Rock and check out the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

What tips do you have for other students?
For international students, I recommend branching out and building relationships with people other than your nationality so that you can practice your English and learn from different cultures. Being at UCSD is a unique opportunity of discovering and meeting new and interesting people. Stepping out of your comfort zone will enrich you both personally and professionally. Take advantage of this while you are abroad.

Learning how to say no is also a “skill” that you need to learn. With so many events going on, make sure that your academics are solid before committing to many events. The pace is fast and for many classes it means having a midterm on the third week of classes. Therefore, knowing how to balance fun and academics is crucial for succeeding at UCSD.

Thank you for taking your time to read my interview. I hope some of this information will help you make your decision to come to UCSD, go Tritons!


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