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WKU Student: From China to the United Nations

Wenzhou Kean University student Yichen Wang and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus

Wenzhou Kean University student Yichen Wang, studying at Kean's Union campus this semester, poses with Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus at a United Nations event.

Yichen Wang wants to work at the United Nations after graduation, but she’s already had a chance to speak up during a General Assembly event.

The Wenzhou-Kean University student, who is studying at Kean USA this semester, recently discussed sustainable development goals around issues like gender inequality and education at a student event at the U.N. in Manhattan.

Wang, an international accounting major, said she saw the presidents of France and Canada, and narrowly missed seeing President Trump — her meeting was in a room next to the General Assembly where he spoke that day.

“It’s so exciting to see the real people, after you see them on TV,” said Wang, WKU Class of 2020. “It was so exciting. I’ve seen the U.N. building in pictures, but I had never been there.”

Wang learned about the event while attending a similar youth forum on climate change in Germany this spring. Also attending the U.N. event were 27 other students from different Chinese universities, and some students from Columbia University in New York.

The half-day event focused on topics such as technology, entrepreneurship and social business. Speakers included Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Advocate who pioneered the idea of microcredit to help poor entrepreneurs; Professor Rajesh Nair, director of the MIT Asia School of Business-Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center; and other international leaders.

“I got inspired, and I shared my views and my opinions on the topics,” Wang said. “The process of exchanging views is very important.”

Wang said she plans to go to graduate school and one day work for an international company or the U.N. The chance to easily travel into New York for such important cultural and academic activities is a big draw for Wang and others from WKU who are studying at Kean USA.

“Our WKU students have valuable learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom when they study at Kean USA,” said Felice Vazquez, the University’s special counsel and vice president for planning. “This experience is another example of the value that comes from such a global partnership.”

Ninety WKU students are currently studying at Kean USA.