WH, CAS '23 Stacy Shimanuki

Smiling student sitting on a hill overlooking a city in the background
WH, College '23, OIDD & International Studies
Study in China;
Travel, Internship, & Research in Singapore & Taiwan

My gap year experience:

I chose to take my first gap year (pre-Penn) because an incredible opportunity came up - the chance to live and study in Beijing for a year fully-funded through National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) - and I chose to seize that opportunity. Doing that once expanded my perspective on what was possible - and what you could make possible, so when COVID seemed like it would disrupt my education, I chose to create my own opportunities and craft a year of working, studying, researching, and traveling in Taipei and Singapore - which ended up being the experience of a lifetime and one of the best decisions I have made as of yet.

Blog: https://worldtbdiscovered.wordpress.com/

Highlights from my gap year:

  • Becoming instant friends with my work exchange mates at a beach hostel

  • Biking the entire perimeter of Orchid Island/Lanyu in a day

  • Hiking with strangers in the Taroko Gorge national park

  • Visiting the island of Pulau Ubin

  • Finding a close ex-pat student community in Taipei

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