Three Penn students were awarded the Schwarzman Scholarship, which fully covers fees related to a master's degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing for one year.
Wharton senior Dotun Adejare, Wharton and Engineering senior Johnathan Chen, and Zhongyuan "Echo" Zeng, a candidate for a master's in city planning, received the scholarship last month. They were among 147 recipients hailing from 38 countries and 119 universities who were selected from a pool of more than 2,800 applicants.
The fellowship, founded by Blackstone co-founder Stephen Schwarzman in 2016, covers all expenses, including tuition, room and board, and travel fees. As part of their studies, students take classes in Chinese language and history, participate in leadership training workshops, and explore China through a field-based course.
Adejare said the chance to learn about China firsthand was one of the main reasons he applied for the fellowship.
“One thing about being in the [United States] and reading about China through news and through media is that information has been filtered through another source that summarizes it for you,” Adejare said. “I'm really interested in going to China, talking to people in a primary source perspective, and really knowing what's actually happening in the region.”
The scholarship also gives students a chance to delve into their chosen fields while living in China. Zeng, who is from China and first visited Schwarzman College — a residential college of Tsinghua University — two years ago, said she applied because of the opportunity to learn about Chinese development through traditional classroom learning as well as internships and field trips.
“[Students] identify an area, an individual, an organization, or an institution in which they want to learn more about how China does it,” Wallace Genser, senior associate director for fellowships at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, said. “They then spend that month working with that group or that industry field and are mentored in that experience and then write up a report.”
Genser also said one of the main goals of the Schwarzman Scholarship is to help students connect with the country and its culture.
“The scholarship combines academic degree through a master's program with an experiential opportunity to explore how students can connect their work to opportunities in China,” Genser said.