Chinese students find a new home together at Penn State Law

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State master of laws (LL.M.) students Muaitaer Abulaiti, Yang Hu, Wangyue Ma, Xin Wen and Wen Zhang all come from different parts of China.

They have different goals and aspirations, different backgrounds and life experiences, and different academic interests. But they all agree on one thing: Their decision to come to Penn State Law was the right one.

“If I had friends who were considering an LL.M. program, I would tell them to come to Penn State Law,” Ma said. “There are so many unique things about this school—the academic environment, the people here, the students from all over the world, the beautiful scenery. Penn State is really the first choice for me, for so many reasons.”

Some things about Penn State Law appeal to each of these students equally. All five students came to Penn State through programs with their universities back in China, allowing them to easily integrate their time at Penn State Law into their studies back home.

They all enjoy how they can always approach their professors with questions or concerns, they all appreciate the generous financial aid they’ve received to study at Penn State Law, and they all agree that Penn State Law’s home in the “Happy Valley” of State College, Pennsylvania, really lives up to its name.

“The people here all so happy and polite,” Hu said. “Everyone here really knows how to enjoy life—I guess that’s why they call it ‘Happy Valley.’”

Other aspects of Penn State Law resonate with these students in different ways. Ma, who studied legal history at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing, is enthralled with the natural beauty, mountains, and forests surrounding the University Park campus.

“One of the reasons I chose to come to Penn State, besides the scholarship I received, is the natural environment here,” Ma said. “The fresh air, the spring, the beautiful mountains, the sunrises and sunsets; it’s really impressive to be able to study somewhere so beautiful.”

Wen, who came to Penn State from the Northwest University of Politics and Law in Xi'an, loves being a part of the international community and learning more about different cultures through getting to know her classmates from all over the world.

“Here at Penn State, I can talk to and get to know people from all different countries and backgrounds, which is teaching me a lot of things I didn’t know before,” Wen said. “One of my best friends is from Africa, and he’s taught me a lot about African culture and traditions, which I’ve really enjoyed learning.”

Abulaiti, who studied law at Shandong University in Shandong, enjoys the fact the LL.M. program isn’t separated from the rest of the school. She takes many of her classes alongside juris doctor students, which she said pushes her academically and gives her a much better sense of the American legal system.

“I could feel, even before I came here, that Penn State would be the perfect place to study,” Abulaiti said. “Everyone really cares about you and pays attention to you individually and your plans for your career.”

And Zhang, a student from China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, appreciates how the professors and administrators are always available to help her and answer questions. She also, much like Wen, is learning much about the world through her relationships with her classmates.

“I used to make friends in my neighborhood,” Zhang said. “Now I’ve made friends worldwide!”

Last Updated September 21, 2016