Greetings From China

A Columbia Law School student chronicles her term in Shanghai and the opportunity it presents to her, even though she's eager to see Alma Mater.

Tianyu Sun
December 07, 2020

This is part of a Columbia News series, titled Postcards, which invites members of the Columbia community who are living and teaching or studying abroad to send us updates on where they are, what they miss about not being on campus, and how they are making the most of their situation during this global pandemic.

Greetings from Shanghai, where I have been working remotely this fall term.

I wish I were on Columbia’s campus. I’m eager to spot the owl on the statue of Alma Mater. I thought I would be disappointed to not be there in person, but I want to share with you some silver linings.

I am originally from a small city in northeastern China, but I have been living in Shanghai for ten years, and most of that time I have been shackled to a desk inside of an office building. Studying law from afar has given me the opportunity to rediscover this great metropolis, the New York City of China.

Two women sitting in a WeWork office waiting room in Shanghai, China

This fall, while taking courses online  late at night and early in the morning, I have spent my days exploring the city. It’s been fun. Indeed, during the weekdays, there are fewer people in the gym, at cafes, and in the parks. For instance, one day I played tourist and went to Shanghai’s famous Guangfulin Park. It’s really been quite pleasant.

My favorite place is the Columbia Study Space at WeWork Shanghai. It’s a great place to study and meet other Columbians.

Still, I’m looking forward to entering those storied gates at 116th and Broadway. The first thing I’ll do when I get to campus is sit next to Alma and try to find that owl.

Stay well and safe everyone!

Tianyu Sun is studying for her Master of Laws at Columbia Law School.