Cinny Lin ‘22: An Experience Collector

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Hailing from Taipei, Cinny Lin ‘22,  always had aspirations to study in the US. But during junior year of high school, the realities of high tuition costs and the far distance from home began to set in.  It was during an admissions visit to her high school that she learned about NYU Shanghai. To her, it was a perfect fit. She is a member of the class of 2022 and is a Zhang Xiaoqi & Cheung Kwok Ching Education Fund for Global Future Scholarship recipient.


This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 


Tell me about the process of choosing your major. 
Before I arrived at NYU Shanghai, I thought I wanted to do the self-designed honors major, because I just wanted to study everything! I then realized that the data science major would allow me to learn analytical skills, which is applicable to the other academic topics I am interested in, so I started down that path. 

Do you feel like NYU Shanghai allows you to study a diverse range of topics? 
Yes! The data science major allows me to explore a wide range of potential career opportunities. There are a lot of tracks you can focus on, such as finance, psychology, and mathematics, just to name a few. 

So what else keeps you busy on campus besides your studies? 
I joined TAMID at the beginning of my university experience. It’s a program that has two tracks, investing and consulting, and I was most interested in the consulting track. There was the opportunity to win a fellowship to Israel for a summer internship, and I secured the fellowship placement for Summer 2019, leading to a summer filled with fun and enriching experiences.


On the old city walls in Jerusalem, Israel Summer 2019


You also participated in the LEAD initiative through student life, what was that like?
It was such an amazing experience. I feel like being in a ethnically and culturally diverse university has bred so much empathy and understanding, and this initiative encouraged dialogue beyond what was being discussed in classes. It allowed us to have deeper conversations with each other in an open and honest way on different topics. 

It’s been over a year since the pandemic started. How did it affect your semester? 
I have always wanted to visit as many countries as possible. But NYU Shanghai reframed that desire, teaching me that it's not how many countries you go to, but rather how many countries you reside in. Our university really allows you to have this immersive experience through the opportunity to study away… so when the emails started to come about the "go local" option, I had to seize this additional opportunity. I decided to go to London! Though because of how  the pandemic developed, I was only able to stay for a month and a half. 

Tell me more about London, even though it was short, it sounds like it was pretty impactful.
I have always been enchanted by London, feeling that it embodied not only the modernity found in the US but also the rich culture found in Europe. Starting my Spring 2020 semester in London was a “dream come true.” It was also the first time in my life that I was immersed in a completely English-speaking environment, and I had to do all my own cooking! Both of these were challenging but rewarding experiences.



With NYU Shanghai Classmates in Tel Aviv



Shortly after you returned from London, you started the project “Coronavirus Country.” What inspired you to start this research? 
One of my classmates told me as we were all getting ready to leave London that she felt it was not safe for her to return to her home country, and that made me realize I never even considered that some people’s home countries would not be safer than staying in London. This inspired me to want to learn more about different countries’ Coronavirus/pandemic responses, in addition to all of the exposure I had to different cultures, countries, and people through the Israel and London experiences. Posting them on Instagram was a way of holding myself accountable! It also allowed me to experience a wide array of media sources. 

Did your scholarship play a role in deciding on committing to NYU Shanghai? 
Yes, it played a huge part. My family could not afford for me to go to school in the US even though it was my dream. We were not sure we could even afford for me to attend NYU Shanghai, especially since I already had a full scholarship for a university in Taiwan, so to receive a scholarship here was so important. Additionally, the university provides access to student experiences like TAMID which are also funded.  I am so lucky to access all these opportunities NYU Shanghai has to offer, which would not have been possible if I had not received the scholarship from school.

Finally, what is your favorite thing about being a part of the NYU Shanghai community? 
The diversity of the people. Not just where they are from, but who they are and what has brought them to NYU Shanghai. This is the most important thing I have experienced here, and I am very grateful to have these connections. 

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