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Grace Fan

Grace Fan: Understanding Countries Through an Economic Lens

Originally from California, Grace Fan is finishing her last year at the University High School in California. Previously, she has traveled back and forth between China and the U.S., which fuels her interest in global economics and understanding political relationships among countries. Following her senior year, she hopes to attend college and major in political science.

Why did you choose to attend Columbia University's New York City Summer Immersion program?

I wanted to see if I liked global economics and wanted to find the right major for college. I looked at many different summer programs, and Columbia’s seemed to be the best fit. It had a good balance between academic rigor and summer life. Though the curriculum is academically rigorous, program itself offers a lot of activities to do around New York and provided me a great opportunity to make new friends.

"It’s crazy how in three weeks I was able to make so many new friends!"

Which course did you take?

I took the Global Economics course. We were introduced to the concept of commodities and international trade networks and talked about economic patterns found throughout history. We participated in a mock trade summit and debated as different countries. Many different guest speakers came in and talked about global issues such as China’s one-child policy, disappearing natural resources, and many more.

What interests you the most about global economics?

What I like most is the environmental and political aspect. Though I do appreciate business, I am very passionate about environmental policies and politics between nations. The interconnectedness of our world is truly fascinating to me and I’d love to pursue the field in college.

What was your most memorable experience at Columbia?

I realized how even though countries seem to be very separate from each other, they are all globally connected by the international trade network. All economies are heavily dependent on each other. It’s amazing to see how complicated and intricate our economy is. I also really enjoyed getting know people from different countries. Even though we grew up in very diverse backgrounds, we were able to click instantly and enjoy our time exploring New York. It’s crazy how in three weeks I was able to make so many new friends!