The University of Iowa

Finding inspiration at the University of Iowa, more than 7,000 miles from home

June 8th, 2020
Yangyi (Edward) Luo

Yangyi (Edward) Luo

Yangyi (Edward) Luo’s journey into U.S. education started earlier than many students who study abroad. At the age of 15, he moved from China to Florida’s east coast to attend high school. Although young and living more than 7,000 miles from his home and family, Edward enjoyed his high school years. He attended a small school, which made getting to know other students easier. He also stayed active in track & field and basketball during high school, sports he had played since a child.

For the next step in his academic journey, Edward considered several U.S. universities and ultimately committed to the University of Iowa. “The University of Iowa is impressive, and I felt I would be comfortable living in Iowa City. Also, I’m an active person and was amazed by the recreation & wellness center. It’s not just one of the best fitness facilities I’ve ever seen; it is the best.”

Edward initially entered the University of Iowa as a business major but decided to modify his program of study at the end of his freshman year. “My parents had wanted me to focus on business, which is a great option, but I couldn’t see my future there. As I mentioned, I’ve always enjoyed an active lifestyle and was intrigued by the possibility of a career that focused on physical wellness. I decided to transfer into the kinesiology and exercise science program at the UI,” said Edward

A photo Edward took of Hancher lit up at night

Edward's photo of Hancher lit up at night

Edward admits the coursework was challenging and required him to completely commit to his studies, many times forgoing the typical social experiences of undergraduate students. When time allowed, he enjoyed taking photos and considers himself an amateur photographer.

For another rare break from studies, Edward chose to participate in the Bridging Domestic and Global Diversity leadership training program offered by International Programs. “I participated in the Spring 2020 program. It was a great program, really fun. Unfortunately, our sessions were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As Edward enters his senior year at the UI, he reflects on how several faculty have been instrumental to his academic success, including Professors Clayton Peterson, Michael Ward, and Katherine Mellen.

“These professors are all extremely knowledgable and very patient. Each has their own teaching style, yet all can convey very difficult concepts in a manner that not only helps students to comprehend but to see the subject matter for how interesting it is. I came to realize there is an art to their work.”

Edward is spending most of his time this summer studying for the GRE, with plans to pursue graduate school and eventually obtain a Ph.D. He hopes to teach at a university one day.