The ELI Student of the Month series is designed to honor students who demonstrates outstanding commitment and enthusiasm in ELI courses. 

Meet Chongxing Fan, the December 2019 ELI Student of the Month. Chongxing was nominated by Pamela Bogart for his proactivity about research, learning, and building community. While taking ELI 531 (Language and Communication), Chongxing created a small, warm, caring international daily email group that has engaged both graduate and undergraduate students at U-M with graduate students internationally. In doing so, he has offered opportunities for intercultural friendship, advice-seeking, commiseration, and inspiration.

Name: Chongxing Fan

Home Country: China

Degree Program and Area of Research: PhD in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, research focus is on Atmospheric Radiation and Climate

What inspired you to take a class at the English Language Institute? When I arrived here this summer, one of the senior students in our group suggested for me to enroll in ELI classes. He said that the atmosphere is great, the instructors are very nice, he can meet new friends, and it is kind of taking a deep breath after doing tough research in the office. Also because I wanted to have some systematic improvement in speaking and writing, I sketched a plan to take some speaking and writing courses within the first 2-3 years.

What have you enjoyed the most about your class? Why? I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in my class. Being able to speak fluently and write logically in English is a skill. The key to master it is to practice. My instructor Pamela encouraged us to practice, both in class and after class. Her passion drives me to even make a full self-study plan to improve my English after class, on a daily basis. Pamela also provided many excellent resources to support my plan, with her warm encouragement.

What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan? Dive into science. I plan to continue my scientific research as a post-doc somewhere and finally become a researcher in my field. Hopefully, I could be a professor in the future, since I'd also love to teach people.

What advice would you give to other international students at U-M? I might not be able to provide specific advice because everyone is different and prefers some different ways to learn new things. In general, I would highly recommend taking advantage of the resources available. Take an ELI class and arrange appointments with these helpful and lovely teachers. One more thing to add is that since Pamela mentioned about the email group, if you want to join us to practice writing your daily life at any frequency you want, or just want to read stories, feel free to email me!