International Student Spotlight: Leaf Ma ’18

The Class of 2021 comprises students from twenty-seven countries. During the spring semester, the photography exhibition Home Away from Home? in David Saul Smith Union featured portraits of a number of these students. The pictures were accompanied by essays about what it’s like to study at Bowdoin when you’re often thousands of miles from home and family.

Over the summer, we’ll be publishing a selection of those photographs with the accompanying essays, and today the spotlight is on recent graduate Leaf Ma ’18 from China.

Leaf Ma ’18, in front of a picture Chaoyang Park, Beijing. Photo: Shinhee Kang ’18

I was born and raised in Beijing, China. When I think of Beijing, I think of my family and friends, the streets I used to pass by every day to school, and the cheap, tasty food on the street. I miss my grandma’s cooking the most, especially her 韭菜盒子 (pan-fried leek dumplings).

The place in my backdrop is an amusement park near my home. I used to hang out there when I was a kid. As a senior at Bowdoin, I feel more at home now than when I first came here because I become more and more connected with my friends at Bowdoin. But my definition of home has never changed.

The exhibition Home Away from Home? was initiated, cocurated, and organized by Shinhee Kang’ 18 and Cheng-Chun (Kevin) Yu’ 19.

thumb: