Recent Carnegie Mellon University graduate Haider Nazir has been accepted to the Yenching Academy of Peking University.
The Yenching Academy works to build bridges between China and the rest of the world by bringing together high-achieving students who have demonstrated a talent for leadership and innovation. This year 119 students were chosen for the award, and Nazir is the first student from CMU to receive this honor.
With the award, Nazir, who graduated with majors in global and Chinese studies and a minor in religious studies, will embark on a fully funded two-year interdisciplinary master’s program in China studies. He plans to study law with a concentration in politics and international relations with the aim of becoming a public diplomacy officer for the U.S. State Department.
“Peking is a very unique place in China’s history. It’s been home to many democratic movements,” Nazir said. “What resonates with me the most is that social movements begin at the bottom with students and grassroots efforts. Peking and Yenching have leading scholars in their fields along with technology and resources. You have access to one of the largest libraries in the world. The students who come in are coming from different interdisciplinary backgrounds.”
The Yenching honor is one of two Nazir had to choose between this year. He also was awarded a Fulbright Award to teach English in Taiwan but declined.
“The Fulbright is also an amazing opportunity, and I hope to apply for a Fulbright award again in the future,” he said. “One of the reasons I chose Yenching over Fulbright was that I felt I could learn more about Chinese public and foreign policy, which would serve me more in the long run in terms of pursuing my goals.”
Nazir spent the summer of 2019 in Taiwan as part of the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship program. In 2017 he received a Freeman Asia Scholarship to study in China through CMU’s Shanghai International Studies University program.