Photos courtesy of Jeni Keung
Artist Jeni Keung poses in front of a carnival in Hong Kong. Keung said she chose Pepperdine because of her lifelong dream to study in Southern California.
First-year Jeni Keung is an international student from Hong Kong. Despite never physically visiting Los Angeles or the Pepperdine campus, Keung said she has wanted to attend a college in the United States since she visited the East Coast growing up.
“I just always wanted to live in the LA area, and that’s really one of the reasons why I chose Pepperdine,” Keung said. “All I need is a car.”
Due to the Hong Kong protests, COVID-19 and the cancellation of the International Baccalaureate examinations, Keung said her life has felt like summer since mid-March. To pass the time, Keung and her friends have kept themselves busy by painting and safely traveling around their home country.
“Hong Kong has a lot of mountains and beaches everywhere, so we just went there all the time,” Keung said. “We would do crazy things because we had all the time in the world.”
Along with painting, Keung said some of her other talents include songwriting and playing the piano.
Although she is majoring in Computer Science, Keung said she hopes to someday build a freelance career with her art and music. She believes the LA community is the perfect place to make her freelancing dreams a reality.
Due to the difficult 15-hour time difference between Hong Kong and California, Keung said she goes to sleep around 5 p.m. HKT and wakes up around 1 a.m. to start online classes. Although international students have the option to watch prerecorded classes, Keung said she prefers attending live classes because she enjoys the feeling of being a part of class.
“I’m basically nocturnal now,” Keung said.
Keung said once COVID-19 is no longer a threat, she is excited to be on Pepperdine’s campus and create real and lasting friendships with other students. In the meantime, Keung plans on joining a club or rushing a sorority to find a sense of belonging and community during the virtual fall semester.
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