Meet Your Fellow International Anteater

The International Center is committed to facilitating an enriching college experience for the international community at UC Irvine. Meet Your Fellow Anteater is an opportunity for us to connect international students by highlighting the involvements, accomplishments, and experiences of the outstanding students in our community. Don't be afraid to say "hi" when you see your fellow anteater around campus. 


Feiyang Tao

Year : 2nd year graduate
Major : Biomedical and Translational Science
Home Country : China
Native Language : Mandarin Chinese and Japanese

1. What is your favorite American food/snack?

It's hard to choose only one as my favorite... to name a few:
Food - cheeseburger, chicken nugget, New England clam chowder, crab cake, and Thanksgiving dinner!
Snacks - granola bars, potato chips, Oreo, Pop-Tarts, Goldfish, etc.

2. What are three words you would use to describe yourself and why?

Open-minded: I enjoy trying different things and listening to different opinions, even those opposed to my own, because they may remind me of some aspects that I haven't been aware of.

Friendly: I love to do my best to help others. I am capable of being an active listener and standing in their shoes.

Careful: I prefer to think or research before taking actions, and aim at the best as long as I have determined to do. I am good at noticing and improving details for perfection, too.

3. Why did you choose to come to UCI for college?

My undergraduate major was clinical medicine, and this graduate program at UCI School of Medicine is the best match for my clinical background and interest. I appreciate the research opportunity, outreach commitment and diversity of UCI. I was also attracted by this beautiful and safe city of Irvine.

4. Is there a specific quote or phrase that you live by?

There are so many great quotes; I'd like to share one of them:
"If there's one thing you learn in my job, it's that nothing is certain. Nothing that seems very bad and nothing that seems very good. Nothing is certain. Nothing." - Dr. Susan Lewis, from "ER: 24 Hours (#1.1)".

5. What are some similarities and differences that you’ve noticed between your home country and the U.S.?

Both are multiethnic countries, and people love delicious food!

I have met far more diverse people in the US than in my home country. Student evaluation system also varies between the two. Public transportation is better in China, whereas in the US personal cars are more relied on. In addition, different units of measurement are used here, such as inches/feet, ounces/pounds and Fahrenheit (I often have no conception of them without calculation).

6. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them? What advice do you have for other international students currently adjusting to life in the United States?

I had to take care of everything in my daily life, and the schedules could be sometimes overwhelming. (My craziest record was only 1 hour of sleep overnight). It was frustrating when I failed to complete my plans for the day. I tried to focus on the most important tasks and omit trivial activities, so as to improve my efficiency and flexibility. I also kept healthy meals, exercises and communication to prevent burnout.

My advice:
- Don't be shy or afraid to speak out and ask for a favor. Most of the people here are friendly and willing to help!
- Manage your time with priorities and maintain work-life balance. Get involved in the student organizations or clubs you are interested in, if time permits! Find out what you are really fascinated about.
- Make good use of campus resources, including but not limited to the libraries, Anteater Recreation Center, Career Center, International Center, Counseling Center, Graduate Resource Center and Cross Cultural Center.

7. What is your favorite experience at UCI and/or the U.S. so far?

During the first year at UCI, I was exposed to something new almost every day: finding a new scene, trying a new recipe or cuisine, going to a new event or fitness class, meeting new people, listening to a new lecture, learning new information or skills, understanding a new thought, using a new product... these experiences really opened my eyes and enriched my life.

8. What would people be surprised to know about you?

I was born in China, and lived in Japan for nearly 10 years before coming back to China; so I am trilingual,
able to speak English, Chinese and Japanese.

9. As an international student, what have you learned (or are learning) that has made a difference in
your life?

- Life is full of possibilities, and every single experience develops myself. It is okay if life does not go as planned; but keep in mind what truly matters.
- Respect others as well as being myself, and do not judge too quickly.
- Never hesitate to express and communicate. Silence will not resolve an issue.

10. Any else you'd like to share?

Explore secret menus of restaurants at

Meet Other Fellow International Anteaters

Jonathan Reyna

Max Li

Gabriela Santos

Imam Uz Zaman (Symon)

Yuchao (Henry) He


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