As a first-generation Tibetan-American, Tenzin came to UMass Amherst to study Chinese language and politics so that he might one day help improve relations between China and Tibet.
I chose UMass because it was an affordable option, but also there were a lot of opportunities to engage in research as an undergraduate, which I wouldn't be able to do at a lot of institutions. And then, also one of the biggest selling points was the Five College Consortium. So I've been able to take classes at Smith and Amherst College while also being a student here at UMass. As a first-generation Tibetan, my aspiration is to double-major in political science and Chinese and to understand Chinese politics. In my first year of college, I began studying Chinese and French simultaneously not the easiest thing to do, but the Chinese professor, she was so supportive because she knows that a lot of these students, Chinese is not their first language. And it's a very difficult language, for that matter, to acquire and to learn, but her constant pushing and supporting of us and just being available I thought really went the distance. I've been able to get the experience of a small liberal arts college, essentially, by attending a large public university and that's really, I think, unique about UMass. Some colleges, they only have two colleges or just one college for that matter. Whatever interest you have, you can almost always find either a student group or a faculty member that's in line with your interest. And even if something doesn't exist, you can almost certainly create it and find people who will rally to your cause. My name is Tenzin Dawa Thargay. I stand for compassion and service, and I stand for UMass.