Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Kaiwen Sun

Kaiwen Sun 2013

Electrical Engineering; Philosophy with Interdisciplinary Honors


2013 Fellows

Travel Locations: Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana

Kaiwen hopes to get to know and understand new and radically different cultural ideologies. He is fascinated by the way cultural values and world outlooks differ so much among different societies, and how difficult it is to reflect on them since they are so deeply ingrained. He is particularly interested in the way different cultural ideologies affect the beliefs, values, and interactions between people of those cultures, and what the differences tell us about how people can perceive life differently.

Alumni Reflections

How did Bonderman impact your life?

“It’s not that I can pin down the one day or even one week that was the most amazing, but rather the sum of all the days, the totality of the experience has been overwhelming. Every day is rather normal in its own way – everything is quite normal in its own context of the particular place I’m in, but now when I look back on it all, I realize that I have seen so much, done so much, learned so much.”

What is a favorite memory from your Bonderman?

“I was hitchhiking in the West of Mongolia passing a lake called uureg nuur. The herders who lived there saw me at the lake walking by and intending to pitch my tent. They invited me in, gave me tea and drinks, then led me into a yurt where a musician band was passing by, the whole community was gathered for the performance and I heard Mongolian throat singing. ”

What are you doing now?

“I recently started traveling on my sailboat in Baja California. I plan to hunker at the islands and write software code for money.”