From the first drive from LAX into a country reliant on cars

Jack Ma poses at the University of Washington computer science and engineering building in August of 2018. Jack Ma is majoring in computer science. (Photo by Angie Thai)

Jack Ma is a 21-year-old student at the University of Washington studying Computer Engineering. He came to the United States from Guangzhou, China, in 2012 at age 15 with his parents after middle school. He was initially coming to the United States for his education, but his parents decided to move the family here after their retirement.

He recalled his first day arriving at Los Angeles. During the drive from Los Angeles International Airport to San Jose, he was excited about the clean air. He also remembers his first meal, how it tasted different, and noticing how U.S. cities and Chinese cities differed in layout and infrastructure.

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This story was produced in partnership with the First Days Project.

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