Student - September 6, 2018

YOU on campus - In a hot air balloon

Cathy (Kexin) Chen

To some people, the abnormally hot days we had on campus this summer were a disaster. But to PhD candidate Yue Han (30), they were the most beautiful days of his life. He proposed to his girlfriend in a hot air balloon.

Yue spent the entire summer on campus preparing for his PhD graduation at the Laboratory of Virology and, at the same time, for a big surprise for his girlfriend Chunyue Zhang (29), a PhD candidate in the Food Quality and Design group. When she went away on a business trip, Yue secretly bought an engagement ring and agreed a special proposal plan with several friends. Sunny weather was essential to carrying out this plan.

The love story of Yue and Chunyue began three years ago. Yue had just completed his MSc at WUR and Chunyue came to the university to start on her 4 years of PhD Research. They met through a mutual friend and committed themselves to a relationship soon after their first few dates. They share similar hobbies and their passion for research.

For Yue and Chunyue, Wageningen is a special place, as they have realized their dream of doing scientific research here as well as finding their soulmate. Chunyue has always wanted to see the city and the university from a hot air balloon, but they had never had the chance due to the typical windy Dutch weather and their busy work schedule. So to make Chunyue’s dream come true, Yue planned to propose in a hot air balloon.

As the balloon rose into the sky and floated over the campus on 21 July, Yue asked Chunyue to marry him. ‘I was crying from that second until the end of the trip,’ says Chunyue. ‘I’ll remember that moment forever! I had a feeling he wanted to ask me something, but I did not expect a proposal.’

When we have kids, we will bring them back here

‘Wageningen University is the place where I met Chunyue, where we have lived together, where we have shared our best memories. That’s why I wanted to propose to her here. It had to be here!’ says Yue excitedly. ‘When we will kids in the future, we will definitely bring them back to visit this place together.’