Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Hong Kong and Chengdu


By Nicole Richards

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Molly, a Junior Economics and East Asian Languages and Cultures major studying economics, culture, and Mandarin Chinese in China. Molly interned this summer in Hong Kong and is now studying in Chengdu for the semester.

At Miami, Molly is involved in the China American Business Organization (CABO), Alpha Delta Pi, and the St. Mary's Campus Ministry Board. This summer, she interned with Metro Workshop, a startup co-working space company that is part of a larger real-estate investment company.  Most of her time at her internship was spent working on a team to help launch a new operating system, but she also did research about Hong Kong's real-estate market.  This semester, she is in a language intensive program studying Mandarin Chinese and is also taking economic and cultural classes.


wwmw-china2Why did you choose the program that you did?

I chose to do IES's internship program in Hong Kong because it not only gave me professional work experience, but also the opportunity to spend the summer learning what it is like to work, study, and live in Asia.  USAC Chengdu offers a great language intensive program that challenges students to fully devote a semester to immersing themselves in Chinese.  Ever since high school I've had the goal to become fluent in Mandarin and I knew the only way to improve my skills was to dedicate a semester to living in China.

Coolest places you have visited?

While I was working in Hong Kong we had a long weekend, so a group of students from my program went to Puerto Galera, Philippines.  The area where we stayed is pretty secluded so we had to take a plane, bus, and boat to get there.  The water is so clear and we had the opportunity to go snorkeling and spend time on the beach. Since being in Chengdu, a few friends and I backpacked to Sigunianshan (四姑娘山), which is right on the border of the Tibetian Plateau.  While there, we stayed in a hostel run by a Tibetan couple and did a fourteen-mile hike through the mountains.


What is your favorite part about your program?

So far, my favorite part about USAC Chengdu is how passionate everyone is about studying Chinese.  I love being surrounded by other students who are working just as hard to master a tough language.  I have also really enjoyed the chance to meet new friends from my program who are all from different parts of the United States.  Studying abroad for a summer and a semester has taught me to really step out of my comfort zone when it comes to establishing new friendships.

How has the study abroad experience changed you so far?

After I finished my sophomore year and headed home before leaving for China, I really started to question my decision to study abroad for such a long time.  I now can confidently say it was the best choice.  Moving to a new place can be challenging, and I feel like I have become more independent and am more comfortable with change.  I have learned to embrace challenges and to take advantage of new opportunities, because the semester is flying by!

Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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