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What is your major?
I’m a graduate student at the School of Social Work.
Expected graduation date?
What has been your favorite class at Rutgers?
My favorite class at the Rutgers School of Social Work was Psychopathology taught by Dr. Jeffery Longhofer. He teaches unbelievable courses. The course "Psychopathology" covered the many neurological and psychiatric disorders that many people live with.
Favorite thing to do or place to go on campus?
The grease trucks! They’re still here after the original lot was closed down for construction and some people don’t realize that. They’re just more spread out than they used to be. They are definitely worth checking out.
Why did you decide to study abroad?
Being born in the U.S., and only knowing this way of life, I was interested in seeing what it was like on the other side of the planet, which, by the way, is extremely different to say the least. I was also interested in the mental health treatment that is available in other countries.
What made you choose China specifically?
There was a summer program offered through the School of Social Work. So, I made the decision between a few countries offered throughout the year and China grabbed my attention the most. I got to go away for two weeks, so it was an awesome opportunity. And I would definitely go back. The flight is expensive but you can live off of $30 U.S. dollars a day once you get there.
When did you study abroad in China?
May 29 to June 10, 2013.We went to two cities: Beijing for 8 days and Tianjin for 5 days.
Do you speak Chinese? Have you taken Chinese courses here at Rutgers?
No, and getting there, I wish I had learned more Chinese beforehand. I was working really hard to learn while I was there. I had an app on my phone that I used which was helpful, but we had several translators in our group as we travelled around. Dr. Chien-Chung Huang, a professor at the School of Social Work, was one of our translators and was also the trip organizer.
What did you do while you were there?
Dr. Huang organized the trip very well. We had the pleasure of not only going to historical Chinese sites, we had also visited many Chinese social work organizations and universities. We visited the Non-Government Organization Center at Tsinghua University, the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at Nankai University, and more. We were introduced to the organizational leaders, faculty, and students involved. We were able to discuss ideas and compare and contrast them. It was interesting to watch Dr. Pottick create relationships with these organizations for future research. It was like watching history in the making! How Dr. Huang set everything up was awesome; he was an excellent tour guide. It wouldn't have been the same with anyone else.
What was the most memorable part of your study abroad experience in China?
The historic sites like the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven really stick out in my mind. In regard to the organizations we visited, the Chinese Elementary School for Migrant Children was an excellent experience. We were able to see children who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining an education within the city of Beijing acquire the services they need. It was also fun meeting each of those students during periods of recreation.
Based on your own experience, can you name one thing that differs the most between China and the U.S.?
China and the United States have much to learn from each other. Our social work professions are both works in the making, therefore it would be wonderful to see future work to be done together to further change around the world.
Do you have any advice for other students who are interested in studying abroad in China?
Just do it! What do you have to lose? It’s nice to see another cultural perspective. Great people, food, and experiences. When the school offers a program like the one I did, it’s so worth it.
What is your favorite Chinese food?
Their dumplings are phenomenal. You can’t get that experience here. Instead of having overcooked meat in the middle like some of the local places in New Jersey, they're filled with all sorts of quality foods. My personal favorite dumplings were the soup filled type.