The Interdisciplinary Studies Program is pleased to announce that two of our students, Ian Montgomery and Samuel Moser, were awarded scholarships for a Summer Program offered by the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China, as part of its agreement with the UNC System. UNC Asheville was awarded two of the three UNC system-wide scholarships. This is the second year our International Studies majors, minoring in Asian Studies, have been selected to receive this scholarship. In summer 2012, Erin Litke was also awarded this scholarship.
The five-week long 2013 Fudan University International Summer Session provided students from around the world with the opportunity to study Chinese Language, Society and Politics, History and Culture, and Economy and Management. Cultural visits and lectures are also included in the program. The scholarships include tuition waivers, fees, on-campus accommodations and a partial meal allowance.
All three students had taken Chinese language and culture courses as part of their curriculum in the International Studies major and Asian Studies minor in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at UNC Asheville.
We asked Ian Montgomery and Samuel Moser to tell us a little about their expectations for the summer session in Fudan, as well as to explain how their studies at UNC Asheville have prepared them for the trip. Here's what they had to say.
The International and Asian Studies programs at UNC Asheville have turned out to be one of the most adventurous educations imaginable.
“Through UNC Asheville’s International Studies program, I’ve embarked on an intellectual journey that first landed me at a liberal arts college, and then continued not only through many academic departments and disciplines, but also all over the globe. Though I came to UNC Asheville a passport-less freshman, I have since been able to explore ten—soon to be eleven—countries, acquired fluency in at least one foreign language (while working to gain competency in three others), and forged a network of friends and relations covering six continents.
What’s more, the enriching dynamism of my travels has never quite ended upon my return home, as both the International Studies and Asian Studies programs offer a fittingly cosmopolitan array of interdisciplinary courses: from the 'earth-shattering' questions of nuclear proliferation to the cultural import of Chinese martial-arts cinema, my every semester has breached entirely new domains; which somehow always turn out to be curiously connected. Never have two papers I’ve written for class been “the same”, because each class has always been uniquely different!
Now it seems that China will push me in the direction of 'something different' - again! With a pretty sound grasp of the generalities of the Indo-European family of languages, I’ve always contemplated taking on the challenge of tackling the completely foreign elements of Mandarin. I actually had my first semester of Mandarin while I was studying abroad in France (!). And though I loved it, it didn’t really stick for obvious reasons. Now that my pursuits in Asian Studies are sending me to study and travel in China for the summer, I’m cramming like mad! To that end, Dr. Li, our wonderful Mandarin professor, has been invaluable. While my past travel experiences helped me to learn what might be worth saying “on the ground”, taking Dr. Li’s class this semester has given me a fine foundation for expanding my language skills. What’s worth saying here, however, is that the International and Asian Studies programs at UNC Asheville have turned out to be one of the most adventurous educations imaginable. Yup—that’s why I came here!”
Fudan will be my proving ground where I can test the mettle of the education I received at UNC Asheville.
"As someone who is interested in world history and culture, economics, and languages, I was drawn to the interdisciplinary focus of UNC Asheville’s International Studies major in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. For the past three years, I’ve studied four languages (Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Hangul), traveled to South Korea, and studied the histories and politics of many different countries. The structure of the International Studies curriculum has allowed me to sample courses from diverse disciplines in different departments, allowing me to create my own unique experience at UNC Asheville.
I was also encouraged to focus on certain geographical regions and cultures, and to shape my curriculum around these area studies. At this stage of my education, consistent with my Asian Studies Minor, I’m choosing to focus on the 'Middle Kingdom.' This scholarship to study this summer at Fudan University in Shanghai, China is an excellent opportunity to do just that. So far, I’ve taken three semesters of Mandarin Chinese through the Asian Studies Minor, and Fudan will be my proving ground where I can test the mettle of the education I received at UNC Asheville."