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Madeline Stockton (right) participated in the Beijing-based CET Intensive Chinese Language program during the summer of 2015.
Madeline Stockton is a sophomore studying supply chain and operations in the Carlson School of Management. She received the Red Pocket Scholarship to spend summer 2015 in Beijing through the CET Intensive Chinese Language program.
Here is what she had to say about her experience:
For students who were excited and motivated in the classroom, opportunities to immerse ourselves in the Chinese perspective were rich and frequent. For example, our teachers encouraged us to participate in the second annual International Monetary Forum hosted by the China Renmin University. Initially, the idea of speaking in front of a room full of professors and my Chinese and American peers terrified me. But through the encouragement and guidance of my wonderful teachers and CET’s supportive administration, I researched and pulled together a 2,000-character speech outlining my view on the effect that China’s One Belt One Road initiative will have on Sino-American relations. This was one of my proudest moments while abroad; it showcased to the world (and myself) that I, who previously was only capable of holding halting conversation in Chinese, could now use that same language to form and defend an argument.
My experiences in China were not all positive, and I did experience culture shock while I was abroad. However, the opportunities I received, the experiences I had, and the friendships I built were invaluable to me. Living in China for the last two months has given me greater clarity and direction in my own education as I pursue a career working in international supply chains and the complex cultural implications of the ever-growing, increasingly relevant global economy. Furthermore, this summer has stimulated my personal growth as an individual and as a student. I feel a very personal appreciation towards the University of Minnesota, CET, and everyone else who made it possible for me to have such a transformative experience this summer.