University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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Global Programs and Strategy Alliance > China Center

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Mason Williams is a sophomore studying Finance in the Carlson School of Management and is also studying Chinese. As a Red Pocket Scholarship recipient he spent Spring 2015 at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

Here is what he had to say about his experience:

During my study abroad I also participated on the SEM tennis team which ultimately competed for the Ma Cup, a school wide recognition in the field of Tennis and other sports. I practiced with the tennis team for 3 weeks before the final tournament, making friends with Tsinghua undergraduate, masters, and doctorate students. When the tournament finally arrived, we placed second out of 12 competing faculties in the school. For me, this was the experience that most resonated with me. I was given the opportunity to create bonds with those who shared the same interest as me and learn the inner workings and culture of a sport that I have come to love; we exchanged similarities and differences of tennis culture between China and the United States. In fact, those on the tennis team became some of my closest friends during my time at Tsinghua; we still keep in contact to this very day.

With the help from the support I received from this scholarship, I was able to fully maximize my study abroad experience at Tsinghua. The valuable experience gained has allowed me to take great strides with my Chinese proficiency and cultural awareness. But more importantly, has given me applicable experience while pursuing my education in the United States. I have effectively learned to operate in a culture that is not my own and how to adopt my attitude when facing those with different cultural views other than my own. Even though on this occasion I was only in China for 5 or so short months, but by this being my 4th time I was able to fill in the blank spaces of knowledge I had missed out on during my previous 3 times to China. Thanks to this scholarship along with the help of others, I was able to better enjoy my time abroad rather than worrying about non-academic related issues. And for this, I am grateful. I look forward to my future opportunities in China as well as future collaboration with the China Center.