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Global Programs and Strategy Alliance > China Center

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Terry Higgins is a senior studying geography in the College of Liberal Arts and minoring in Asian Languages and Literature. As a Red Pocket Scholarship recipient, he spent the spring of 2014 in China conducting independent research for his senior thesis paper.

Here is what he had to say about his experience:

With this scholarship I was able to travel to Beijing and Shanghai to research one of China’s most dynamic phenomena today: the ever-growing 农民工 population.  In conjunction with the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) I completed a presentation on the formation and future outlook of the农民工.  But through the academic and personal exchanges throughout my travels, this experience became something much more. 

While in these cities I conducted research in a couple of ways.  Prior to my departure I had been exposed to what many call the 城中村 through reading about migrant labor.  The thought of villages engulfed by China’s rapidly urbanizing cityscape bewitched my imagination.  I felt that if I were to study and analyze the situation surrounding migrant labor in China, it was my responsibility to expose myself to these issues in the flesh.  While it was somewhat difficult to truly approach and explore these places for a few different reasons (language, for example), simply walking through the 城中村 was an experience that has continued to stir something inside of me.

Learn more about Terry’s project.