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Student Spotlight

Cindy Lee
China Summer 2012 and Sweden Fall 2012
Double Major: Political Science and Social Policy & Public Service; Education Minor
cindyl3@uci.edu

"China is considered to be United States competitor so I wanted to learn about China's education system. Sweden is known for efficient social policies created and given to their citizens so I wanted to look at their country as well."

"My study abroad adventures has also given me the confidence to consider applying for Peace Corps or teaching English abroad after graduation."

"Students are often worried about cost but the things to see and try will be worth so much more. As a student and educator I will continue to encourage more people to study abroad and see the world."

Why did you choose your particular study abroad program/location?
I plan to have a career in the education field and have spent two years working with two education non-profit organizations. I decided to expand my knowledge of education at the international level. I wanted to place myself in a different learning environment with a variety of teaching methods. China is considered to be United States competitor so I wanted to learn about China's education system. Sweden is known for efficient social policies created and given to their citizens so I wanted to look at their country as well.
 
What types of activities were you involved in while abroad that were meaningful for your learning?
In China, I took classes in foreign policy and public policy to help me understand the issues they face. I expected the professors at Peking University to be very pro-China but the professor for my public policy course gave a reality-based lecture. He presented the students with the problems the country currently faces and how it can be solved.
In Sweden, I took a range of courses from Swedish cultural classes strictly for international students to department classes for Swedish and international students. The interaction with international and Swedish students allowed me to gain a wider perspective about other countries systems and culture. I also participated in a English Conversation program with Swedish middle school students about once a month.
 
How have you changed or what have you learned due to studying abroad?
My study abroad experiences allowed me to travel more; through my adventures I have learned to become more confident and trust my decisions.
 
What are you doing now as a result of studying abroad?
After studying abroad and going back to UCI, I participated in the English Conversation Program. Each week I spend an hour talking to international students to help improve their English skills. I also plan on applying for UTeach so I can teach my own seminar course on international education so I that I can help more students become aware of education as well as encouraging them to study abroad. My study abroad adventures has also given me the confidence to consider applying for Peace Corps or teaching English abroad after graduation.  
 
What advice would you give to a student considering studying abroad?
Studying abroad will the best decision a student makes and once you travel, you will not want to stop. I left to study abroad on my own and from there I met amazing people from other UC's as well as around the world. Now these people are my greatest friends and they give me a reason to travel and visit! Students are often worried about cost but the things to see and try will be worth so much more. As a student and educator I will continue to encourage more people to study abroad and see the world.  

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University of California, Irvine • Irvine, CA 92697
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