Tamia Phifer '18 is among the authors of an article recently published in Nature News and Comment, an interna...
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Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Indian Head Park, Illinois
Major in Economics, Minor in Business & Management - Marketing
Describe your study abroad program and why you chose that program.
The program I did was Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China with ACM [Associated Colleges of the Midwest]. With ACM, I got to explore one of the world's greatest cities with a group of students similar to me. The program offered great courses in my discipline, as well as other awesome cultural experiences. I chose ACM Shanghai because I knew for a long time that I wanted to study in China, and ACM made my transition easy.
How did Knox prepare you for study abroad?
Knox prepared me for my off-campus experience in a few ways. First, the diversity on campus helped condition me to be open to different cultures and perspectives. Second, my academic advisors helped prepare me by encouraging me to pursue this opportunity. Finally, the Chinese language program benefited me because it kept my language skills at the level necessary to be comfortable with life in China.
How do you see your experience abroad having an impact on your future plans?
My experience in Shanghai helped me not only be a better student, but also gave me a clearer career plan. Because I was able to take classes I wanted to take in my discipline, I learned about things that I thought were super interesting. I think the program has a good variety of classes in the social sciences.
What were some highlights while you were abroad?
I took classes with students from many different countries, which offered me many different perspectives. Outside the classroom, I enjoyed the proximity of campus to the metro station, restaurants, and shops. The excursions were some of my best memories. I got to spend a weekend in Beijing and Nanjing, as well as the Yellow Mountains.
What surprised you about study abroad?
What surprised me most about study abroad was how different life in China was. I already had a small expectation about daily life, but I was challenged for the first few weeks adjusting. It was all worth it!
Why do you think study abroad is so important?
I think study abroad is important because you can learn so much about yourself. For me, Shanghai was a chance for me to discover more about who I am, and what I am capable of. Study abroad allowed me to break out of my comfort zone and truly have a memorable experience. I also made some lifelong friends that turned out to be not too far away.
What makes you excited to be back on campus?
I'm excited to be back because I missed being away from Knox for four months! I'm also happy to be able to share my experience with anyone interested in applying to the program in the future.
Photo above: Kyle visits "the Bund," a famous waterfront regarded as the symbol of Shanghai.