Jacob Surface ’11 – Twice in the past two weeks I have awoken to screams here in Chile. When that happens in Latin America, a couple of thoughts jump to mind: 1) Is this another earthquake? Well, my bed/room doesn’t seem to be shaking so I guess not. 2) Is this a military coup? Well I don’t hear tanks, planes, or guns so hopefully not… 3) Is there a soccer game? YES, in fact it is the World Cup which explains why the entire city is going mad. Even as I write I can hear the honking, yelling, and chaotic celebratory sounds of Chile’s latest win. The pride for the Roja (red) is ubiquitous in Chile as school and workplace alike are postponed for people to watch the games. Meanwhile, I am preparing to head off to that all too forgotten segment of study abroad – class.
To start with, I owe you an explanation as to why I haven’t updated this blog for a while. Well, finals at Fudan University are just around the corner. In less than two weeks, my IES Abroad semester will be over. Therefore, since the beginning of the month, I’ve been working hard to make sure that I have enough time to write all the papers and study for my two final tests. With the five credits I will be bringing back to Wabash, this is no easy task, so please keep your fingers crossed for me!
Once I’m done with everything at Fudan, I will certainly write a note reflecting on my academic experience of studying at one of China’s top universities. In this note, however, I would like to write about something I promised to share in my last posting: my plans for the summer.
As I mentioned previously, thanks to the generosity of our community, I will be able to spend this summer in Shanghai. In late April of this year, I received the Wabash F. Michael Cassel Fund to do political science research in China and continue to work on my Mandarin. Immediately after the end of my Fudan semester, I will move to Shanghai’s East Normal University campus. At East Normal, I will be working with two professors from our political science department (they will be teaching there over the summer) on my undergraduate research. The Wabash professors, as well as a member of the Fudan University faculty and a University of Washington PhD student, will be mentoring my research of the comparison of the Chinese and American 2008 fiscal stimulus packages. I think that this will be a fascinating study and am very thankful to the Cassel family as well as the Wabash community. Also, I am very happy to have the chance to practice my Chinese for another two months; during my time here I discovered that studying this language is something I feel very passionate about.