Evan Harris is a second-year Management major with a minor in Chinese
Where did you study abroad? How did you choose your programs?
CBCF Study Abroad in China Program, and the MSASS Mental Health and Social Justice program in Amsterdam
I have been fortunate to go on two study abroad experiences so far in my college career. Firstly was the MSASS Mental Health and Social Justice program in Amsterdam. I choose that program primarily because I knew little about the famed progressive nature of the Dutch. Moreover, I had visited Amsterdam very briefly before and I wanted to go back to see the city in its glory. My most recent study abroad was to China as part of a Student Delegation funded by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. I stayed in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai all of which were drastically different experiences. Beijing was a massive city organized into a system of 6 large rings. We stayed at the famed Beijing Foreign Studies University where we bonded closely with the students. I love particularly Shanghai due to the expansiveness of the city segments.
How has studying abroad changed your global perspective?
Thanks to the diligence and hard work of the Center for International Affair, I was able to expand my cultural horizons and rediscover my passion for foreign cultures and languages. My trip to china made me decide to switch from a Spanish minor to Chinese minor.
What was something funny that happened to you while studying abroad?
I like to think of myself as a very culturally aware person; however, I was not prepared to handle the different types of toilets in China. Suffice to say that the positions these toilets required were not any I was familiar with.
How did classes you took abroad differ from courses offered on campus at CWRU?
I took a Business Ethics in China SAGES course that actually proved to be a great preparation for China itself. We discussed much of the modern history and delved deeply into the business culture of the country and the government. We also talk in depth about 关系 (Guanxi), which translates to “connections”. It essentially explains how social circles and personal ties affect society and business. It was really cool to see this in action
What was one thing you did abroad that you couldn’t have done in Cleveland?
I was able to try a crazy amount of food. Moreover, there was a ton of history behind each meal. For instance, culture dictates that the Peking Duck (China’s most famous meal) be cut into exactly 118 pieces. I loved seeing the chefs cut up the duck and serve it to our group.
What advice do you have for students who are considering study abroad?
My advice for students studying abroad: go to the Center for International Affairs and talk to a Study Abroad Advisor before you start talking yourself out of going somewhere awesome. Chances are that you will find a program that you love.
What places are next on your bucket list?
The next place I have to go to is Africa; there is simply too much history in the continent for me to ignore it anymore. On my study abroad to China I travelled with a girl from Tanzania and I really want to see, eat, and do all the things she told me about.