McNair Scholar Study Abroad Opportunity in China

Marie Callahan, a rising Senior, shares the opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in China for summer 2015.

This summer I had the most amazing opportunity to study the Social Welfare System in China. Before this experience, I did not have the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S. Therefore, as a current Social Work student and McNair Scholar, my research interests lie in international social welfare, capacity building, social entrepreneurship, and global citizenship.  I feel so grateful that I was able to travel which, has changed the trajectory of my senior thesis and academic goals.

I was able to travel with other Rutgers students and faculty, including my mentor and thesis advisor, Dr. Francis Barchi. During the month long experience we took an in-depth look at the nature and practice of social welfare institutions in China, and the challenges faced due to rapid urban population growth and economic development. We also visited local social welfare organizations throughout Beijing, meet with social work practitioners from across the field and explored the differences between practices and policy in China and the United States. This opportunity truly helped me explore my interests in the non-profit sector abroad.

I had the pleasure of traveling with Dr. Chien Chung-Huang from the Huamin Research Center. I am currently working as a Research Assistant and Staffing the Summer Bridge Program for Students Studying Engineering, Social Work/Public Policy with The Huamin Research Center and The China Office. Thanks to Dr.Huang, I am able to work with the same students I met in China in the U.S. It has been great to be apart of such a reciprocal experience! I would not have had this opportunity if it were not for the Rutgers New Brunswick-Educational Opportunity Fund, The Center for Global Education, and especially The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalureate Program.