Reflections from Beijing Study Abroad
Interested in Study Abroad with Loyola's MSW program? We offer study abroad opportunities in China, Italy, and Mexico. Learn more about our study abroad programs, and read our students' reflections from the 2012 Beijing trip.
Gayl Monto, MSW student
My trip to China was amazing. It was a very different experience than my other foreign travels. I feel lucky to have been able to see Asia in an educational and experiential context. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Shanghai prior to Beijing and to Xian to see the Terra Cotta Warriors.
Thank you to all the people and academics who coordinated this wonderful trip, especially to Lynn and Lily Boyle who made this trip very personal and special. Gayl's experience continues.
Karen Finstad, MSW student
My trip to China was a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did I visit the amazing sites of Beijing, including the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, the social work course on International Adoption, encompassed the importance of incorporating a global perspective into my education and future practice as a Social Worker. Combining lectures from local professors and field experiences, visiting the Chinese Center for Child Welfare and Adoption, local NGOs and orphanages could not be possible without the amazing staff at the Beijing Center, who made the trip seamless and eye-opening.
On both a personal and professional level, this trip gave me the opportunity to increase my cultural sensitivity while learning about China's political systems and eating it's amazing food with the dedicated students and staff here at Loyola.
April Gardner, MSW Student
Professionally, I learned many things from my trip. Learning about adoption policy and then being able to visit an orphanage, NGO’s (what we would call a non-profit agency), a surgical center, and the Chinese government was—to use informal language— unbelievably cool. I was humbled by how hospitable everyone was. The fact that a division of the Chinese government took the time to meet with a group of American students was a great honor. For more on April's journey.
Amy Chen, MSW Student
I cannot say enough about how informative, enriching, and meaningful our study abroad trip to China was this past summer, with our focus on Adoption Policy and Practice in a Global Context. Much of my educational background as well as heritage coincides with what I learned and experienced there, but seeing the vast potential of social work opportunities in China as mentioned through the speakers, government officials, coordinators and lecturers allowed me to see how the United States truly has a wealth of resources that we in this profession can offer them if we so choose.
Our trip additionally helped me gain a historical, as well as present-day, perspective as to how the field has developed as well as expanded on a global scale. As if learning about these issues on a macro level did not suffice - we were also able to interact with Professor Lynn Boyle's adopted Chinese daughter, Lily, who also came with us on the trip to understand on a deeper level, her heritage. Ultimately, our trip to Beijing inspired me to always have an international as well as domestic perspective of social work, that has helped better shape my understanding of what I would like to do in the future after graduating from Loyola.
Rachel Geller, MSW Student
The experience was inspirational and emotional, and was a strong reassurance for myself that I am in the right place in the Social Work field. My time in Beijing taught me a great deal about the culture and the child welfare policies within the United States as well as in China.
I feel so fortunate to have experienced this trip and look forward to learning more about child welfare and the Chinese culture, in conjunction with cultivating new found friendships made in both China and here at Loyola University. My 10 Days in Beijing.