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Developing Critical Language Skills in China

Noah Smith
Master of Arts in International Studies '21

How did you become interested in China? Have you had any prior experiences here?

I started studying Chinese in seventh grade, and before high school went to Chinese immersion summer camp (where I later worked). At the camp, I got to know a lot of Chinese people and learned about Chinese culture, which led me to want to visit China itself. As a result, I took a gap year before college and studied at a high school in Beijing.

What what were you doing prior to attending the HNC?

I was a student at Tufts University, where I received an bachelor's degree in International Relations. 

What encouraged you to apply to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center? What’s your focus here?

My focus is on International Politics. For me, the fact that in the master’s program you write your thesis in Chinese is huge. There’s no other American university where I’d have that opportunity. It pushes my language skills in a way they’ve never been pushed and allows meto learn how to express myself in an academic way.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I’m hoping to take the Foreign Service exam and become a Foreign Service Officer.

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