January 11, 2016 // posted by Sherrie Voss Matthews
Meet Aaliyah Smith. As a UTSA College of Business student, she can’t wait to immerse herself in a semester abroad in China.
Right before the winter break, she learned she had been selected to receive a scholarship from the Asia Institute’s joint scholarships with the Academy of International Business Southeast. Aaliyah will spend the Spring 2016 semester studying with USAC China: Chinese Language and International Business Studies at Shanghai University in China.
“I hope to learn a great deal while in China,” said Aaliyah, a sophomore from Houston, Texas. “I’m an International Business Management major, and I’m considering a minor in a foreign language. I feel that an integral part of my education is to become not just a well-informed citizen of the U.S, but also a knowledgeable global citizen. I’m interested in the Chinese economy, how it performed in the past and how they’ve turned it around completely.”
Aaliyah found out about the scholarship through an eblast from the Honors College: “I thought, what do I have to lose? I decided to complete the application, and I ended up getting the scholarship!”
Her mom encouraged her from an early age to explore a variety of places and other cultures through books. She read a lot about other regions, but Chinese culture particularly fascinated her. She was motivated to go abroad and worked 32 hours a week during the semester to afford the experience. She also received a UTSA International Education Fund scholarship to help finance her endeavor.
Aaliyah will be in China from January to May, and will take Elementary Chinese II, Contemporary Chinese Foreign Relations, International Marketing, Chinese Business Issues and Practices, and Managing in a Global Economy with Emphasis on China. Shanghai University is one of China's top universities. In addition to Chinese students, it attracts 2,000 students from 80 countries. It was established in 1922, and currently has nearly 40,000 students distributed over three campuses.
“China has an immense economy, they are a global superpower. Some economic outlets say that China has the capacity to even surpass the U.S soon,’’ Aaliyah said.
While studying at Shanghai University, Aaliyah hopes to learn more about business practices in China and East Asia, especially through the lens of the global economy. She’s looking forward to learning about China in China, rather than through the American filter she has experienced as a student in the U.S.
She also hopes to gain experience working in groups with people from a variety of different cultural backgrounds and to learn how to work among people who have very different perspectives.
Once Aaliyah’s intensive semester abroad ends, she would like to stay in Asia a bit longer. She applied, was accepted, and received a scholarship to the Honors College’s Abroad UTSA: Japan: Where Traditions and Modernism Intersect program in the May minimester. She’s planning to meet a UTSA Education Abroad trip in Japan on her way home.
“Why stay here in America? I know America. Why not visit somewhere else, and get their perspective?”
The Asia Institute’s joint scholarships with the Academy of International Business Southeast support global research and international experiences. They are given to encourage students to study in Asia.
The UTSA International Education Fund offers students who have an interest in studying abroad scholarships each semester. These scholarships range from $300 to $3,600 per student. Applications are evaluated by the UTSA International Education Financial Aid Committee.
Applications are assessed on the overall quality of the application, the letter of reference, financial need and how well the chosen program matches a student’s degree plan at UTSA.