Ruth Donaghey ’13
Major: Global Studies with a concentration in global politics. Also, minors in French and Asian Studies
Where did you study abroad and for how long?
I studies abroad fall 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, for the semester where I studied International Diplomacy and French. I then studied in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, for the spring 2012 semester where I studied Chinese ethnic minorities and Mandarin.
Why did you choose this country/program?
I chose to study in Switzerland because I wanted to be in a Francophone country. The program allowed me to study both a language and the topic of diplomacy. It was an opportunity I simply could not pass up. I went to China for the spring to continue studying Mandarin. What drew me to the country was my family background. Being raised Chinese-American, I always had the desire to go to China on my own. For both semesters, I was enrolled in an SIT (School for International Training). SIT is known for their field-based research and experiential learning platform, so I was really attracted to that, especially being a Global Studies major at PC.
Favorite class while there?
My favorite class for both semesters was the independent study project, which was a four-credit class for which we had one month to conduct field research and put together a research paper/presentation. In Geneva, my project was entitled “Gender and the Green Economy: How Fostering Green Job Growth may Perpetuate Gender Inequality.” The paper was written as a policy paper in the lead up to Rio+20, an environmental earth summit held in June 1012. I interviewed several representatives from UN agencies on the topic. In China, my project was entitled “Education Structures for Ecotourism: A Case-Study on Shangri-La.” I was based in Shangri-La, a Tibetan region in Northwestern Yunnan, for one month doing research. I mainly worked with an Australian organization called the Eastern Tibetan Training Institute where I sat in/helped out with the course called English for Ecotourism. It was a vocational training school for Tibetan youths. Overall, the two experiences were challenging but extremely fulfilling and have undoubtedly helped me develop research skills that have already helped me this year for my senior thesis.
Favorite outside-the-class experience?
My favorite outside-the-class experience was a week long trek to Xishuangbanna, an area in southern Yunnan during spring semester in China. I went with three friends, and we were granted the opportunity to see this tropical region by foot and stay with local families in villages along the way. It was a truly amazing experience.
What did the opportunity to study abroad mean to you as a Providence College student?
Read Ruth's reflections on her time abroad in Switzerland and China.