Jui-Yen Chiang '08

Jui-Yen Chiang '08

Winner of Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

When I came to Mount Holyoke as a first-year in the fall of 2004, I had my heart set on studying International Relations and becoming a diplomat. I was determined to learn Greek and continue my eight years of Spanish: I had visions of either frolicking on the sandy beaches of Greece or feasting on paella in Madrid during my Junior year abroad.

I still laugh a little in wonder at how differently my academic career at Mount Holyoke has actually turned out, and how deeply and passionately devoted I have ended up to the study of East Asia.

After taking a first-year seminar on Chinese intellectuals and a course on ancient Chinese civilization, both taught by my advisor, Professor Lipman, I decided I simply had to go to China to experience this place myself. That summer, from May to July of 2005, a friend and I spent five weeks as English-teacher interns at the Yucai School in Beijing, soaking in its history and its modernity on bicycles we had purchased.