Boston University Study Abroad

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About Boston University Study Abroad

Boston University Study Abroad offers an unparalleled array of academic and internship programs in more than 30 cities in six continents. Every year, students from Boston University and more than 150 other colleges and universities in the United States enjoy the opportunity to study language, liberal arts, fine arts, science, business, engineering, or pursue an internship. Our role is to help students realize their dreams to study and intern abroad. Boston University Study Abroad is a division of Boston University Global Programs, with primary responsibility for creating opportunities for undergraduate study abroad around the world.

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Boston University: London Internship Program

England : London

The London Internship Program of Boston University offers a semester of study and work in England's exciting capital city. This program combines a professional internship...

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Boston University: Dresden German Studies Program

Germany : Dresden

The Boston University Dresden German Studies Program places students at the Technische Universität Dresden, one of the oldest and most prestigious technical universities...

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Boston University: Grenoble French Studies Program (Summer)

France : Grenoble

Students in Boston University Grenoble French Studies Program enroll in one of three tracks based on their level of language proficiency or their specific academic interest....

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Sydney Internship Program

Australia : Sydney

The Sydney Internship program combines coursework at the Boston University Sydney Center with professional work experience in or near Sydney. During the first part of

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BUAbroad: Washington, DC Management Internship Program

United States : Washington D.C.

In conjunction with the BU Washington, DC Academic Center and George Washington University, Boston University offers a special dedicated management track to students of commerce,...

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Boston University: Los Angeles Internship Program

United States : Los Angeles

The Boston University Los Angeles Internship Program offers students a semester of study and work in the heart of the film, television, advertising and public relations,

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Boston University: Madrid Internship Program

Spain : Madrid

Join the Madrid Internship Program, and enhance your Spanish language skills while working in one of the most important commercial centers in Europe. Participants with sufficient...

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Boston University: Padua Italian Studies Program

Italy : Padua

Take part in the Padua Italian Studies Program, which is based at the BU Padua Academic Center. The program is offered in partnership with the University of Padua. The BU...

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Sydney Sophomore Engineering Program

Australia : Sydney

The Sydney Sophomore Engineering program combines coursework at the BU Sydney Academic Center and the University of Sydney with professional work experience in or near Sydney....

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BU Study Abroad: Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program

Spain : Madrid

Boston University invites students to take part in the Madrid Spanish and European Studies Program. The program combines Spanish language with English-taught courses that...

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Rabat Internship Program

Morocco : Rabat

The Boston University is offering the Rabat Internship Program, which provides students with the opportunity to explore, live, and learn the language and culture of the Middle...

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Boston University: Venice Environmental Studies Program

Italy : Venice

Join an Environmental Studies Program in Venice. This Italian city is home to numerous priceless treasures and artifacts of western heritage, and is also a frequently mentioned...

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Rio de Janeiro Intensive Portuguese Language Program

Brazil : Rio de Janeiro

Take part in the Rio de Janeiro Intensive Portuguese Language Program offered by Boston University. Participants take the equivalent of one year of Portuguese language. The...

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Boston University: Auckland Management Internship Program

New Zealand : Auckland

Join the Auckland Management Internship Program. The program combines internship with courses offered at the University of Auckland. Participants take a 4-credit internship,...

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Boston University Padua Italian and European Studies Program

Italy : Padua

Join the Padua Italian and European Studies Program, and spend a semester studying in the lively and historic university town of Padua. The program combines English-taught...

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Zanzibar: Swahili Language and Culture in East Africa

Tanzania : Zanzibar

Explore issues of politics, class, gender, race, ethnicity, and religion in East Africa through the Swahili Language and Culture program in Zanzibar. The islands of Zanzibar,...

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Boston University: Washington, DC Summer Internship Program

United States : Washington D.C.

Spend ten weeks interning and studying in one of the most important capital cities in the world through Boston University's Washington, DC Summer Internship Program. More...

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BUAbroad: Sydney Travel Writing and Internship Program

Australia : Sydney

Located in Sydney and featuring a 12-day guided research trip, this eight-week program from Boston University offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to...

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Boston University: Sydney Film Festival & Internship Program

Australia : Sydney

The Boston University Sydney Film Festival and Internship Program offers students the opportunity to spend eight weeks studying contemporary film in a vibrant cosmopolitan...

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Boston University: Sydney Engineering Program

Australia : Sydney

The Boston University Sydney Engineering Program offers students the opportunity to take technical and engineering courses at the University of Sydney. Upon successful completion...

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Boston University: Sydney Summer Internship Program

Australia : Sydney

The vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Sydney, Australia, is the setting for the Boston University Sydney Internship Program, which offers eight weeks of coursework and participation...

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Boston University: Shanghai Internship Program

China : Shanghai

The Boston University Shanghai Internship Program offers a semester of study and internship experience in a vibrant and booming metropolis in China. Chinese language courses...

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Boston University: Shanghai Summer Chinese Studies Program

China : Shanghai

The Boston University Shanghai Summer Chinese Studies Program at Fudan University offers eight weeks of intensive language study. Students will live and study in China's

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BUAbroad: Shanghai Chinese Language & Culture Program

China : Shanghai

The Boston University Shanghai Chinese Language & Culture Program offers a semester of study in a vibrant and booming metropolis in China. Hosted at Fudan University and

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Rabat Arabic Language & Service Learning Program (Summer)

Morocco : Rabat

Boston University and the Center for Cross Cultural Learning offers a summer language study and volunteer program in Rabat, Morocco. Volunteering placements are available...

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Boston University: Rabat Arabic Studies Program

Morocco : Rabat

The Boston University Rabat Arabic Studies Program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Arabic language and Arab culture by learning and living in...

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Boston University: Padua Summer Italian Studies Program

Italy : Padua

The Boston University Padua Summer Italian Studies Program offers six weeks of intensive language and cultural study in a historic and lively university town about 20 miles...

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Boston University: Guatemala Archaeology Program

Guatemala : Antigua

The Boston University Guatemala Archeology Program provides students with an unparalleled experience in Maya archeology, history, and culture through intensive language study...

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Menorca Field School in Archaeology and Heritage Management

Spain : Ciutadella

The Boston University Menorca Field School in Archeology and Heritage Management program consists of a six-week excavation campaign combined with lectures, laboratory work,...

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Boston University: Madrid Science Program

Spain : Madrid

The Boston University Madrid Science Program, offered only in the fall semester, combines science coursework with Spanish language and culture studies at Universidad Autonoma...

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Boston University: Madrid Management Internship Program

Spain : Madrid

Boston University Study Abroad and the School of Management offer students an exciting opportunity to earn management credit and complete a four-credit internship in Madrid,...

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Boston University: Madrid Summer Spanish Studies Program

Spain : Madrid

The Boston University Madrid Summer Spanish Studies Program takes place at the Instituto Internacional and offers the study of Spanish language, literature, and culture in...

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Boston University: Madrid Summer Internship Program

Spain : Madrid

The Boston University Madrid Summer Internship Program is offered to students who are looking to enhance their Spanish language skills while interning abroad in one of Europe's...

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Boston University: Los Angeles Summer Internship Program

United States : Los Angeles

The Boston University Los Angeles Summer Internship Program focuses on promotion and public relations in the film and television industry. Students will take two courses

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Los Angeles Certificate Program: The Writer in Hollywood

United States : Los Angeles

College graduates who are interested in writing for film and television have the opportunity to continue their education with Boston University Los Angeles Certificate Program:...

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Los Angeles Certificate Program: Acting in Hollywood

United States : Los Angeles

Students who have graduated from the Boston University School of Theater or other university/college theater-training programs are invited to join the Los Angeles Certificate...

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Boston University: London Summer Internship Program

England : London

Study and work in England for eleven weeks through the London Summer Internship Program offered by Boston University. Students will take part in pre-placed internships that...

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Boston University: London History & Literature Program

England : London

Participate in the History & Literature Program offered by Boston University, which provides the opportunity to write, read and live in London through a combination of directed...

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Boston University London Graduate Mass Communication Program

England : London

Take part in the Graduate Mass Communication Program offered by Boston University in London. The program provides students with the opportunity to study global marketing

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London Art History Program with the Courtauld Institute

England : London

Take a semester of Art History at the world-renowned Courtauld Institute of Art of the University of London. Program participants get the chance to experience every facet...

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BUAbroad: London & Paris: Architecture & Urbanism Program

-Multi-Country Locations : -Multi-Country Locations, England and 1 other location , France Show less

Take part in the Architecture & Urbanism Program offered by BUAbroad in London and Paris. This summer program runs for eight weeks. Program participants spend the first four...

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Boston University: Grenoble Science Program

France : Grenoble

Offered in the Fall semester, the Grenoble Science Program is ideal for Pre-Health and other Science students. The program provides science coursework and French language...

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Boston University: Grenoble Engineering Program

France : Grenoble

Take part in the one-semester Grenoble Engineering Program, which is suited for second-semester sophomores in Engineering. The program does not require any prior language...

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Boston University: Grenoble French Studies Program

France : Grenoble

Join the Grenoble French Studies Program, and experience studying and living in a university town located in a stunning alpine setting. The program offers two levels: - Level...

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Boston University: Geneva Physics Program

Switzerland : Geneva

The Boston University Geneva Physics Program brings students directly to the cutting edge of modern physics. With classes at the University of Geneva and directed research...

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BUAbroad: Geneva & London: International Conflict Resolution

-Multi-Country Locations : -Multi-Country Locations, England and 1 other location , Switzerland Show less

Boston University Study Abroad Geneva & London: International Conflict Resolution program introduces students to international conflict resolution in light of contemporary...

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Global Governance, Economic Development and Human Rights

Switzerland : Geneva

Global governance is a complex and dynamic process through which public, private, and civil society actors having different, and sometimes conflicting, interests and perspectives...

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Boston University: Dublin Internship Program (Summer)

Ireland : Dublin

The Boston University Dublin Summer Internship Program offers eight weeks of coursework in a single liberal arts course and participation in a professional internship in

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Boston University: Dublin Engineering Program

Ireland : Dublin

The Boston University Dublin Engineering Program offers upper division engineering students the opportunity to take technical and engineering courses through local university...

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Boston University: Burgos University Spanish Studies Program

Spain : Burgos

Burgos, two hours north of Madrid, is known as a center of Spanish tradition. Home to one of Europe's most beautiful Gothic cathedrals, Burgos was an important way station...

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Boston University: Auckland University Studies Program

New Zealand : Auckland

The combination of academic work, field trips, and personal travel opportunities in Boston University Auckland University Studies Program gives students a rich introduction...

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Boston University: Auckland Internship Program

New Zealand : Auckland

For those seeking beautiful travel destinations, New Zealand should be near the top of the list. All Boston University programs in Auckland give students ample opportunity...

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Boston University: Argentina Cultural Studies Program

Argentina : Buenos Aires

The Boston University Argentina Cultural Studies Program offers students the opportunity to live and study in Buenos Aires, Argentina's intellectual and cultural capital

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Boston University: Geneva Internship Program

Switzerland : Geneva

With its glorious alpine setting, a multitude of important global organizations, and a certain sense that everything is just so, Geneva is a marvelous place to live and study....

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Boston University: Dresden Science Program

Germany : Dresden

Offering science courses taught in English, Boston University's Dresden Science Program is designed to fit neatly in science students' existing curricula and requirements....

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Boston University: Paris Summer Internship Program

France : Paris

The Boston University Paris Summer Internship Program offers students the opportunity to spend eight weeks living, studying, and interning in Paris, France. Students are

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Boston University: Washington, DC Journalism Program

United States : Washington D.C.

The Boston University Washington, DC Journalism Program offers graduate and undergraduate journalism students the opportunity to spend a semester in the capital of the United...

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Boston University: Dresden Engineering Program

Germany : Dresden

On all our Dresden Programs, students study at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), one of the oldest and most prestigious technical universities in Germany. The program...

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Boston University: Dresden Internship Program

Germany : Dresden

Boston University is offering the Dresden Internship Program to advanced German language speakers. The program combines coursework and professional internship. It is ideal...

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Boston University: Paris Internship Program

France : Paris

Spend a semester of work and study in the hub of French and European culture and business through the Paris Internship Program. The program combines Liberal Arts courses,...

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Boston University: Ecuador Tropical Ecology Program

Ecuador : Quito

Boston University is inviting Biology and Environmental Science majors to join the Ecuador Tropical Ecology Program. The program offers the opportunity to study the diverse...

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Boston University: Venice Studio Arts Program

Italy : Venice

A semester-long program, the Venice Studio Arts Program offers coursework in Painting or Graphic Design in Venice. The city provides a unique classroom through its canals,...

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Boston University: Washington, DC Internship Program

United States : Washington D.C.

Spend a semester of study and work in the media and political center of the United States through the Washington, DC Internship Program. The program combines full-time internship...

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BUAbroad: Haifa Israeli & Middle Eastern Studies Program

Israel : Haifa

Take part in the Haifa Language & Liberal Arts Program for a semester or academic year. The program is based in the cosmopolitan Mediterranean port of Haifa, Israel, and

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Boston University: Dublin Internship Program

Ireland : Dublin

Spend a semester studying and working in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe through the Dublin Internship Program offered by Boston University. Hosted by Dublin...

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Boston University: Quito Latin American Studies Program

Ecuador : Quito

The Boston University Quito Latin American Studies Program immerses students in the cultural and ecological diversity of the northern Andean country of Ecuador, through direct...

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Boston University: Madrid Engineering Program

Spain : Madrid

The rewards of studying engineering in Madrid are many: Exposure to another culture in preparation for technical careers in the global economy, access to elite research facilities...

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Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

  • Allison Rottmann - Boston University Shanghai Director

    Allison Rottmann - Boston University Shanghai Director

    Allison Rottmann is the director of Boston University Study Abroad programs in Shanghai, China at Fudan University. Her teaching and research interests include Shanghai history, gender in Chinese history, and the city and revolution. She has a Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Duke University School of Law. She discovered her passion for China while studying international relations at George Washington University.

    You have a Ph.D. in Chinese history and a law degree. How do you incorporate this knowledge and these skills into your role as Director of BU Shanghai?        

    A part of my job is to teach classes in Chinese history at Fudan University for BU and other international students. My graduate study is therefore directly linked to a routine part of my work as director through teaching. More broadly, my years of studying and researching in China as a graduate student provided me with extensive knowledge about the country and its people. You can learn a lot from reading books, but living within a culture brings you to a different level of understanding about how a foreign society works.

    







Study abroad students in Shanghai, China

    Allison with Fall 2013 students.

    I also teach the Internship Seminar and do my best to mentor students in the Shanghai Internship Program. Teaching students how to thrive in a Chinese organizational or business environment also requires me to use the knowledge I’ve gained from studying and living in China since I first came here as a law student in 1985. 

    How did you originally get connected with BU’s programs in China?

    I was in Shanghai in 2008 for historical research as a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. During that time, Boston University approached me about teaching a history class for their program at Fudan University, and to also help manage the program while it was without a Director. Without any specific plan to do so, I found a home with Boston University in Shanghai. 

    There’s likely not a typical day for you, but what does your role as BU Shanghai Director entail on a day-to-day basis?

    I spend a lot of time writing and engaged in all kinds of research and communications. Most days after I wake up, I brew a strong pot of tea, sit down at my kitchen table, and begin to answer e-mails. After a couple of hours dealing with the most pressing or easiest matters, I’m ready to break away from the computer and commute to the program office on Fudan’s campus. If it’s a teaching day, that will occupy a good amount of my time. I spend at least one-third of my time on work related to teaching.

    Other times, I may have meetings arranged with students, faculty, staff, or internship sponsors. I try to always be available to students who want to talk about anything. Sometimes, I travel with them on educational excursions around China. I see my job as working to manage and cooperate with three groups: Fudan University, Boston University, and the students here in the program. These groups have some things in common and some things in conflict. I try to keep the pieces related to these three groups operating and mixing well together so that in the end the students have a great educational experience in Shanghai.

    







BU Study Abroad Shanghai staff member with students

    Allison with Fall 2014 students.

    What sets BU’s program in Shanghai apart from other study abroad programs in Shanghai?

    I think the depth of our internship program is one special quality. BU program students work 20 hours per week at their internships while being full-time students at Fudan. Along with commuting in a megacity and the required academic components of the program, the students who choose the Internship Program make a serious commitment of time, effort, and heart to advance their skills in multiple fields in this program. This demanding work and study experience ends up leaving students with not only a variety of new or polished professional skills, but also the kind of self-knowledge and experience that many employers seek.

    I also think that the high quality of the Chinese language classes offered by BU Shanghai sets us apart from many programs. We run our Chinese classes independently of any other school or department, and have a wonderful language coordinator who focuses on making our classes as good as we possibly can. Many classes three or four students, the perfect size for language learning.

    The quality of our program staff is also unique. We have a staff of four professionals with advanced degrees. This allows our commitment to education, health and safety, cultural experiences, student life, and more to be top-quality.  

    What role does language learning play in your Shanghai programs?

    Language learning is a crucial part of the BU programs in China. Each program we’ve created and operate here requires students to attend a Chinese language course. We offer courses for the beginner, for those already fluent in Chinese, and all levels in between. We have standard university-paced classes, and some designed on an “intensive” model to let students take advantage of their location to advance their language skills as much as they possibly can as fast as they can. Our classes are small, and students receive a lot of individual attention.

    







Pudong Financial District skyline at night in China

    A wintertime visit to the Bund, with the Pudong Financial District skyline in the background.

    I believe that some degree of fluency in Chinese is required if you want to understand deeply Chinese culture, politics, or business. Therefore, while I don’t see the BU Shanghai programs as “language programs,” the language classes that we design, staff, and run are a vital part of the educational experience available here.

    What types of extracurricular activities are available for students in Shanghai? Do students have opportunities to interact with and immerse in local culture?        

    Nearly any type of activity a student could want to participate in is available on campus or in this city that’s three times the size of New York City. Fudan University itself has many organizations that our students have joined, such as those in dance, sports, and singing.  Engaging in these types of organizations is one of the best ways to get to know Fudan students. Living here means that you can’t do things exactly the same way that you might do them at home, however. This mostly applies to political activism.

    But if you make friends, you’ll be able to learn an awful lot about what’s on people’s minds. Chinese people tend to be warm, welcoming, and open to meeting foreigners and speaking English. It takes only a small effort on the part of the student to become a part of any local scene. If a student spends a lot of time with other foreigners while they’re in China, I think they miss out on enjoying the surprises and pleasures of local immersion.

    







Boston University Alumni for Global Day of Service participants in China

    Beach cleaning with students and BU alumni for Global Day of Service.

    Your first experience living in China was almost 30 years ago. What are some of the most notable changes you have experienced in China over the last 30 years?        

    If some fundamentals in the land and culture were not the same, I could easily think I was in a different country. There were mule-drawn carts in the streets when I first came to China. And bicycles ruled the roads. Millions and millions of bicycles. In Shanghai, the Pudong of today with that amazing skyline and some of the tallest buildings in the world, did not exist. I heard people say it would exist and then in the space of a decade, it did. The speed of change in China is really remarkable. In just a few decades, a group of people nearly the size of the population of the United States has moved out of the United Nation’s lowest level of poverty of living on one dollar a day. Such a massive, fast movement of people out of dire poverty to something better has never happened before in history.

    I could go on with specific examples of changes I’ve seen, but as a historian, I rather point out the significance of what is still happening in China right now. When you come to live here, every day you’ll be part of and see all around you events that will be written about for centuries to come. It’s very exciting to live somewhere, even for a few months, knowing that you’re standing in the middle of something defining, unique, tremendous, and definitely historical. 

    You’re in your sixth year as BU Shanghai Director, what has been your biggest achievement since you took on the role in 2009?

    From a practical perspective, its been to see the new program that BU created in Shanghai become established and successful in terms of student enrollment and satisfaction. On a more personal note, it’s been to be affiliated with an educational program that can change students’ lives. When I first began this job, I remember hearing another director tell some students that their lives would be transformed because they came to study in Shanghai. I felt that was too big of a promise to make to students, and I still do. However, she was more or less right! More students than I would have imagined possible have told me that the Shanghai program has transformed them and their futures in significant ways. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have as director to be a part of this.

    







Volunteer farming in Yunnan Province, China

    Fall 2014 students working the land in Yunnan province.

    What does the future hold for BU Shanghai? Are there any changes or areas of expansion on the horizon?

    I can’t predict future trends, but a current one is increasing enrollment in the Shanghai programs, and more students creates the potential for new programs. I would love to see the creation of topic specific programs based in China with BU faculty involvement, such as something focused on the environment or on economic development. We could also consider new summer programs, such as an internship program or another program that offers new summer classes in addition to Chinese language ones.

    What is the most fulfilling part of your role as Director of BU Shanghai?  

    I usually tell students at the start of the semester that I hope they’ll fall at least a little bit in love with China during their time here. Most students do develop a love for one or many aspects of China and that’s really satisfying for me.