Studying abroad allowed me to gain insights on issues that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – through seeing things I that otherwise wouldn’t have.
Studying abroad allowed me to gain insights on issues that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise – through seeing things I that otherwise wouldn’t have. Some examples: I went on a trip to Inner Mongolia, where I got the chance to visit grasslands within the province. The grasslands – popular tourist sites – were populated with several large wind turbines which powered electricity for large parts of the region. I’d read reports about China’s renewable energy efforts (for example, China invests more on a nominal basis in renewable energy than any other country), but seeing this in practice made this more graspable – the sheer size and number of these turbines helped convey the sheer scale of these efforts.
Another example: I attended a screening of a documentary film about the ivory trade in China, “The Ivory Game”, at Columbia’s Global Center in Beijing. The screening was followed by a panel discussion involving one of the investigators in the film. In the discussion that followed the screening, a CCTV (a channel run by the Chinese state television broadcaster) reporter in the audience questioned the film’s assertion that the resolution issue hinges almost solely on the Chinese government’s policy. This chance to witness the raw playing-out of a political contention was unique, and one that I was only able to experience because of the space I was in – again, enabled by studying abroad.