After growing up in New York City and receiving constant exposure to different languages and customs, recent Indiana University graduate Jamie Lui decided to pursue a major in International Studies with a minor in Chinese Language and Culture.
“Some of my closest friends were Japanese, Bengali and Haitian. I felt accustomed to cultural diversity but I also wanted to deepen my cultural understanding of the Chinese side of my family. I became interested in foreign policy because good diplomacy facilitates cultural diversity,” said Lui.
Lui has already expanded her knowledge of Chinese culture and politics outside of the classroom by traveling to Beijing and Shanghai her junior year. Her interest in studying Chinese in an immersive environment only continued when she applied for the Critical Language Scholarship.
Lui was offered the CLS due to her passion for Chinese culture and emphasized how she has high hopes of intertwining it with her career goals along with her personal life.
Throughout Lui’s IU undergraduate career, she also heightened her studies through the Certificate in Applied Research and Inquiry (CARI). While participating in CARI Lui was able to deepen her understanding of foreign policy and political equality in America.
Upon accepting this award, CLS will send Lui to Changchun, a city located in northeast China, where she will attend language and cultural courses during the week. On the weekends Lui will have the opportunity to explore other parts of the city and its surrounding areas.
Lui aspires to use the CLS as a chance to improve her professional Chinese in order to strengthen her performance in Chinese work environments. She also plans on using this time to explore the food culture of the northeastern region of China.
In the fall, Lui will make her way back to New York where she will initiate a language exchange group in which anyone interested in teaching a language in exchange for being educated in a new language is welcome to join.
Lui will also be applying to graduate school while in New York and when thinking long-term, she strives to work for a think-tank or government career associated with East Asian-US relations.