Noelan Brewington-Janssen (right) poses on the steps of the Buddha statue in Ling Shan, China.
With China fast becoming a major world economic power, University of San Francisco junior business major Noelan
Brewington-Janssen saw a chance to put his professional future on solid footing
by immersing himself in a culture he’d long been drawn to.
After learning about the Benjamin A. Gilman International
Scholarship program last fall, Brewington-Janssen, an incoming junior, applied
and was accepted. He is now in Shanghai familiarizing himself with how the
Chinese do business.
The Gilman scholars program offers tuition and travel grants
for low-income U.S. citizen undergraduates to pursue academic studies abroad,
to prepare them to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy.
After arriving in Shanghai at the end of May,
Brewington-Janssen set to work teaching English to children at a language
institute and blogging about his experience.
He’ll relocate to Beijing when the 2010-2011 school year begins in order to
study at the Beijing Center at the University of International Business and
“Because my future career goals are to work in an industry
related to China, I need to understand Chinese business practices and Chinese
culture and the only way for me to do this is to spend a significant amount of
time in China,” said Brewington-Janssen, who is pursuing a minor in Chinese.
Upon returning to the U.S, Brewington-Janssen plans to share
his travel experience with other USF and Bay Area students through his blog and
personal presentations. “The goal is to highlight the importance of developing
cultural understanding and to inspire others to seek out an international
experiences of their own,” Brewington-Janssen said.
USF alumnus Sophia Kleinsasser ’09 is also on foreign soil,
thanks to the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, part of
the Fulbright Program.
Kleinsasser, who majored in international studies and
graduated magna cum laude, left in early August to teach English to high
school-level students. She’ll be based in Pleven, close to the Romanian border.
“I’m looking forward to being immersed with the
language and culture of Bulgaria and the region,” Kleinsasser said.