Matthew Castiglione, IPD ’19

China Dream Practicum

The Understanding the China Dream Practicum was an invaluable immersive professional Learning program lead by Professor Wei Liang, Professor Yuwei Shi, and Professor Jessica Teats. The goal of the program is to help MIIS students to understand the legacy, reality, and aspiration of the China Dream as seen by the stakeholders inside and outside of China and to research the growing significance of the China factor in the regional and global economic, political, social, and ecological affairs.

The two-week study trip to China with site visits and guest lectures by prominent academics and practitioners from universities, businesses, governments, and NGOs. We traveled to six different cities: Beijing, Suzhou, Shanghai, Dali, Kunming, and Shenzhen. These are well-known cities that have significant political, economic, and social importance in China. Most importantly any domestic and international policies created by the Chinese Government are first implemented in these cities.

I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to go to the source and engage the leaders that are impacting the policy development in China. It was also an amazing opportunity to be able to utilize my improved Chinese language skill and the international relation, economic, politic, and social knowledge gained in past year at MIIS and immediately apply them to my research during this practicum. This practicum not only enhanced my past two semesters of education at MIIS, it will also elevate my education for the remainder of my time at MIIS.

“Group Photo with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Investment Operations Manager Mr. Ke Fang May 2018.”

I am still amazed at that how we were able to sit across a table and engage with some of the most important business and government leaders of China. This practicum will not be possible without the academic achievements and connections of the professors and the reputation of MIIS.

MIIS promotes not only learning from the professors at the institute but also to harness the highly professional student body by learning together and networking. This practicum has gathered some of the brightest students at the institute and from the Middlebury College. It was awesome to be able to share this immersive professional learning experience with them and build a solid network with them.

My recommendation for MIIS Students: Jump on the opportunity for the next China Practicum or other IPL programs. These IPL programs are an invaluable experience that will significantly enhance your academic study and boost your career potential. For this trip specifically: Pack light, learn some Chinese (if you don’t know Chinese), and be open to trying some amazing varieties of Chinese food (you won’t find orange chicken in China!).

Click here to see Matthew’s video on his experiences in China

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