I humbly thank Mr. Freeman and the The Freeman Foundation for supporting me financially in my year-long journey in China. This study abroad experience would not be possible without your generosity.
2017-2018 Freeman Scholars
Ready to take on Asia!
The Freeman Foundation was established in 1994 through a bequest and in memory of the businessman and benefactor Mansfield Freeman, a former director of AIG. The Shidler College of Business is grateful to have the Freeman Foundation as a partner in offering travel scholarships to deserving undergraduate students interested in studying abroad to Asia.
Mia Porter- Freeman Scholar
Bring it on!
"Completing my capstone year in Nanjing, China will allow me the opportunity to gain fluency in the Chinese language as well as experience in the business environment. I look forward to immersing myself in the culture, and learning more about myself in the process."
FREEMAN STUDY ABROAD SCHOLARSHIP VIDEO
Giving students an amazing opportunity
Shidler students recipients of the Freeman Scholarship in the past share their experiences.
Hi, I'm Mia! As a student full of passion, creativity, and dedication, I enjoy studying Finance and Chinese and meeting new people. For the final year of my undergraduate degree, I will be enrolled in the Chinese Flagship Capstone Year program. The first semester will be at Nanjing University and the second will be completing a finance internship. Check out more information at the Manoa Flagship website!
From the beautiful islands of Hawai'i, to the city scene in Nanjing- Wish me luck!
Mia Porter (Me)
I sort of graduated!
I was blessed to be able to walk in the convocation ceremony at UH Manoa before embarking on my journey!
Check out my linkedIn for more information about my past experiences and professional aspirations
Applications, Visas and Anxiety
Preparing for Capstone
TIP ONE: Keep your advisors informed
At Shidler, it was very important for me to plan my semesters in advance and to be sure I left one International Business elective to take abroad so I remained a student. I also had to get approval to have the internship in Nanjing count for credit for UH Manoa. None of this would have been possible without the collaboration of Rikki and Rick from Shidler as well as Professor Spring and Susanne from Flagship.
TIP TWO: Keep a positive attitude
With the rigor and intensity of what you are trying to accomplish, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and want to give up. However, remember the big picture! You are trying to do well in your major and master another language. That is no easy feat! Take it one day at a time, maintain your time management, and you'll be fine.
TIP THREE: Be proactive!
One of the things I learned in the capstone application process is that I could not sit idle and wait for other people to figure things out for me. This is my life goal and I need to be proactive in every meeting, study session, and email response.
Getting Ready to Leave for China
Before leaving the islands, there were a few necessary things to do in preparation.
1) Download Wechat
Wechat is basically China's Facebook, venmo, and everything else all in one. Everyone is on Wechat and it is a major mode of communication in China. So the earlier you get it set up, the better!
2) Get a VPN
Going to China will limit a lot of your usual internet browsing if you do not have a VPN. I personally was not able to get the free UH one to work, so I bought ExpressVPN for about $10 a month. It works great and allows seamless access to facebook and google...majority of the time
3) Use your Connections
Hopefully in the years of flagship and intensive summer sessions, you were able to make connections with people working/living in China that would be able to give suggestions on where you should intern or just about how life if like in China. I was able to talk to multiple former Flagship capstone students on WeChat that gave me a completely realistic and accurate depiction of what life in Nanjing would be like as their personal internship experience.
4) Send in Visa Application
For obtaining my visa, I had to go through a local travel agency. The closest Chinese embassy to Honolulu is Los Angeles, but the good news is that I did not have to turn it in in person, but I had to hire a travel agent to send it in for me. As I will be a student there for a year, I applied for the X1 visa with multiple entries.
Here is a link with good visa information: http://www.mychinavisa.com/
Photos & videos from my travels.