Melanie Marquez

Melanie Marquez in China

Melanie Marquez is earning a degree in foods and nutrition, with a minor in interdisciplinary studies. For her study abroad experience she decided to go to China because it was a country she knew very little about. “The timing of the trip was extremely convenient, but I was looking forward to going to China because I had no idea what to expect,” Marquez says.

Before leaving, Marquez was a little apprehensive, “I had never been so far from my family. I thought I would miss home, but I was so busy and having too much fun that I didn’t miss home. I also didn’t feel like I was in danger while abroad at all. I was never alone, and the city of Shanghai was very welcoming.”

The simple fact of experiencing a completely different culture and country was incredible to Marquez. “The students I studied with became my friends. We formed a strong bond as we experienced everything together, from getting lost to eating scorpions,” adds Marquez.

After her time in China, Marquez’ career goal is to help her own country, “I love my country. I now appreciate everything it offers and recognizes what we are doing wrong. I learned to successfully move within a culture I knew nothing about, how to interact with people from different parts of the world, and to understand and appreciate people with different customs.”