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Kalamazoo College

Amanda Johnson

Hudsonville, MI
Economics and Political Science
Study Abroad:
China Extended Term (Beijing and Harbin)
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Learning Chinese allows you to speak with 1.4 billion people and challenges you in unique ways, ways that no other department can.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
Initially, I was drawn to study Chinese by the challenge of learning a tonal and character based language. I have continued studying Chinese because of the ability to share conversation with so many more people and develop a better understanding of people from a different culture than my own. 

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Persevere. It can be difficult to adjust to learning a language so different from Latin languages, but persevere; be innovative in your study techniques and you will receive long-term benefits.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
Learning Chinese has allowed me to travel to China, meet so many wonderful people, and learn about Economics from a new perspective.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Ask difficult questions and be ready when the answers might not be what you hope, and then fight for new answers that work towards a better society and community.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
Econometrics, because it allowed me to expand upon previous economic training, but also challenged me beyond my comfort zone of theoretical economics.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is an econometric comparative analysis of environmental racism and classism in the United States and China.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I hope to go back to China for a year to continue my language acquisition, and then I hope to go on and get my PhD in Economics to prepare me for a career in international economic analysis with the United States Government.

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