Student awarded prestigious Gilman scholarship to study abroad

July 25, 2011

Junior Hayoung Kim, who is in China this summer teaching English and International Politics, has been awarded a prestigious Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Bejing in the fall semester.

The $3,000 Gilman award is the second grant Kim, a Political Science and International Studies major from Rockville, Md., has received. Earlier in the summer, she earned a $5,000 Freeman-Asia Award to study in China with the IES Abroad “Contemporary Issues in China” program.

McDaniel junior Hayoung Kim stands in the classroom at the desk where the founder of the Peoples Republic of China Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) studied Karl Marx and philosophy and began forming his ideas of communism.

After several weeks teaching in Changsha city in the Hunan Province, Kim writes via e-mail that there have been some surprises that have shocked her.

“Chinese people do not consider themselves communist,” she writes. “My TA (teacher’s assistant) told me, and this is what she exactly said in English, ‘I did not know China was communist until I went to America.’

“To the eyes of a typical American, China has less freedom, but Chinese do not think they have limited freedom.”

Hayoung Kim shows her McDaniel spirit in the Changsha high school attended by Mao Zedong (Tse-tung), whose quote, Kim translates as “If you want to become a citizens' teacher, you have to be their students first."

Kim looks forward to her study program in the fall.

“I am very excited about this opportunity because I think it is very critical to understand the place where the rapid growth of the economy is changing the world,” says Kim, who was an intern before heading for China in the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice in D.C. before leaving for China. “What is communism? What does it feel like to be living with no freedom of speech? Or no Facebook? I want to figure this out for myself when I study abroad in China.

Hayoung Kim in front of “an extremely famous historical site for the Chinese people,” the high school Mao Zedong attended.

“This is a personal issue for me as I am an advocate for basic human rights for every single citizen of this world.”

Kim adds that she’s doing fine without Facebook, but she “cracked the system once and updated my status. Haha.”

About 200 McDaniel students study abroad each year at McDaniel Europe, the college’s degree-granting branch in Budapest, Hungary, or one of dozens of study-abroad sites around the world.