Imagine the impact of hearing first-hand, the story of a man who survived the Cultural Revolution as you share dumplings with him in his Shanghai apartment. “This is a really great example of how travel makes the difference in learning,” says Dyson Professor of Economics Joseph Morreale, PhD. He and Assistant Professor Anna Shostya, PhD, shared that experience with 19 Pace students and Department Chair Anne Bynoe on an economics travel course to the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST). The travel course was part of a new track for economics majors designed by Morreale, Shostya, and Lecturer Mark Weinstock to introduce students to the culture, language, and economy of China.
“We always knew that we needed a concentration on China in our curriculum, and there was definitely a demand to learn more about emerging nations,” explains Shostya. The faculty proposed their idea for the course sequence while participating in the Confucius Institute’s faculty seminar program. The students spent the first half of their trip visiting Shanghai, Beijing, and Suzhou and immersing themselves in China’s 5,000 year history, including walking the Great Wall.
The second half of their trip entailed Chinese language and culture classes at USST. “The travel course and the China track are certainly topics that I bring up during internship interviews because they demonstrate my understanding of current international events and they are examples of activities that have increased my level of analytic thinking and writing skills,” says Business Economics major Gerta Gjonaj ’14.