Monica Carvlaho Alves, '16 Travels to China

August 18, 2014

Monica Carvalho

Monica was an English tutor in Beijing, China.

What are you studying?

I major in environmental science and public health and minor in sustainability.

Where are you spending your summer? What are you doing?

I'm spending my summer in Beijing, China as an English tutor to both children and young adults. This thought came to me after I spent my spring semester in this enormous city. As my program was coming to a close I decided to stay and experience the rich culture and diversity that Beijing has to offer.

What program were you participating in during your spring semester?

The Environmental, Cultural, and Economic Sustainability program. This program introduced me to the critical field of sustainability through lecture, discussion, student research and first hand experiential activities in Beijing. This experience exposed me to a new cultural dynamic and introduced me to the field of sustainability. I learned about the urgent need for sustainable practices and the potential of continued benefits from long-term economic growth. In order for improvement to happen, an understanding of the "three-pillar" model of sustainability is necessary, articulating the critical need to balance environmental, sociocultural and economic needs in development.

What's the most rewarding part of your experience so far?

Rewarding experiences, believe it or not, stumble upon me every day. Whether it's hearing the perspective of a world issue with a local or just striking up a conversation with a Beijinger about which bus to take back to my dormitory, rewarding experiences are always around the corner.

What excites you most about coming back to Simmons in the fall?

Seeing my friends again! Being away for over 6 months has made me realize how greatly I appreciate being around close friends in an academic setting.

Where's your go-to spot to hang out in the summer?

My roommate and I have acquired numerous places to spend our summer. The majority of our time is divided between cafes, restaurants and the university where we spent our spring semester.

What's your summer anthem?

"Lack of Color" by Death Cab for Cutie. I chose this as my summer anthem because for the first time in years, experiencing the world as an adult is fact, not fiction. Also, this is my go-to song when I'm riding home from work!