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LIASE Student Experiences

Dozens of Tri-College students have traveled to Asia to study environmental and sustainability topics as part of the LIASE program. Student-faculty groups have traveled throughout the region to visit a variety of sites such as agricultural research centers, cities, government programs, organic farms, parks, public works, religious sites, universities, wilderness preserves, and zoos. For many students, these firsthand experiences have profoundly changed their understanding of environmental issues in the region. LIASE has helped them interact substantively with the people and places central to their classroom discussions and research.

Nancy Awad, Swarthmore '20 (Food and Agriculture class, 2018)

"My topic is on the role of women in food security, specifically, the role of women in the feminization of organic agriculture in China. Therefore, having a main focus on organic agriculture and being able to talk to the directors of these farms (many of whom were women) was beneficial for my research and an enriching experience for me."​​​​​​

Calvin Chan, Swarthmore '20 (Food and Agriculture class, 2018)

"In addition to learning about ecological farming and the growing awareness for ecofriendly agriculture in China, I also had the opportunity to interact with and better understand local citizens. Visiting both urban and rural centers opened my eyes to the complexity and diversity of Chinese culture, values, and cuisine."

Courtney Dalton, Bryn Mawr '19 (Contemplative Traditions, 2016)

"Japan isn’t a big country, so I don’t understand how these trees and hills can stretch on for so long. Compact clusters of houses, inns, gardens, cemeteries, post offices, shrines, rice paddies, swimming pools, and convenience stores are snug against the apparently unharmed pine forests. I didn’t know there were still places where things coexisted like this." From Courtney Dalton's blog

Shuang Guan, Swarthmore '19 (Water class, 2017)


"I think one of the most valuable aspects of a study trip is that we’re actually able to see in person the things we read about over the semester, and in much more detail. ... Visiting the site where ShuangXi Reservoir is proposed to be built with Mr. Liang and the local farmer (both brimming with passion) was unforgettable. Hearing about the protests against the government and the complicated (and sometimes conflicting) wants and concerns of the local villagers connected closely to our class discussions about whether building huge dam structures is warranted or not and the human consequences of them."

Angie Koo, Bryn Mawr, '15 (Perspectives on Sustainability: Disaster and Rebuilding in Japan, 2014)

"As a Cities major, Environmental Studies minor, and someone interested in Japanese society, I wanted to work on a project that would incorporate all these fields. This was also the initial reason I applied for the 360. The 3.11 disasters were one of the four events we studied in depth in our 360 but as it is still such an ongoing issue, I think there is still a great deal to be studied and understood about its effects and I wanted continue from where our 360 left off. In addition, this is an area of study that I hope to be involved in after I graduate and so this opportunity to work on something I am deeply interested in is invaluable."  From Angie Koo's blog

Sacha Lin, Swarthmore '20 (Food and Agriculture class, 2018)

"Only when I was in China did I start to understand, on a deeper level of comprehension, the implications of China’s rapid development. Displacement took on a new meaning for me, and I began to mourn the potentially irrevocable loss of history and culture."

Zahabya Mama, Bryn Mawr '17 (Eurasia in Flux, 2017)

"Traveling for thousands of miles from Moscow through Mongolia, into Inner Mongolia and China shed light on how the people interact with the environment. In one of our course cluster classes we talked about the environment and its relation to the frontier. Going through Mongolia into Hohhot illustrated exactly this. For example, we learned about how pastoralism depends upon the climate and the environment, which in turn affects the people.”