My name is Brittany Partin, and I’m from Colorado Springs, CO. I studied Japanese independently and at Pikes Peak Community College before transferring to Valparaiso University, where I started studying Chinese. I graduated in December 2009 with a degree in Economics and Chinese and Japanese Studies, and I was also a scholar at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college. During my undergraduate career, I studied abroad for one semester at Kansai Gaidai in Hirakata, Japan, and traveled to various cities in China as part of a research seminar. I also had the opportunity to teach Mandarin to a class of elementary school students through the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University. In addition to private language tutoring for kids, I have also done freelance translations and interpreting. Drawing is my favorite hobby, so I've found a number of ways to overlap my academic and artistic endeavors.
The Masters of Arts in Chinese Studies program has provided the best opportunities I’ve had yet to improve my Chinese in a timely manner. The summer program in Hangzhou made me a more confident, comfortable speaker and gave me a chance to settle into daily life in China, and I’ve still been improving every week while continuing the program on campus in Valparaiso. In the future, I would like to work in a setting where I can routinely use my language skills and help improve diplomatic ties and increase standards of living for people in multiple countries. For the next few years, I am aiming for the young professionals’ programs at the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank, and later on I might pursue an advanced degree at a graduate school abroad.