Meet Matthew Morris, a Tulane University senior majoring in Asian studies and finance. He speaks Chinese — Ni hao! — and has a passion for numbers. In today’s Insider, we find out what he’s up to and how he’s putting his unique skill set to work.
Matthew Morris, right, is pictured here with his roommate Fei Yikun, overlooking the border between China and North Korea. (Photo from Matthew Morris)
How long have you been studying Chinese?
I have been studying Chinese since I was a sophomore in high school. I continued Chinese at Tulane, but once I returned from my study abroad, my level exceeded the classes Tulane offers.
That’s impressive! So you studied abroad in China?
Yes. I decided to go to China because I knew there was no other way to master the Chinese language than to fully submerse myself in the language itself. I left for China right after the end of my sophomore year (2010) and stayed from June until December for a total of seven months.
Tell me about your experience in China.
I spent three months living with a Chinese family in Beijing, part-time studying Chinese and part-time interning in an investment firm. My real abroad experience began when I left for Harbin, China, to study Chinese full-time. I attended an interesting program sponsored by CET
that forbids the use of English for the entire duration of the program. This really helped with mastering my tones. It was highly intensive with almost 22 hours of Chinese per week.
Let’s talk about your current internship at the Academy of Chinese Studies.
My work with ACS
is part of my second-tier public service requirement.
I am working with the school to develop its program and expand its current student base. I also plan to work with the school to improve its financial records and future financial plans. I also enjoy volunteering to help tutor the kids enrolled and help adults practice their oral Chinese.
Congratulations on your success!
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