In pursuit of his dream of becoming a robotics engineer, traveling the world and experiencing new cultures, Jakim Johnson ’19 will study engineering with the Chinese Studies Institute’s E84 in China program this summer, thanks in part to the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA).
Johnson is one of 25 top-performing students awarded an FEA scholarship. He is an active member of Black Lives and Allies at Mudd, a diversity intern for the Office of Admission and winner of the College’s Copper Chef competition. Johnson, who is originally from New Zealand, moved to the U.S. in 2008. “I’m really excited to go to China, and I plan on studying abroad another semester during my junior year,” he says.
For eight weeks, Johnson will study Chinese language, history and culture at Chinese Studies Institute located at Peking University, a major research institution in China and one of the top universities in the world. He will also participate in Introduction to Electronic and Magnetic Circuits and Devices (E84), a course taught by HMC engineering Professor Ruye Wang, an expert in computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition and computer graphics. Participating students also take Introduction to Chinese Language and China in Transformation, the latter of which explores Chinese political history and the country’s rise to modernization. Johnson will stay in Peking University campus dorms and visit locations such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. He’ll also travel to Ping Yao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Shanxi Province.
The FEA lifts barriers to study abroad by awarding scholarships to top-performing U.S. students for whom study abroad is traditionally beyond reach, either because of background, lack of access or an atypical language focus or travel destination. The organization works to increase opportunities for dedicated American students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. Eighty percent of 2016 FEA Scholars are first-generation college students, three quarters are of minority background and will study the host country language, and more than half attend minority-serving institutions or community colleges.
Harvey Mudd College, a leader in science, mathematics and engineering education, has an ongoing mission to provide its students with a rich background in the humanities and social sciences. Studying abroad allows its students to continue their education while absorbing the rich culture of another country. Johnson is part of the record number of Harvey Mudd students studying abroad this spring.