Olivia DongMei Rauss ’15 spent her summer working for the Amity Foundation, a community-service NGO based in Nanjing, China. Rauss participated as a teacher and tutor for two programs with the organization: the Service Learning Program for students in rural China with mental disabilities, and the Summer English Program workshop for English-language teachers in Jingchuan, China.
The Amity Foundation’s China teaching program has hosted numerous Haverford and Bryn Mawr students in previous summers, through a partnership with Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. This year, four students from the Bi-Co worked with the teaching program: Rauss, Sherilyn Galvez ’16, Shuyi Lin BMC ’15, and Amy Xu BMC ’17.
Rauss, an East Asian studies major, was born in Nanjing, China, and adopted by a U.S. family at the age of three. She spent fall 2012 studying abroad in Harbin, China, and says her experience then only fueled her desire to return to the country. “I have always had a personal interest in China,” she relates. “This summer, I loved being able to experience firsthand many aspects of China that I had only previously studied. From these new experiences I have begun to understand the culture on a completely different level.”
The opportunity to practice teaching techniques and learn more about the Chinese educational system have inspired Rauss to pursue a career in education. “I feel I gained a deeper understanding of myself, as well as of China, this summer,” she says. “I now know that I very much want to go into teaching as a career, and I am starting to think about graduate school, as well as finding teaching opportunities after graduation.”
—Kelsey Ryan ’14