Meet a Major: Mengxi Chen

Mengxi ChenHometown: Beijing, China
Double major: Religion; women's, gender, and sexuality studies
Graduation: May 2016

After graduation: Plans to pursue a master’s degree in religion or international studies

"[Studying] religion gives me a wider perspective on culture…. My major gives me the knowledge I need for a global perspective."

Why did you decide to major in religion?

Religion is my second major, which I chose because the courses interest and challenge me. Eventually I would love to pursue international studies, which religion would provide a fantastic background for.

What have been your best experiences in the major?

I’ve really appreciated the courses that I’ve taken in Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. I have found that in China and America, we are not often given many opportunities to learn about religion. However, Miami has allowed me to examine a diverse range of religions. For instance, I am a Buddhist, but now I understand the relationship between different sects of Buddhism. My coursework offers me a panorama of the entire religion in a way that makes sense.

Studying abroad in America for all four years of my college experience has been a great opportunity. I’ve also gotten the chance to go to India and a number of other countries that I would have never imagined visiting. It has been a challenge but a very worthwhile one.

Professors in the Department of Comparative Religion really care about their students. At Miami I’ve been able to build great relationships with my instructors as they take time to guide me.

How has studying religion prepared you for a career?

The Department of Comparative Religion offers students different opportunities to go abroad. This point is important to me because it connects students with real world experiences.

The critical thinking about society and religion I learned to exercise through my coursework has been crucial to helping me understand certain places, such as Islamic countries. Religion gives me a wider perspective on culture, which will eventually help me in an international context. This major gives me the knowledge I need for a global perspective.