Christina Zielke (Class of 2011)

  • photo of Christina Zielkesenior double major in International Studies and Geography
  • minors in Chinese, German, and Global Perspectives on Sustainability
  • from Cleveland, OH
  • has studied abroad in Germany, Kenya, and Dominica
  • is completing her senior year in China

Miami became my home away from home as well as my portal to the world. I've made lifelong friends with hometowns spanning the globe and received enormous support for my own study, research and travel abroad.


"你们好 My name is Christina and I'm currently completing my senior year at Liaoning Normal University, in Dalian China.

"I chose Miami because of its excellent academic reputation, strong study abroad programs, field courses and international education programs. I was most certainly not let down. My time at Miami has taken me around the world, and helped me to find my place in it.

"The advice I can provide to any student is to get involved in your major. It is the experiences and connections that you make that not only shape who you are as a student, but also as a person.

enlarged photo of Christina in Tiananmen Square"My involvement in my majors and with faculty led to several field experiences and workshops. I spent 6 weeks in Tianjin, China, traveling with Miami students and faculty while taking intensive Mandarin Chinese and completing a research project on the Chinese healthcare system.

"With support from the Department of Geography and the Honors Program, I participated in a field course, Sustainable Development and Ecotourism in the Eastern Caribbean. In Dominica, I completed a research project on sustainable agricultural practices.

"In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Kenya for the biodiversity field course where my research project focused on the importance of environmental sustainability to biodiversity.

photo of Christina lighting incense in Tianjin, China"Needless to say I've had a great 3 years at Miami, full of varied and amazing experiences. However what is most important is where my experiences have taken me today, and where they will take me in the future. I am currently the recipient of a full scholarship from the Confucius Institute to complete a year of intensive Mandarin Chinese at Liaoning Normal University, in the city of Dalian in northeast China. While here, I am completing an Honors thesis on issues of environmental sustainability in Dalian and teaching English as a foreign language. I am also a Peace Corps nominee, and hopefully a post awaits me in August 2011. A dream come true!"

[October 2010]