Sarah Katz, Class of 2015
Stevens alumnus Sarah Katz, class of 2015, is spending her academic year studying Mandarin in Chengdu, China. After graduating this past year from Elisabeth Irwin High School, she was awarded a scholarship through the U.S. Department of State National Security Language Initiative for Youth. Sarah was one of 600 students selected from an applicant pool of over 3,300 from all over the United States. Scholarship winners are studying in over eight countries, living with host families, and immersing themselves in the local language and culture.
Sarah has always been passionate about being a global citizen. As a Stevens student, Sarah valued the way the school’s curriculum helped her make connections to the world outside of the classroom and promote awareness of social issues. Sarah enjoyed learning world languages and examining international topics in social studies and history. Her experience on the eighth grade Mexico exchange trip planted the seed for her interest in immersive programs. In high school, she was awarded a scholarship from The Experiment in International Living to travel to India and study women’s rights and health.
In Chengdu, Sarah lives at a boarding school during the week and partakes in an intensive learning program. On weekends, she lives with her host family, including a 16-year-old sister and a three-year-old brother. This experience enables Sarah to build upon her knowledge of the Mandarin language, and also gain a new understanding of the culture of the Sichuan province, which is one of the most populous areas of China and is known for its delicious spicy food. A recent highlight of her time in China includes a visit with her host family to Chengdu’s Giant Panda Research Center.
After her return next June, Sarah will attend college at the University of Pennsylvania. Stevens’ holistic approach to learning across subject areas is an aspect of her education she will continue to enjoy in college, where she will be a part of an open study program and can take classes in several disciplines of interest. Stevens helped build the foundation for Sarah’s skills in public communication, writing, and collaboration. She hopes to put these skills to good use in the fields of international business or immigration. Sarah’s knowledge of the Mandarin language and culture will be useful in many different ways, and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her!