Summer Intern Spotlight: Liying Tan

By: Liying Tan, AALEAD Curriculum Development Intern

Photos Courtesy of Liying Tan

My name is Liying Tan and I am this summer’s Curriculum Development Intern. I am so excited to join in AALEAD and hope to use this internship as a formal way to learn, to explore, and develop my profession.

Firstly, a little bit about my family background. I grew up in the Southern part of China, Shanghai, and I am the only child in my family. I was born in a teachers’ family. My mother was a kindergarten teacher before she became the vice principal of that kindergarten and my grandparents are university teachers. Therefore, there is a “calling” for me that I should devote my life to the education. My father is a surgeon but he is as open-minded and knowledgeable as a teacher. My family is very important to me and I feel so grateful to have been raised in such a well-education and supportive environment.

I have a lot of study-abroad and travel experiences. Before came to the U.S. I have studied TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in South Korea for two years. I am now pursuing a Master degree in the International Education Policy program at the University of Maryland. This February, I went to Cuba to learn about a different education system. I conducted my research on internationalization, student mobility, and study abroad challenges and opportunities in Cuba through site visits, interviewing local scholars, and attending workshops. Next year winter, I will go to  Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany for three weeks as a teaching assistant in a study-abroad program, which I believe will further my capability to connect with diverse groups of people and fulfill my experience administering and evaluating international education programs for students.

Liying Tan with local scholars in Cuba

Outside of school, I am also volunteering as the Project Officer for Libraries Without Borders. I collaborated with the DC Public Library to curate a relevant and reliable information database for low-income members of the DC AAPI. I also provided general support to the Program Director in designing a plan to monitor the number of AAPI residents who engage in the AAPI Outreach Initiatives such as the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, Washington English Center, and the AAPI Domestic Violence Resource Project. Those are meaningful and interesting experiences because they could connect me to a broader AAPI community and help me have a deeper understanding of this group’s needs.

I love living in the city because it will have more fun. I love traveling and enjoy the sightseeing around the city. This April, I went with my friends to see the Cherry Blossom in the Washington D.C. that was a fabulous experience for me. Also, I often invite my friends to my home to chat and share our experiences and my mom is really good at cooking!

Talking about this internship, I am so excited and honored to be selected to improve AALEAD curriculum collection. Everyone has a desired job, for me, it is defined as a curriculum developer in education institutions in both development and evaluation aspect, to help students especially who
have Asian backgrounds to make full use of the educational resources to develop their potential and interest, and to best optimize the relationship between teachers and students is my career goal. Also, AALEAD is a good place for me to learn more about working in the NGO such as how to do
fundraising and outreaching. I am also excited to visit summer programs and could have opportunities to work closely with youth. I would love to bring my positive influence to youth and be a part of creating experiential learning opportunities for them. Anyway, thanks again, AALEAD, for providing me this opportunity to work with you!

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