Samantha Chiu

Samantha Chiu

Samantha Chiu

2009 & 2012

Major - Political Science

Study Abroad program - Danube Summer Institute, Undergraduate Research

Countries visited - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, China

Post-Study Abroad - I most recently worked at D3 Systems in Washington D.C. before accepting a position with Booz Allen Hamilton at the Pentagon. I volunteer for Statistics without Borders and would describe myself as a freelance data analyst first, with an 8-5 job to pay the bills.

When I went on the job market, my China experience was invaluable to my company. My course work was the same as everyone else, but my international experience showcased my diversity in education and hands-on experience in difficult environments.


If it is your first time going abroad, it’s a good idea to go with a group. Going with a faculty-led program gets you credit, along with providing you the group support and faculty experience in the foreign country.

You will always have time for major metropolitan cities. Do research projects while you have the support and chances for funding. Work with the Study Abroad Office to find the right program fit. You can book a vacation on your own, but it’s too easy. If you have a good research question and are independently-minded, then make an effort to do the work and get funding to go abroad. In 2008, I went to the Peking Research Center for Contemporary China. While I was there, I was also invited by the Academy for E-Governance as a translator. This experience and research turned into my dissertation topic and I returned in 2012 as a Graduate Visiting Scholar.

While I was on my China project I met people from the Asia Barometer group, and conducted in-depth interviews under the mentorship of Dr. Hill; these experiences set the foundation for my Southeast Asia projects with D3 Systems. My future international endeavors benefited from the knowledge and networks I gained while abroad.

In the past, I’ve worked with Women Who Code in Ghana to developed STEM-related skills to help women compete for jobs in Ghana. I also use video conferencing to help groups in Haiti, but I visit as often as I can. Sometimes I’m answering the phone at 3 am to answer questions, but it’s what I love to do!