ELON, N.C. – Elon University volleyball’s Kellyn Trowse had the opportunity to travel to Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea this summer for a study abroad trip.
Part of an international business and economics class, Exploring Business and Culture provided Elon students the experience of observing and studying three dynamic cultures that have been at the forefront of economic development since the 1950s. The group of 10 students were tasked with developing an understanding of economics and analyzing current international trade and finance issues affecting the Pacific region and beyond. Among the many stops, Trowse and her classmates went cafe hopping in Seoul, visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone, watched dragon boat races in Hong Kong, learned how to make traditional Chinese meals at a Culinary Institute, had a traditional green tea ceremony in Japan, spent a day at Tokyo Disney, went surfing, and tested out new virtual technology games at Samsung headquarters.
“The entire experience meant so much to me as it gave me the opportunity to meet new people at Elon that I might not have known otherwise and experience Asian culture which most student athletes often are unable to experience,” said Trowse. “At first I was nervous about going to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Japan for a whole month because I was going to study business and economics at the 300 level although I am a science major. However, once I met my professors, Dr. Tina Das and Dr. Mark Kurt, they assured me that I would learn the curriculum, adapt to the culture, and meet life-long friends on our trip.
“Being able to experience Asia for an entire month opened my eyes to what taking in the essence of another culture truly means,” added Trowse. “A specific street market or a clothing store might have something that I might have thought was incredibly weird, but I quickly learned to accept and adapt Asian commonplace as if it were my own, and those ‘weird things’ suddenly became more normal and I had a much greater appreciation for them. There were so many times when I was earnestly afraid of trying a new food or buying Asian products, but once I got out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to do it, I was instantly grateful for the experience.”
Of the many businesses that the class visited, one that stood out to Trowse was the Takeda Company, a 230-year-old pharmaceutical company that develops, tests, and distributes new medicines worldwide. With a pair of economists as parents and a desire to travel and work in the medical field, the tour at Takeda offered a combination of all three of her passions.
“As a biochemistry major, I was immediately drawn to the company due to my background and interest in science, and I was eager to know more about the company. Furthermore, as a student pursuing a career in medicine, Takeda was a company that I could see myself working for as a developer of globally necessary medicine or a doctor in the company’s clinical trials. After taking a class in Global Health at Elon, Takeda’s presentation, specifically Takeda’s goals and missions, were an effort that I found myself supportive of, as the company claims they are committed to providing healthcare for all individuals as they actively advocate for widespread healthcare and access to healthcare. As medicine and technology advances, Takeda seems to be ahead of the curve and uses their advantage as a global medical superpower to do good in the world. It is my goal to be a part of this effort in the future.”
Now back stateside, Trowse and the Phoenix open the 2019 season with the Sheraton Invitational, hosted by Robert Morris, on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30-31. The first day of the tournament sees Elon play McNeese State at 3 p.m. and the host Colonials at 7 p.m. The maroon and gold then wraps up the weekend with a 2:30 p.m. match with Manhattan.