Ally Chiu traveled throughout Europe, climbed the Great Wall, and snacked on a scorpion during her study away semesters. But she brought back more from her freshman year in Paris and junior year in Shanghai than just awe-inspiring travel stories. The time Chiu spent exploring global issues as a Global Liberal Studies student helped set her course for the future.
Originally from Midland, Texas, Chiu took advantage of the opportunities NYU offers students to immerse themselves in other cultures, ultimately completing a second major in East Asian Studies as well as a minor in French. In Shanghai, she interned with an English-language newspaper and the American Chamber of Commerce. Though she valued this professional experience, it threw into sharp relief the social injustices that exist in China.
Compelled by what she witnessed, Chiu dedicated her senior thesis research to investigating how the Internet may foster social justice in China. She found that it may be a useful tool to facilitate free speech, but it cannot fundamentally change society. “Ultimately what decides how free a country will be is its institutional structure,” explains Chiu.
This fall, Chiu will delve deeper into issues of foreign government policy when she attends Harvard Law School. She hopes someday to work at reforming legal structures in countries where social injustice is institutionalized.
In the year since she graduated NYU, Chiu has remained in New York, completing a fellowship with PreProBono—a nonprofit that guides promising applicants through the law school admissions process—then joining the organization as a volunteer. She has also been working as an editor with a global translation company, a role in which she oversees projects, flexes her language skills, and contributes to a field that she’s been interested in since realizing during her semesters in Europe and Asia that international business is growing.
As Chiu looks toward continuing her globally focused studies and work from Harvard's campus, she credits GLS with allowing her to reflect on her place in the world. “My time studying, living, and working both in New York and abroad highlighted our shared humanity with people all over the globe,” she explains. “My travels within GLS gave me the confidence and consciousness to pursue social justice and the courage to try to impact the world.”