A team of Colby students, under the guidance of Professor Hong Zhang (East Asian studies) has won an ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Fellowship to conduct research in China this summer.

The research is titled Redefining Old Age and Eldercare: Stories from China. Petya Andreeva ’13, Bette Ha ’14, Eliza Laamoon ’13, Fiona Masland ’12, and Jennifer Tsang ’13 will spend three weeks in China. They will visit Shanghai and Beijing to study new aging experiences and eldercare patterns in urban China, and will go to rural areas in Zhejiang and Hebei provinces to document changes in eldercare and old-age experiences. Through interviews in parks, community centers, eldercare facilities, and villages, students will explore emerging eldercare patterns, new coping strategies of the Chinese families in meeting the needs for old age support, and elderly parents’ own initiatives for healthy and active aging. Research will also include governmental and NGO involvement and changes in filial duties in contemporary China, according to Zhang.

Colby’s was one of 14 awards granted this year. In the award letter, Director of the ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Program Van J. Symons wrote, “The research program that is proposed is an exciting one, and we believe it will enrich [the students’] lives, deepen their research skills, and further contribute to their and our understanding of Asia and, we hope, to the strengthening of the Asian Studies program on your campus.”