C of I history major to attend grad school in China

Graduate school is a popular destination for many College of Idaho alumni, but 2014 graduate Brady Harrison is taking a road less traveled to continue his education.

Harrison, a history major from Caldwell, will spend the next two academic years in China earning a master’s degree in Chinese politics and economics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. His studies will be supported by a Chinese Government Scholarship as he pursues a career in international trade.

“I believe the experiences I’ve had here and the courses I’ve taken have prepared me to live in China, and to thrive there,” Harrison said. “The faculty and staff have been a great help to me, and I feel like the history department has really prepared me for graduate school.”

Harrison’s interest in China began during his freshman year, when he took a course from C of I history professor and China expert Dr. Jeff Snyder-Reinke. Over his four-year college career, Harrison continued to take classes in Asian studies and Chinese history from Snyder-Reinke in addition to a Chinese language course with Fulbright instructor Yueh-Chih Lin and an independent study course on Chinese literature and film.

During his sophomore year, Harrison had the opportunity to study abroad at Shanghai Normal University in China. The following summer, he sparked an interest in international trade by traveling with the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association to Shanghai though an internship with Koenig Winery and Distillery. Harrison’s work with Koenig focused on expanding the winery’s business market share on the Chinese mainland. He hopes to one day work as an international trade analyst, serving as a bridge for Idaho companies to export their products around the world while also introducing international goods to Idaho markets.

In August, Harrison will embark on his third trip to China to begin his graduate studies. And while the prospect of studying abroad may be intimidating for some, Harrison encourages students to give it a try.

“I definitely think it’s something more students should pursue,” Harrison said. “The [scholarship] money is there, the academic quality is there, and it’s a great learning opportunity – especially for well-rounded students like we have at The College of Idaho.”

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 12 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit