A Love for Learning Leads to China

PROVO, Utah – Apr 08, 2020 – BYU Marriott EMPA alumna Janine Wood Green loves to learn. In fact, she loves learning so much that sometimes she reads four or five books a week. In her own words, she is “over-the-top crazy about learning,” and she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. With a love for learning and a passion for continued education, Green joined BYU’s China Teachers Program to become a professor of English at China’s Nanjing Tech University—a decision that has changed her life for the better.

Green, a single mother of nine from Provo, considers herself a nontraditional student in the sense that she went to school in her later years to receive both her BS in psychology and EMPA from BYU Marriott. She was drawn to the EMPA program because she felt it best suited her background in psychology and allowed her to work more directly with people. “I chose to get an EMPA because I don’t know how to quit,” says Green. “I have a passion for learning more, and I realized that as a single person, I needed to be looking out for my future and my career.”

Green heard about the BYU China Teachers Program in 2015 while visiting her youngest daughter and son-in-law, who were living in Shanghai. While there, she attended the local branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and met one of the teachers from the program. “China appealed to me,” said Green. “The program was something that I could do affordably and make a difference somewhere else in the world.”

At the time, Green was in the process of applying to the EMPA program, and the idea of teaching in China kept her motivated. After finishing her EMPA in 2018, she followed her dream and now is one of seventy-eight teachers from the BYU China Teachers Program who are teaching throughout China.

For Green, the best part of her experience teaching abroad has been her students. She describes the students as being sweet, innocent, and adoring. They love her, and that love is reciprocated. “I immediately fell in love with these students,” says Green. “They are my main reason for being here, as it should be.”

Getting to know the Chinese people has been a highlight for Green as well. She has been humbled by their kindness, as many people she has met have invited her into their homes and shared meals with her. Though most teachers stay for one year with the program, Green returned for a second year. She plans to continue working in higher education when her time with the BYU China Teachers Program comes to an end.

Green credits the BYU Marriott EMPA program for preparing her to seize this opportunity in China. The program helped build her confidence in her abilities to make a difference wherever she is and with whatever she is doing. “In almost everything I do and think, I am revisiting not just what I learned in the program but who taught it and how they taught it,” says Green. “As a teacher now, what I learned in each class from those professors impacts everything I do.”

BYU EMPA Alumna Janine Wood Green
Janine Wood Green. Photo courtesy of Janine Wood Green.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natalie Heidemann