Meet Albert Rementer

Management, 2017


“Just seeing that definitely changed my whole thought process on life. Seeing how happy they were with what they had, and then I look back on the life I have and how lucky I am. I was taken aback from it.”

Mercy on the Mainland

Jet lagged after traveling more than 7,000 miles, Albert Rementer stood atop one of the Seven Wonders of the World thinking, "Am I dreaming?" He would utter words of amazement many times during his two-week tour through China, but nothing would compare to overlooking the Great Wall of China.

"I sort of just stood there like, ‘This is unbelievable. I can't believe I'm standing here.’ It's something you only see in books and TV, and then when you're there, it's completely different," Rementer said.

Rementer, a student in the 4+1 MBA and fellow GMercyU business  student Anna Lonergan were the recipients of the scholarship competition put forth by President Kathleen Owens, PhD, to send two students to China as part of GMercyU’s new study abroad  partnership with Benedictine University in Chicago and three other Catholic universities.

The two-week trip started off with an orientation for the students at Benedictine University and just two days later, they boarded the Boeing 777 to Beijing. They made their way through Beijing, Dalian, and Xi'an visiting historic sites such as The Forbidden City, the imperial palace for 24 emperors, and Summer Palace.

Whether it was tobogganing down the side of The Great Wall of China or learning the art of Taichi in the Temple of Heaven Park, every second of the trip was filled with a memorable moment.  None more memorable than the afternoon spent at two elementary schools in the migrant village outside of Beijing.

The migrant village is not part of the city, therefore the residents aren’t able to receive the many benefits Beijing has to offer, specifically the school system. Despite the bleak conditions, the children were happy and eager to learn. It was the travelers’ responsibility to teach the children a lesson, but the lesson the children taught them was much greater.

“Just seeing that definitely changed my whole thought process on life,” Rementer said. “Seeing how happy they were with what they had, and then I look back on the life I have and how lucky I am. I was taken aback from it. That's where I got my culture shock.”