Maddie Melton

United States & China Instructor

B.A. Anthropology, Chinese, Drama & Psychology, Rhodes University
B.A.H. Anthropology, University of Cape Town
Wilderness EMT

Originally from Washington DC, Maddie first traveled to China as a junior in high school for a year of personal growth and intensive language study in Beijing through School Year Abroad. By the end of the year, she loved the confidence, independence, and joy she cultivated while building a life on the other side of the world. When she left Beijing, she moved to Hong Kong, where she finished high school with students from more than eighty countries at Li Po Chun United World College.

Maddie found another home in South Africa where she attended college, but China remained an important anchor point and she continued to return annually. During this time, she found her most meaningful work experiences as a Facilitator on the Americans Promoting Study Abroad summer study abroad program in Beijing. She loved sharing her own study abroad background with students and drawing on wide-ranging skills from language to leadership and facilitation to an intimate knowledge of city and country and taking advantage of the learning opportunities woven into the details of everyday life.

It was also in college that Maddie (quite literally) stumbled into her love of the outdoors when a bad ankle injury took her out to the trails for rehabilitation. She hiked mountains across South Africa and loved living within walking distance of the Cape Town Table Mountain trails in graduate school. After finishing her studies, she returned to the United States to thru-hike the 2,652-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

Her time on the PCT renewed her love for the outdoors in the western United States and she is currently living between the four corners, working in experiential education and hiking hundreds of miles each year across the deserts and high peaks of the American southwest. She is an avid scuba diver, insatiable reader, theatre aficionado, and aspiring writer and photographer. She has traveled to 40 countries and 19 Chinese provinces and is proud of her nomadic lifestyle. She is most often found with a backpack, a tent, and a box of takeaway dumplings on a train going somewhere.