Name: Daniel Brown
Location of Study: Taipei, Taiwan
Program of Study: Office of International Studies at Notre Dame Taiwan summer program
Sponsors: Justin Liu & Bob Berner
A brief personal bio:
My name is Daniel Brown and I will be a rising Junior this summer at the University of Notre Dame. My first Microeconomics teacher said in class that during recessions, more students discover and are drawn to Economics, and I feel like I am one of those students. While I find domestic Economics interesting, I fully realize that international trade is more prevalent than ever. Because of this, I decided to study the Chinese language and culture in order to better understand how the rapidly growing Chinese economy works with the global economy. Hopefully, through a study abroad program and Economics classes at Notre Dame, I can understand how working together, the US and East Asia can maximize their economic potential to bring prosperity to more people than ever.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
Ultimately, I want to work in international business and economics, primarily in US and East Asian markets. While I could just learn Chinese here at Notre Dame, I would have a difficult time learning cultural nuances of the area. Because of this and my desire to learn the language at a fast pace, I have decided to study abroad this summer. SLA’s goal is to maximize the efficiency of language learning, and I believe that this study abroad opportunity is the best way in order to learn Chinese as efficiently as possible.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Currently when I have to speak Chinese in front of the class, it does not feel very natural, and thereby I get nervous and I do not do as well as I think I am capable. I hope to gain a familiarity with the language to the point where many topics, sentence structures, and words came out naturally when I am speaking. I feel like this point of proficiency would make it so I can get the secondary major in Chinese, and hopefully make me competent enough to work in international business and economics after graduation.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- I want to be able to effectively negotiate in Chinese with locals.
- Because I am studying at a Catholic University in Taiwan, I want to be able to read a reading during the mass fluently.
- I want to be able to return to Notre Dame and be placed into the 4th year Chinese class.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
Well in order to “hit the ground running” it is best to get a head start. I plan on finding some Chinese television shows and movies and set aside an hour or two every day after the spring semester to be familiar to not being able to understand every word, yet understand the gist of a conversation. I feel like this will help me when asking logistical questions to locals while in Taiwan. I also want to look up some specifics on certain attractions that I want to visit in Taiwan. I know Taiwan has some beautiful beaches, and moon lake is also a popular destination so I would like to look up how to get to those destination. Finally, Taiwan has a rich baseball history, and I want to figure out how the league in Taiwan works, and who is the closest team to Fu Jen University is.
Reflective Journal Entry 1:
见在我住在台湾一个礼拜。 我跟台湾人说中文的时候， 我一点紧张， 可是， 我觉
得除了我进步我的中文以外我学到了很多关于台湾文化。 比如说， 我 了解的台湾
跟中国的政治问题。 我觉得因为台湾是一个民主， 它有很好的经济。 上个学习，
我的同学“”在北京留学所以 他告诉我台湾跟中国的差异. 比如说， 他说台湾人
看起来比中国人有多钱。 这个礼拜很好玩。 礼拜五， 我跟我的同学出台北101。
我们在国立国父纪念馆的时候一个彩虹在台北101 的旁边。 我觉得那是惊人。 我
有一张照片的那个彩虹。 明天我有的一考试， 所以 今天我化很多时间学习。
Reflective Journal Entry 2:
上个周末， 我跟我的同学们去垦丁。我们坐高铁去那理。 高铁又快又舒服。 我希望美国会建设一个高铁，可是现在美国的政府 没有钱。在垦丁的海滩， 我游泳。虽然我游泳游得很好，但是 海滩的救生员告诉我不游泳在深水。海滩的波浪不高所以我不听救生员。游泳以后我们去垦丁的夜市。我以为垦丁安静， 没想到垦丁热闹。在夜市我吃了很好的东西。 在一个美式饭馆我吃了一盘海鲜比萨。 我觉得很好吃。 晚饭以后我喝了一杯芒果果汁。 因为我喜欢吃芒果， 我觉得芒果果汁很好喝。 我们回台北的时候， 我跟我的同学们打打网球， 可是我打网球打得不好。虽然上个周末很忙， 但是上个周末很好玩。
Reflective Journal Entry 3:
上个周末我做很多的东西。 礼拜六早上我跟我的同学们在阳明山爬山。我觉得阳明山的风景又漂亮又和平。在阳明山， 我看了很多的动物， 比如说蝴蝶， 蜥蜴，和蜘蛛。 在阳明山的人口， 我看了一个迹象说“小心的毒蛇，” 另外我不喜欢蛇所以我 一点可怕。我的西点朋友们在台湾看了很大的蟒蛇。 我希望不看那个动物。我们到山顶的时候， 非常多云， 所以我们不可以看台北市， 可是我高兴我们去阳
明山。 礼拜日我跟我的日本朋友滑板。虽然那天的天气太热， 滑板很好皖。我们
Reflective Journal Entry 4:
在黎圣母，我的老师告诉我在亚洲， 找朋友很难，可是 上个礼拜几乎每天晚上， 我跟台湾朋友聊天儿。 比如说， 上个礼拜四， 我跟我的日本同学去棒球比赛。我们讨论日本棒球跟美国棒球的差异。我跟他讨论的时候， 我们只说中文， 所以我们可以练习。礼拜五“Gloria,” 我的同学们和我去电影院看蜘蛛人。 我觉得那个电影好看。礼拜六晚上我跟我的日本同学捕虾。本来我觉得捕虾看起来比较容易可是， 那是很难。 我才钓到了一个虾。上个礼拜我认识一个人 叫“Stanley”他请我打棒球， 所以礼拜日早上， 我们有棒球比赛。 我觉得别的队的投手不太好。 难怪我的队赢了。我跟他们讨论 美国棒球跟亚洲棒球的差异。 比如说， 他们觉得因为美国人的棒球式挥杆跟亚洲人的棒球式挥杆不一样。两月以前如果有人告诉我在台湾我会找那么些的朋友们， 我说“那是不可能，”可是台湾人对我很好， 所以这个经验已经非常好。
Reflective Journal Entry 5:
上个周末忙忙的。在台湾我喜欢周末因为我做很多事。 上个礼拜六我的辅仁大学生朋友们， 我的同学们， 和我去淡水。 在那里， 我们一边欣赏风景， 一边吃东西。 我吃了一盘豆腐可是我觉得一点难吃。 吃晚饭以后， 我们看夕阳。 我觉得夕阳很漂亮。 以后， 在公园我们发小鞭炮。虽然淡水很热闹， 但是我觉得很好玩。那个晚上， 因为下天我有棒球比赛，我睡觉比较早。 不过礼拜日早上我的棒球朋友给我打电话。 他告诉我因为那天气那么热， 我们没有比赛。 可是他情我去福隆海滩看演唱会。 所以那个下午我们去福隆。 虽然在美国我常常去演唱会， 但是我觉得这个演唱会一点奇怪。 第一， 因为这个演唱会免费， 太多的人去。 第二， 去演唱会， 每个人都过桥， 可是桥太窄， 所以比较麻烦。 第三， 天气那么热所以差不多二个小时以后， 我们回家。 可是我们回家以前， 我们在海鲜饭馆吃饭。 他们的饭又好吃又多。 在台湾每个周末都忙， 可是我觉得每个周末都难忘。
Reflective Journal Entry 6:
上个礼拜五我跟我的同学们教高中学生英文课。 我去那个高中以前， 我不知道他
们的英文能力。所以我觉得他们的英文还好， 可是如果我问他们一个问题， 他们
安静， 所以我不知道如果他们听不懂或者他们很害羞。 不过我觉得这个服务学习
很教育的。 因为我可以看台湾的高中文化还有台湾高中跟美国的差异。 比如说在
我的高中， 如果一个学生有一个问题他们会问老师， 可是我觉得在这里， 他们不
Postcard(s) from Abroad:
Reflection on my language learning and intercultural gains:
Before leaving for Taiwan, I had little to no cultural understanding of the area, so in that regard there was definitely huge gains in terms of how Taiwanese culture operates and simply what the people are like. Even things as simple as how Americans frequently drink cold water and they don’t in Asia, I didn’t know. However, I now have a base for Asian culture that I can use if I go back or simply dealing with Asian Americans here. In terms of language gains, I saw the biggest gains in speaking. I feel like I can articulate most things I want to say as well as have conversations about new types of issues. With a limited vocabulary, my classmates and I would discuss the current Taiwanese political independence situation, and this was a great way to learn more about both the language and culture of Taiwan.
Reflection on my summer language abroad experience overall:
It was definitely a unique experience and somewhat humbling to be in an area where you could not perfectly communicate with people around you, however I feel like that aspect was beneficial to my development as a person. As an Irish Catholic who loves football at Notre Dame, I am completely in my element, so going somewhere where things are new and foreign is definitely a great way to further understand who you are as a person and what your strengths and weaknesses are. So I realized I am not the best when it comes to eating some foreign cuisines (stinky tofu and curry) but similar interests with others. (Taiwanese love baseball) Sure I learned a lot of new words and tried some new foods, but I also found out about myself.
How I plan to use my language and intercultural competences in the future:
With pressures of internships and eventually the job market a few years away, the future is somewhat uncertain, however, I can use the skills I acquired abroad. There are currently some internships at the top of my list, some requiring Chinese language or culture, and some that do not. Simply having this experience of being in a totally different place for two months though is something that you can’t take away.