Name: Justin Grocock
Location of Study: Beijing, China
Program of Study: Beijing Language Summer Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, Liu Endowment
A brief personal bio:
I am a freshman from Granger, Indiana planning on studying business, economics, and Chinese. I have wanted to come to Notre Dame my whole life and I started studying Chinese my freshman year of high school. I have been to China one other time in eighth grade where I visited Beijing and did a short home stay. That was a great experience and I am looking forward to this longer trip where I can study the language and delve into the culture more.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
My SLA grant is important to me because it allows me with the great opportunity to study in China and learn the language I have been interested in for many years. Ever since my first visit to China, I have wanted to learn how to speak Mandarin. This study abroad trip will allow me to do that and study a whole year’s worth of coursework in just eight weeks. This will propel my language skills to the next level. I plan to study Chinese for the rest of my time at Notre Dame, and by going on this trip and receiving this grant, I can have one more extra year of study in College which will help me get towards fluency. Also, as a business major, I think having this language skill will be extremely beneficial to me in the job market in whatever career I end up pursuing.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
What I hope to achieve is to gain a newfound knowledge of Chinese culture and immense language improvement through the intensive study program. By actually living in China and using Chinese regularly, I believe I can achieve great improvement in my language skills and be able to sustain more conversations solely in Chinese. I also want to learn a lot about China such as what Chinese people’s everyday lives are like, what their perceptions of Americans studying Chinese are, and what different activities they enjoy. By actually being in China, I will be able to fully immerse myself and gain knowledge I can’t simply get out of a text book in America.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- By the end of the summer, I will be able to use Chinese at a level equivalent to a student completing the second year of Chinese at Notre Dame.
- By the end of the summer, I wIll be able to sustain basic conversation in Chinese with fluent Chinese speakers and my other classmates more easily.
- By the end of the summer, I will have more knowledge about Chinese culture and what makes it unique.
- By the end of the summer, I will be able to read and write common topics in Chinese without difficulty.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I plan to maximize my experience by committing to the agreement of only speaking Chinese during my eight weeks in China. By doing this, I will get taken out of my comfort zone but getting frustrated and using a lot of English will only hinder my success in this program. I need to use Chinese as much as I possibly can in order to gain the most out of this trip. I will ask questions and use the resources I don’t have in America to make my Chinese the best it can be. I also plan to regularly converse with native Chinese speakers so I can learn words and phrases that I can not necessarily learn out of a textbook.