Name: Jessica Kim
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 Honolulu, Hawaii. I am planning on majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in Chinese. My interests include entrepreneurship, product design, and shoe design, and I hope to use my experiences at Notre Dame to solve problems and create social impact through collaborative design in the future.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA Grant is important to me and my future plans because it is making it possible for me to to increase my language proficiency skills in a challenging setting, open my eyes to social and cultural Chinese practices in a more authentic way, and gain exposure to the business landscape. I am excited for this unique opportunity to go beyond the textbook, and be exposed firsthand to the rich culture of China. As an industrial design major, this is an incredible opportunity for me to learn an important language in the design industry, and with this immersive experience, I can learn how to communicate and interact with native speakers in a more authentic way.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope to increase my language proficiency skills so that I can speak, write, listen, and read at an advanced level. I would like to take this opportunity to communicate and interact with native speakers in a more realistic setting, and practice these skills first hand in an immersive environment. I am excited to take advantage of the one-on-one tutoring sessions and smaller classrooms to improve my comprehension. In addition, I want to build relationships with other university students and with those in the community so that I can learn about their experiences and open my eyes to their cultural practices.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, write, read, and listen at a level of proficiency equivalent to one year of Chinese at Notre Dame.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to identify important landmarks and historical places, and explain the underlying history behind each setting.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Chinese with native speakers through common interactions such as in a market or a restaurant.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to recognize cultural practices and events, and understand the history behind important cultural holidays.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I intend to maximize my experience by challenging myself to go beyond my comfort zone and interacting with the local community. I want to take advantage of this unique opportunity to study in Beijing by feeling integrated into the community and exploring the neighborhood as much as I can outside of the classroom. I am planning on building relationships with the other students and professors at Peking University, and asking meaningful questions about Chinese society and history. In addition, I intend to document my experiences through photography and videography so that I can provide those who are interested in the Chinese language with an insight into the local community.