Name: Daniel Ko
Location of Study: Beijing, China
Program of Study: Beijing Language Summer Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Liu Endowment
Blog URL: http://blogs.nd.edu/sla2016/author/dko2/
A brief personal bio:
My name is Daniel Ko, and I am from Buffalo Grove, a northern suburb of Chicago. I am a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Business and Economics. I plan on learning a lot of languages and I want to travel a lot. I love Notre Dame football, the NBA, my family and friends, and most of all Jesus Christ.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
A study abroad opportunity in Beijing will help me achieve my goal of being a philanthropic, global leader because I will experience different lifestyles, environment, and culture in a new country, while learning arguably the most spoken language in the world. My plan is to be able to be able to do business with the major East-Asian countries, which includes South Korea, Japan, and China. By completing this program, I will be more culturally aware and help me free up my schedule for the school year, so I can perhaps take a Japanese class.
I have a great interest in traveling to different places and talking to the people who live there. This is why I would also like to study abroad in different places, but I know how financially hard it is to go on even one study abroad opportunity. The SLA Grant is important to me because it helps me to go on amazing trips like this one to China.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
As a Korean-American, I know how crucial it is to understand a culture to connect with people of different backgrounds. Because I have lived in America for all of my life, the study abroad experience in China will help me learn to adapt to a new cultural environment and learn cross-cultural skills and sensitivity. I hope to see a different perspective on the world and its issues. Most importantly, I hope to increase my Chinese level to at least a point where I can talk with them conversationally.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read, write and listen at a level of proficiency equal to two semesters beyond my current Chinese coursework placement at Notre Dame.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to sustain a conversation in Chinese with other Chinese speakers, especially those who are native.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to demonstrate significant tolerance for ambiguity and a willingness to take intercultural risks by engaging in cultural and linguistic interactions that are beyond my level of mastery and comfort zone.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I plan on maximizing experience in different ways. First of all, I plan on attending the international church in Beijing to see the cultural differences of the teaching of the gospel and fellowship between two countries. I also know someone who will be able to help connect me with the PwC office in Beijing in order to do job shadowing there. I’m also trying to do research with a professor on the Chinese people’s perspective of freedom and the United States. I will just be talking casually to natives and try to see what they think about our country.