Name: Juliana Pellino
Location of Study: Beijing, China
Program of Study: Beijing Language Summer Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Liu Endowment
A brief personal bio:
Juliana will graduate in 2018 with degrees in Finance, Spanish, and Chinese. An avid lover of languages, she has spent multiple summers in intensive Spanish and Chinese immersion through the highly competitive Middlebury Language School. While at Notre Dame, she teaches a ballet class to local elementary school children, passing on her passion for the arts that has been cultivated since her first dance class at the age of three. Juliana combines her love of language and children in the first year Confirmation class that she teaches in both Spanish and English at a local parish.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA Grant is very important to me because it allows me to travel to China in order to study my favorite language. I’ve never been to Asia and am excited to practice my Chinese in an authentic environment. I hope to develop my Chinese language skills so that I can use Chinese to communicate in the international business world when I graduate. I believe that it is so important to not only be able to relate to a person through their language when doing business, but it is also crucial to have a cultural understanding of their customs, which I am so fortunate to be able to learn first hand through the SLA Grant. It means so much to a person that one has taken the time to learn their language and their culture, and I cannot wait to be able to create deeper personal connections through my Chinese language study.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I believe that the unique Chinese culture has so much to offer in terms of expanding my understanding of the people as a whole. I cannot wait to fully immerse myself in Beijing under the Chinese language pledge and hope to gain a large appreciation for the intricate history of China that can be seen all throughout the city. I love pushing my limits and am especially excited to develop my palate with all of the different foods that represent the tastes of each region of China that are available in the country’s bustling hub that is Beijing. I grew very close to my Notre Dame Chinese professor from this year who lives in China. During our last conversation session, she gave me a bookmark with a famous Chinese historical site on it and said that she would take me there when I saw her again in China. With her help as well as the help of the rest of my teachers and classmates, I cannot wait to make such huge strides in both my Chinese language and my cultural understanding.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Chinese with native speakers on academic topics such as the political structure of China, the distinct Chinese educational system, and the ideas of various Chinese philosophers.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to conduct myself in Chinese in the correct culturally appropriate manner when eating at restaurants and interacting with the wait staff.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak, read, write, and listen at a level of proficiency equal to a fourth year Chinese speaker at Notre Dame.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to take cultural and linguistic risks in order to increase my understanding of the language and the culture, as I believe that one learns best from making mistakes.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
In order to maximize my learning experience, I plan to fully immerse myself in the language by adhering strictly to the language pledge when using the Internet and communicating in Chinese with anyone besides my loved ones, as my mother would not be too fond of the new language barrier. In order to gain a strong appreciation for the history and diversity of Chinese cuisine, I will only eat authentic Chinese food and will refrain from eating comfort foods found in America. I will review what I have learned in Chinese from my previous language study so that I can hit the ground running with my immersive language study and can start to learn new concepts as I have already reviewed the old on my own time before the program. I hope to take full advantage of my language study in China provided by the SLA Grant so that I can get the most out of my immersive experience both linguistically and culturally.