Name: Sarah O’Donnell
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:
Hello, I’m Sarah O’Donnell! I am a member of the class of 2020 from the Chicagoland area. I plan on majoring in Finance and Chinese. Here at Notre Dame I am a member of Foodshare, play Broomball, and loving working at the Robinson Community Learning Center. I love learning about all the different languages and Cultures of the world and cannot wait to spend my summer exploring China!
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
When considering what I want my future to look like, I am certain that living in China at least for a short time will most definitely be apart of it. Ever since I began taking Chinese in high school I have fallen more and more in love with the vibrant language and culture of China. For years I have dreamed of the opportunity to visit and experience for myself what life in China is like, a dream that the SLA grant is finally enabling me to bring to fruition. Without the aid of the SLA Grant, my dream would not be reality. Every opportunity like this brings me one step closer to achieving the future I hope for.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Heading into this summer program, beyond all else, my main goal is to work towards or get as close as I can to achieving conversational fluency. As a part of my program, my fellow participants and I will all be signing a pledge to only speak Chinese for to entire duration of our stay in China. Beyond the language pledge, I will spend my mornings studying Chinese with just one other classmate, then the afternoon will be devoted to individual study and exploring the city. I hope through the combination of all these factors I will achieve the ability to speak conversationally in Chinese, something that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life and throughout various careers.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to listen and respond in Chinese at a speed closer to that of native speakers than currently.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to speak with native speakers on a variety of topics with confidence, clear pronunciation, diverse vocabulary, and proper grammar.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to identify and understand different cultural expectations and interactions that are unique to the region.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: