Name: Abigail Awodele
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:
I am a junior double majoring in Science Preprofessional Studies and Chinese. Given my background as a Nigerian-born but American-raised individual, I cherish the beauty of cultures and languages. This yearn to become culturally competent arises from wanting to understand how each culture fundamentally propagate beliefs, lessons and values. Therefore, cultural competency hones interpersonal skills and allows the bridging of distinctive cultures. In short, I love languages (and learning them) because I want to connect with people to hear their stories on an international scale. Learning Chinese is my first step towards this goal.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The importance of the SLA Grant goes beyond the significance of the monetary support. It represents the catalytic potential of transformative character development. A transformative experience first starts with an initiative to immerse oneself into that which will radically challenge them. Challenges that lead to tremendous effort to acclimate oneself to a new environment comes from an initial plunge into unfamiliar and even uncomfortable situations. Therefore, with the help of the SLA grant, I will be given the opportunity to richly experience an unfamiliar culture through cultural immersion and rigorous language study.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
1. In accordance to the expectation of the Notre Dame China Summer Language Program, I will be taking 4th year Chinese classes in hopes of attaining Chinese proficiency and becoming more eloquent in my speaking.
2. As reflected in my majors, I have an immense interest in studying the role traditional medicine plays in modern society. During my time in Beijing, a city with the best Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) healthcare facilities and professionals, I hope to observe (and experience) TCM in its most natural and authentic form.
3. Lastly, as a lover of cultures and connecting with people, I intend to make both fruitful relationships and memories with local Chinese students, professors, and town residents.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to hold a conversation in proficient Mandarin at length on topics ranging from Chinese entertainment industry to Chinese politics.
2. By the end of the summer, I will be able to comprehensively read Chinese news articles and essays and understand Chinese talk shows, news podcasts.
3. By the end of the summer, I will be able to engage in cultural and linguistic interactions to fortify and prove my Chinese proficiency.
4. By the end of the summer, I will have a richer understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: