Name: Caterina Breuer
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:
My name is Caterina Breuer, and I am currently a freshman at the University of Notre Dame. I am majoring in International Economics with Chinese. I have been studying Mandarin for four years and have visited China three times, once for pleasure, once for academics, and once for an internship.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
The SLA Grant is very important to me and my future plans. It will allow me to be able to go to China and study at one of the most prestigious universities in Asia, Peking University. Completely immersing myself will not only improve my Mandarin skills, but also allow me to better understand Chinese culture beyond the texts and stories we have studied in class.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope to better understand Chinese culture and improve my Mandarin fluency. Studying Chinese in a classroom setting in America can only take your learning so far. By being completely immersed and taking a language pledge, I will be able to improve my Mandarin much more quickly. I hope to also learn a more colloquial style of Mandarin that I can use in my future occupational endeavors in China.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Chinese with native speakers on academic and business topics, such as the economy and international issues prevalent in the news today.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to describe the major structures and themes of the Chinese state and explain how these parallel and divers from American political structures in my Chinese writing and research.
3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to take intercultural risks by engaging in cultural and linguistic interactions that are beyond my level of mastery and comfort zone.
4. At the end of the summer, I will improve my essay writing in Chinese by using colloquial phrases and new grammar structures that I otherwise would not have been familiar with.
5. 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.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: