Nguyen, Thien Thu



Name: Thien Thu “Julie” Nguyen


Language: Chinese

Location of Study: Beijing, China

Program of Study: Beijing Language Summer Program

Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Liu Endowment

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A brief personal bio:

Hi! My name is Julie Nguyen and I am a freshman pursuing a major in Business and a minor in Chinese. I am from Dallas, Texas and I call Pasquerilla West my home away from home. Among many things I enjoy doing outside of the classroom are reading, playing golf at Warren whenever the weather permits, exploring local restaurants, and attending lectures regarding current issues, politics, and physics on campus.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

The SLA Grant is important to me because it will provide me with the best opportunity to develop language proficiency and gain cultural competence in ways that studying Chinese in a classroom at Notre Dame will never can. Being immersed in China with the language pledge, I am forced to utilize Chinese as my only mode of communication. This commitment will force me to expand my vocabulary and improve my pronunciation as quickly as possible in order to make myself comprehensible. As a person who is aspired to be a successful business woman, language proficiency is important to me because I am a strong believer in a business environment that promotes open communication and trust, two qualities that can be achieved most certainly through personal relationships between partners. I ultimately want to be able to eradicate the language barrier that prevents effective communication and personal understandings when working with Chinese business men and women. In addition, I also wish to be able to interact with native Chinese to explore new perspectives on the Chinese society as I am especially intrigued by the political and socio-economic systems in China. I am as excited to learn from the native people whom I will meet in China as I am excited to develop language fluency.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience: 

Besides learning language in the classroom, I also intend to explore the social etiquette, values, beliefs, and lifestyles that are unique to the Chinese culture through mindful observations and direct interactions with the local people. In addition to language proficiency, I hope to gain a strong understanding of and appreciation for the Chinese culture from my experience studying abroad in Beijing this summer. I also personally hope to develop compassion by enhancing my ability to look beyond cultural differences to connect with people whom I would other wise consider as foreign on a more personal level. I am aspired to become a global citizen with the cross-cultural communication and understanding skills that will enable me to feel comfortable in any novel and foreign environment.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read a Chinese novel.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to write a 1000-character essay with minimal use of the dictionary.
3. At the beginning of the fall semester, I will be able to qualify for Third-Year Level Chinese offered at Notre Dame.
4. At the beginning of the fall semester, I will be able to carry meaningful conversations about academics and social life with my Chinese peers in Chinese.

My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: