The voice : Fayetteville State University student press. online resource (None) 2006-current, August 29, 2012, Image 3
August :j9, 2012 Features Tin; VoK K, For Students, Hy Students My Summer Trip to China By Jennalne Coble ^ nt Government Associafoo This past summw, I was given the o^Jortunity of a life time, to not simply study Mandarin Chinese, but to actu ally go to China and leam the language. A former recruiter for Altria suggested that I take the opportunity to get out of the country, as 1 had two Fortune 500 companies on my re sume, and pursuing any chance to travel to China would be beneficial to my career and personal development. The of fice of International Education in Hackley Honors hall was instrumental in helping to make the trip to China possible. The search for a school that offered a program that matched my schedule was difficult at first, but eventually we were successful in finding a program and school that could accommodate. A lack of scholarship availability meant that I would have to foot the bill, which included tu ition, plane fair, a visa, a passport and transportation while in Shanghai. Once I arrived in China, I found that my classmates in cluded Mongolian, French, and Korean students, and we were to be taught by two Chinese instructors. Many people say that to leam another language, it is best to immerse yourself in the culture. As I was surrounded by those who only spoke the Mandarin Language, I was forced to ask questions in their native tongue, as well as to use coaitext clues to figure out what was being said. During my down time away from the classroom arui studying, 1 was able to visit the Zhujiajiao (pinyiri; ZhQjiajiSo, jew-gee-ah-gee-ow) Urban watering tower as well as the city of Wuxi (pinyin: W6xl, woo-shi>. Proof that Fayetteville State is far reaching and produces great graduates, I able to link up with alumni. Ivory Osbourne and Brittany Harrison, who are bofll pursing their Master’s in International Business. Bodi were helpful in getting me acclimated to the culture, as they have had more time in China. Some of the cultural differences noted while there was the political correctness we attempt to embody here in America does not apply to Chinese culture, they simply state things in a blunt manna- and with little regard to how it may sotmd. Also, a big shock was seeing children us ing the bathroom in the streets; they actually had slits in their pants for this sole purpose. Of course eveiy Ameri can wants to know if the food is like our American Chi- nese food; not at all. In China the food is fi^sh and served family style, which encourages sharing ani interacting swith others. Having rarely seen African Amwican people, people outside the city were very eager to take pictures of jne, which often caught me off guard. Easily one of the most important lessons 1 learned wfajle on this amazing adventure was that people an not all that different, it is simply a language barrier. We all want the same things for ourselves and those we care about, al though achieving and representing those emotio® »e dif ferent. I recall my Mongolian friend who 1 g^e the nick name “Slim” who did not speak as me but could be fotind with headphones in, listening to the same music.