Anna Frazier on a street in Taiwan at night

I enjoyed being able to explore a new country and learn about its people. Every day was a new experience learning Chinese inside and outside the classroom. 

In my media class I took on many different topics that I don’t think I would have ever been exposed to had it not been for the program. I learned about issues between America, China, and Taiwan, and about Taiwan’s government and the current events that were going on while I was there. I also learned about the protests in Hong Kong. In my culture class I learned about Chinese and Taiwanese customs, and about proverbs and their backstories.

One of my proudest accomplishments while studying in Taiwan was doing my final presentation in Chinese on "Sexism in Chinese Proverbs." I had spent the whole semester writing and editing my final paper so I could present my topic. When it was time for the end result, I was proud that I was well versed in the topic and that it was something I took great interest in.

However, as much as I did enjoy the classroom, I loved all the things I learned outside of the classroom. Having the opportunity to engage with the community was amazing. I loved being able to talk to other Taiwanese people once they learned I could speak Chinese with them. I will remember those times for the rest of my life.

I plan to use this experience and my Chinese skills in a future career working for a government or maybe as an interpreter. Ever since I started to learn Chinese and began going abroad to Asia, I have been thinking of ways to use these experiences to help me in a career.

Learning a language is no easy task and neither is navigating a new country. I have faced failure, embarrassment, change, and more all while being abroad and learning Chinese. There have been times that I have used the wrong grammar, or I misused a word. There have been times that I have been lost in a city I was unfamiliar with and times that I have been faced with uncomfortable situations. For example, there have been times that I have been asked about my political or religious beliefs on a certain topic that may be considered taboo in my culture.

All of these experiences have allowed me to develop skills such as critical thinking, perseverance, patience, and adaptability. These skills will benefit me greatly in the fast-paced environment of government organizations or interpreting companies. For both of these careers I will be able to use all that I have learned and put it to good use.