Traveling has always been a huge priority in my life, and while I have been blessed to have some experiences traveling. I desperately want to experience a culture in a more fulfilling way than a one or two-week vacation allows. Recently and primarily through the McNair Scholars program, research has also become a priority in both my personal and academic life. By participating in this study abroad program, which also allows me to create a unique field-based research project, both of my passions can be pursued through the school of international training. My specific study abroad program is called, China: Language, Culture, and Ethnic Minorities. After months of researching different programs I can confidently say this is one of the most diverse and academically rigorous programs I have come across and I am thrilled that I have been admitted into this prestigious program.
Not only is this program academically challenging, it also allows the student to create their own field-based research project. I plan on using this opportunity to further the field of Speech Language Pathology in China, which is desperately needed. While abroad I will be studying and visiting a number of esteemed professors and Universities. I will also gain information about a number of dying Chinese dialects. By traveling to China and fully immersing myself within the different cultures and ethnic groups, I hope to better understand how to treat Chinese patients, and what needs to be further developed in order to meet this ever increasing need.
Besides the field-based research and multiple home stays and field trips to cultural land marks such as the Great Wall of China and the Stone Gardens, I will also be making multiple humanitarian trips such as visiting local orphanages and rural schools. While, visiting significant historical landmarks will be an amazing and once in a lifetime experience, my heart will be with the children in the orphanages and schools who are already facing extraordinarily difficult lives. I have also faced many difficulties. However, I have repeatedly overcome the expectations of other people and although these trials have helped shaped me, they do not define me. Yet, for many of these children beating the odds without direct intervention seems like an insurmountable obstacle in part because their orphan status will continue to define their lives. Although I have often struggled to accomplish my goals I have always believed that if I am driven, work smart and have faith in my own abilities I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, including going to China. I still believe this is true. I hope that my going overseas and reaching out to these children I can give them the support they need to overcome their seemingly impossible obstacles.
Thank you for logging on to my gofundme account. Studying abroad is an expensive and lengthy process and every form of support, both financial and otherwise is greatly appreciated.
- Terry Jeanes
- Sherra Van Trease
- Stephanie Parker
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