English, Integrated Liberal Studies Certificate
I backpacked for two months, and then taught English in China. I started in Shanghai, moved westward all the way through China, Tibet, Nepal, and India. From India, I returned to China to commence teaching at Jiangnan University, in Wuxi, China. When I returned to the States, I started my work as the Quest Coordinator at the Crossing, which has given me the opportunity to not only plan service-learning adventures for UW students, but also go on plenty of them myself. I also recently got married and have settled in Sun Prairie with my new husband!
I currently work as the “Quest Coordinator” at the Crossing, which is an ecumenical, not-for-profit organization that serves students at the UW. I coordinate all of the Crossing’s service-learning adventures, known as Quests. This means a lot of recruiting, planning, organizing, and working with students, but it’s a great challenge!
I became fascinated with China my senior year of high school while taking a modern world affairs class. Learning more about China’s ever-increasing importance on the world stage inspired me and made me want to go there and experience it for myself. I decided then that I wanted to be an English teacher in China, and when the time came to choose a language to study at the UW, I knew just the one it would be!
Being able to use the Chinese language skills that I acquired at the UW gave me an autonomy and confidence that I don’t think I could have possessed in China without knowing some of the language. In this globalized world, it’s easy to “just get by” with English nearly anywhere; however, nothing quite compares to the feeling of personal satisfaction that comes from being able to communicate with someone in their native language. Learning Chinese was a great personal challenge, and gave me a lot of self-confidence that I have used, and will continue to use, while traveling abroad. I don’t know that any of my other classes in college were as time-consuming as Chinese, so taking it my freshmen year also really taught me how to study well!
My Chinese classes at UW were most of the most intense that I took in college! They were interactive, challenging, and time-consuming. But they WORKED. I remember I was dreaming in Chinese after only about 4 weeks of class! We had to write and memorize speeches to give in front of our classmates, which definitely made me practice (and practice) my pronunciation!
I had the opportunity to attend Chinese Conversation Table every Friday, which was a great opportunity to practice my new vocabulary. My roommate freshman year also happened to be from China, and she patiently helped me study for tests and grade me as I practiced for my speaking exams! While working and living in China, I obviously had plenty of opportunities to use my Chinese. It was very empowering!