Beth Fentress

 

Beth Fentress
2015 Global Scholar
Speech-Language-Hearing Major

I studied Chinese two years prior to my trip abroad for the 2015-16 academic year. I was very drawn to the language because of the complex writing system and the fact it is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world. Additionally, China, which has a long and fascinating history, is an important world power.

Studying in China helped me develop my own independence and gain a more global perspective. I worked as an English language teacher in China as well. When I first started, I was given a textbook and a classroom of students. There was no set curriculum, and I had to rely on my own experiences to design an effective class. This was very intimidating. But I found that, with enough research and thought, I was able to organize an efficient structure that worked well during my time there. Overcoming these sorts of challenges is at the core of many students’ study abroad experiences. This is what makes study abroad so valuable. 

I also took a boat down the Mekong River in Laos, visited the islands of Thailand, and toured Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It is important to note that my study abroad experience would not have been possible without financial support from the Global Scholars program.

In a huge, interconnected world, it may seem that we are insignificant. However, I have learned that our networks are far larger than many of us know, and our actions have ripple effects. During times of conflict, like we are now experiencing, it is more important than ever to be advocates of open-mindedness and mutual understanding both at home and abroad.


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