I am often asked why china and why do I love it so much. Do i hate america? no has nothing to do with my love of my country…it is hard to explain but I recently had to write an essay for my scholarship that helps give you an idea why and how much I truly love China.
China and Chinese culture has been a love of mine since I was 5 years old. I used to read stories of a far away land with beauty and mystery. At the time I dreamed of traveling to China and walking on the Great Wall, but at the time it was not possible.
When I came to The University of Akron in 2008, shortly after the Beijing Olympics, I began to take any course that I could on China. I made a big leap and tried Chinese as my foreign language and fell deeper in love with the country and it filled my dreams.
Chinese was very hard but extremely rewarding. I began listening to mandarin music and watching Chinese movies. I wanted to read, see and listen to anything to do with China. I worked hard because I wanted to achieve higher knowledge of the language and the culture.
In May 2010, I was given an opportunity to live my dream of visiting China. During a two-week stay I was able to see amazing cities like Shanghai, Kaifeng, Xi’an and Beijing. I have never been so happy in my life! I saw magnificent places I had only read about in books. I was in awe of the history I was in contact with. I savored every moment I could in places like the Pudong in Shanghai; the Daxiangguo Temple in Kaifeng; the Teracotta Army and the city wall in Xi’an; and the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
I want to take my study of the Chinese language and cultures even further and teach others about the beauty of it. To do so, I would greatly be honored to partake in the year long study of the Chinese language in China. I deeply feel that in order to create a more harmonious world we should learn about other countries and cultures in order to understand them.
I believe that we as Americans cannot continue to force our ideals on other countries. As citizens of the world we need to embrace other cultures and build bridges of learning between the countries. By studying Chinese language and culture, I hope to help build those bridges of understanding between our nations.
Knowledge is the greatest tool and Chinese is a tool I hope to master and eventually pass on to others.
You can ask anyone that knows me about what my passion is and they will abundantly say it is Chinese language and culture. I am the vice-president of the Chinese Cultural Society at The University of Akron, a volunteer at many Chinese culture events, and have written about Chinese culture on our school paper. I am an active promoter of Chinese language, not only at The University of Akron, but in our local community. My hope is that I can help continue the bridge between our countries for many years to come.
Learning Chinese language has also opened many doors for me. I have met many wonderful people since I began my studies. I was also able to turn my love of Chinese language and culture into a part-time student assistant position at our universities Confucius Institute. There I had the pleasure of assisting on many events including out campus’ “China Week” and “Chinese Summer Camp.”
I also spoke to high-school students who are also studying Chinese during “High School China Day” sponsored by our Confucius Institute. Along with another Chinese Student, we taught different study methods that will attract a younger audience. My classmate and I both discovered that through Mandarin pop music we could improve our pronunciation and our vocabulary while enjoying new music and learning about the popular culture of China. At the end of the High School China Day our students performed a popular song for everyone. It was sung in Mandarin and everyone enjoyed it very much. Our class was quiet popular and we were asked to do it again for summer camp.
When awarded this scholarship I will be a model student and ambassador for both The University of Akron and the Confucius Institute. I will maintain the highest level of behavior and will continuously promote Henan University, Confucius Institute, and Chinese Language.
I feel this once-in-a-life time opportunity will provide me with the skills to improve my Chinese well beyond a traditional American classroom setting. Without the opportunity to practice Chinese every day, I fear I will begin to lose what I worked so hard to gain. I wish to go as high as I can in my proficiency in Chinese language and feel this is the best tool to do so. By immersion into the culture and country I am able to observe and learn things that cannot be fully expressed in class, all the small things that people who are communicating do when speaking to one another. These are the things that make a Chinese speaker truly a master.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.