Rebecca Hofer '20
Q1: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name’s Rebecca Hofer, but my friends call me Beck, and I’m a Chinese and International Relations double-major pursuing a pre-medicine track! I’m from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and I love poetry, lacrosse, and coffee!
Q2: What brought you to studying Chinese?
I wanted to study a new language in college, but I wasn’t sure which one. I knew I wanted a challenge and something that would be useful for the future. Then, the day before classes started my freshman year, I found out that all introduction level classes for languages (101 classes) are only offered in the fall. So, I dropped one of my gen-ed classes and added Chinese on a whim! I fell in love with the language and have been studying it ever since.
Q3: What is your career plan, and how may your proficiency in Chinese play a role in it?
I hope to work as a doctor doing international disaster relief and humanitarian work. I’m particularly interested in pandemic outbreaks. I hope that my proficiency in Chinese will allow me to work with businesses and donors from one of the world’s biggest economies in order to help with disaster relief in east and central Asia.
Q4: What do/did you enjoy the most in the Chinese program at Wheaton?
The professors are incredible. The one-on-one relationships you build within the department, both with professors and with other students, are unlike those in any of the other departments I’ve been part of. I’ve felt incredibly known, loved, and supported by my mentors and my classmates. That paired with the unique classes that Wheaton offers, like Chinese through Scripture and Chinese through Poetry, made my experience studying Chinese at Wheaton unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.
Q5: Could you give some advice to future Chinese majors?
Don’t be afraid! Step out of your comfort zone! I came into Wheaton having never studied Chinese before and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences studying the language. It’s hard work, but if you keep at it, it’s so rewarding. The more that you push yourself to take those unique opportunities and try things you didn’t think yourself capable of, the more you’ll grow, both in your Chinese proficiency and in who you are as a person.