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Student Testimonials

“Ultimately, Wheaton in China was a growing experience for me both academically and personally. Not only did I learn a ton of Chinese, but I also learned to adapt to a new culture, get along with the same 9 people for a month, and adjust my behavior to better suit the situations I was in. At the end of the trip, while all the others were taking their planes back to the US, I was happy to be one of the ones staying in China so I can learn even more!”

Jillian Dowdy ’19, Chinese/Spanish Major

 

“My time in China has taught me a myriad of things not only about the complexity of Asian culture, but also the way that an understanding of it may never be fully comprehendible. I’ve learned patience in cross-cultural grievances, perseverance in times where I have experienced cross-cultural barriers, and preservation of myself when at times I may feel weary from all of this international exposure. Prior to my arrival, it’s safe to say I was skeptical whether or not I would enjoy my time here. Now, it’s safe to say that I will definitely be going back.”

Alyssa Eubank ‘19, International Relations Major, Chinese Minor

 

“Spending a month in China was one of, if not the most incredible and humbling experience in my life. So much happened in that one month, that if I wanted to break it down and process all of it, it would probably take me an entire book. The sites we saw, the people we met (especially my host family), the food we ate, and the things we learned are all things I hope I never forget. Despite often feeling like giving up on Chinese altogether in the first week, I came out with a renewed determination to keep pushing and keep studying. I hope that in the years to come that I’ll continue to learn the language and learn even more about the country and people of China so I can share what I’ve learned to change the way Chinese and American people think about each other for the better.”

David Higgins ‘19, International Relations Major, Chinese Minor

 

 “Overall, going to China, even in the midst of my confusion and lack of knowledge, was an experience that grew me immensely. I fell in love with the country all over again, and grew to cherish the people and culture. Seeing things like the Great Wall, downtown Tianjin, and the Forbidden City in Beijing made me remember why I loved China so much the first time. Despite the frustration of not understanding and the inability to see a clear line of growth, I know that my Chinese language skills have improved and I have gained priceless life lessons. I’ve learned to be more flexible with my plans, to work through misunderstanding and frustration, and above all, I’ve learned that sometimes, the best adventures happen when you just go. Taking risks and doing something that will challenge and change me allowed me to do and experience more than I thought I could. I don’t need to know everything ahead of time. If I follow where God leads me. He’ll provide the rest. I just need to go.”

Rebecca Hofer ’20, Chinese/International Relations Major

  

“This experience in China was incredibly encouraging, given that prior to coming to China, I was not feeling optimistic about my ability to learn the language, rather I was feeling quite hopeless that I may never reach the level of Chinese I desire – especially with regards to listening. Yet by the end of the trip, I felt far more confident in my Chinese abilities, and hopeful for future fluency. I’m eager to continue my studies in Chinese and interaction with its beautiful culture and wonderful people.”

Trevor Strang ‘18, Theology Major, Chinese/Arts Minor

 

“If I could go back to Tianjin right now, I definitely would because it opened my eyes to my own patterns and habits and challenged me to move outside of my comfort zone. I cannot stop telling stories or WeChatting friends or looking at photos. Before my trip to China, I did not think I would be a person who could envision myself living in China for a long-term period; however, after my time in China, I hope to someday live in China for a good amount of time. I am so incredibly grateful that I surprised myself by doing hard things in China such as climbing the Great Wall, eating unusual foods, and putting myself on the line even when my language skills failed me—that moment when I realized that I was not the person riding the bike in Tianjin was probably the proudest moment of my trip. In the Chinese culture, I could no longer cling to the comforts of my own culture, so I allowed myself to try and fail and try again—I am thankful for the person China allowed me to be.”

Katie Thornton ‘18, International Relations Major, Chinese Minor

 Students and Prof. Rose Wang in front of Forbidden City

 Students and Prof. Rose Wang in front of Forbidden City.

Back row (from left to right): Prof. Wang, John Chu, Jillian Dowdy, Rebecca Hofer, David Higgins, Emily Tsen, Trevor Strang, Katie Thorton and Prof. Hu (from local college)
Front row (from left to right): Alyssa Eubank and Adam Ross