Many people think study abroad is just for fun. My study abroad in China has been amazing and awesome, but it’s not only a summer vacation. I am totally emerged in the culture and learning the Chinese language is not an easy task. I’m attending classes here in Qingdao during the week and attend scheduled activities on the weekends. The Chinese Tier 1 study abroad program includes eight college credits at the University here in Qingdao. We are taking Chinese culture along with reading and writing classes. Some of the sessions are just USF students while other classes include Chinese students learning English and American culture. We study formal Chinese and also informal daily conversation and manners. We spend long hours in class during the week and study at night. I really feel this experience has been a game changer in learning the language and understanding the culture.
We also give back to the Chinese community while in Qingdao. USF study abroad students have a great reputation in China for community service projects. One day we worked at a local community center and assisted the surrounding community members. Many of our summer study abroad activities have been reported by the local newspaper here in Qingdao. These Bulls are really making an impact!
We also spent time helping students raising money selling newspapers for a local children’s center. We stood on the street corner practicing our Chinese and perfecting our selling skills. It was awesome helping students raise money to help students in need.
The children’s center helps young children with autism. What a wonderful and beautiful thing! Feeling so blessed to be a part of this!