Ever since I could remember, I’ve always wanted to travel to the other side of the world. Of course, the natural pathway to achieving that goal was to eventually apply for a study abroad during college. Currently, my major is Chinese language, and one of the requirements for that degree is to study abroad in a country whose main language is Mandarin Chinese, which fit perfectly into my dream plan.
However, being able to have this experience was not won easily. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, my original plans of travelling the spring semester of my junior year were utterly destroyed and I eventually had to reschedule. I also had to deal with the hard decision of either completing courses on Wofford’s campus which would fulfill the requirement, or pick an area that was not my first choice. I originally chose either Beijing or Shanghai, but visas were no longer being issued. Not long after, I eventually chose to go study in Taiwan. I didn’t know much about this country at the time, other than the ominous things we hear in the news about its relationship with China. Despite this uncertainty, I knew I had to take this last opportunity I was presented, and I’m very happy that I did. The program I chose has been running smoothly so far and I’ve even been able to communicate with other students on the program, which puts my mind at ease.
As of right now, I’m not actually nervous, which is a big surprise, even to me. I think I’m at a point in my life where I’m just ready to get out and explore things I will never get the chance to explore here at home. However, I am a little anxious about my luggage. I honestly cannot tell if I packed way too much, or if I didn’t pack enough at all, but I can fix that once I get there.
What I’m mostly looking forward to is honestly the food. I love food, a lot, especially hotpot and Boba. I believe I might spend all my money solely on the food and not have enough for souvenirs. Other than that, I’m really excited just to experience a culture that is different from America’s and to meet new people who can teach me new things. After this experience, I hope that my Chinese language proficiency will exceed even my expectations. I also believe that my work ethic and ability to adapt to any environment will improve greatly with this opportunity, as well as my social skills. In the end, I’m grateful that I will be fulfilling one of my life long goals while gaining valuable lessons.