I chose to join the Flagship Program because I wanted to challenge myself. I quickly became fascinated by China and its culture, and I continued because of this fascination.
I studied abroad three times: twice at the Flagship Center in Qingdao, and once at Beijing’s Renmin University. One of my most memorable experiences was staying with a host family in Qingdao. My host parents were warm and friendly and actually treated me like a daughter. Since then, I have been in touch with them many times. I will most likely visit them again when I go back to China during the 2009-2010 school year.
When I look back on my experience in Flagship, I feel very proud of my ability to persevere in such an intense program; in this sense, the flagship program has strengthened me as a person. I’m amazed that my Chinese is now good enough to take classes in China with Chinese students. Furthermore, I’ve cultivated lasting friendships through the program.
My post-flagship plans are still undecided, but I know that I will pursue China-related graduate studies upon returning to the US.