“Traveling is a fool’s paradise,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said. “I have no cranky objection to world travel for the purposes of art, of study, and goodwill, as long as the individual is first domesticated, or doesn’t go abroad with the hope of finding something greater that what he knows. He who travels to be amused, or to get something he doesn’t have within, travels away from himself.”
While Emerson’s comments may seem extreme to those who enjoy the occasional trip for leisure, he makes an important point regarding the value of travel from both a scholarly and personal standpoint. Studying abroad fulfills what Emerson sees as the deeper purpose of traveling. Learning new cultures is one of my favorite things to do. I interact well with others and enjoy networking with new people. I have found that my ability to meet new people is a trait that makes every visit I have taken to different countries an enjoyable visit.
College is a time for new and exciting experiences as well as a time to explore diverse and innovative ideas. What could be better than traveling to China to learn about their ideas, history, and culture? I believe studying abroad is something that every college student should do to help avoid ethnocentrism, to expand his or her horizons, and to appreciate everything the world has to offer. I spent the first eight of my early years living abroad in two countries from this rich period of growth I acquired an identity as a global citizen, and the skills to independently navigate life in a foreign culture. It seems appropriate to support my next leap in life with an abroad experience that will reveal the directions in which I have grown since my early years, as well as provide a unique context for exploring the limits of my education.
Here is an undeniable advantage to living and studying in China; to be submersed in the Chinese way of life is the only way to fully understand and learn about how the country impacts and is impacted by the rest of the world. Not only am I learning about China, but I have also come to appreciate other countries in the world from a different point of view. Being in China has given me the chance to learn in a different environment, and I do not think there is any better way to learn the culture than to actually be there. I have a very strong admiration for the Chinese language, people, and culture. I will continue to apply my newfound knowledge to my entire life and the way I look at the world around me.
To get the most out of your experience, check out StudentUniverse for tours around China!