Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing

Q&A with Ashley: Studied in China
Share this
Print this
Ashley
Studied in China
Stony Brook University
Her thoughts on Motivation
A million miles away from my family, in a foreign land, with a language that is 100% different from English? Sounds like an adventure to me!
Her thoughts on Cultural Differences
If you looked at students from a distance, you could tell which were Americans from far away!
Her thoughts on The Application Process
Don’t be afraid to call the people in charge of a program to bombard them with questions: it will help narrow down your options and find the best one.

Where did you study abroad?

I was looking for an adventure, so I decided to study abroad at Nanjing University in China.

What made you want to study abroad?

I’m really big on adventures, and I thought studying abroad in China could end up being the most unforgettable adventure of my life! A million miles away from my family, in a foreign land, with a language that is 100% different from English? Sounds like an adventure to me! I really wanted to master the Chinese language and there’s no better way to do that than to go to the country itself! The trip ended up being wild, crazy, and unforgettable. How did you select your program? When it comes to searching and selecting a program, all you need is Google. I just typed in “study abroad in China” and immediately got a ton of hits. Don’t be afraid to call the people in charge of a program to bombard them with questions: it will help narrow down your options and find the best one.

What was the application process like?

Writing the application was really, really easy. There was a series of steps to follow. It was a lengthy process, but if you manage your time and do it step by step, you will finish your application in no time… guaranteed.

What was the biggest surprise about your study abroad experience?

Before I left for China I had this whole idea of how it was going to be. I’d be living in the ancient city of Nanjing, surrounded by traditional Chinese architecture, a LOT of Chinese people, and Chinese food. I thought I’d have a difficult time communicating and I assumed that I’d be studying all the time. It was so far from that! The school I went to was full of foreigners from all around the world and I’ve never met so many European, South American, and African people in my life! I thought I’d be overwhelmed by the process of learning Chinese, but I actually ended up practicing a lot of my Spanish and even learning some French! As for studying: MAKE SURE YOU SET ASIDE A LOT OF TIME FOR IT! I was having so much fun but I definitely could have worked more!

What was the most important thing you learned about cross-cultural differences?

The most important thing I learned about cross-cultural communication is that not everyone acts American. What I mean by that is: Americans approach people, greet people, make friends, and engage in conversation differently than other cultures do. Sometimes we have to sit back and just watch how another culture interacts and then take it from there. If you looked at all the students at my school from a distance, you could tell which were American, which were European, which were African and which were from Asia. The Americans were the craziest, loudest, and most noticeable out of all the groups. Many Europeans were offended by “our behavior” and it reinforced negative stereotypes of us. We just have to understand our surroundings, calm down a bit, and learn the social behaviors of other cultures!

What did you miss most about home?

This question is so easy! THE FOOD! I was craving burritos, real New York pizza, and pancakes for the majority of my year-long stay in China! I would go searching for foreign restaurants and attempt to find substitutes, but trust me, nothing compared to my Chipotle chicken burrito or my Gino’s Sicilian slice of pizza; not to mention my Mom’s home-cooked meals!

Do you have any tips for students hoping to follow in your footsteps?

One tip I want to give anyone who plans to study abroad is: get involved! Don’t go to a foreign country and limit yourself to hanging around Americans and doing things you would normally do at home. I saw so many people waste their days sleeping and their nights clubbing. I don’t think they even made contact with any locals! Find activities to get involved with. I found a job and got the experience of working under a Chinese boss; I joined a nearby church, sung in their choir, and taught the little kids; I explored the city and became good friends with a little Chinese girl who taught me Chinese children’s songs. And I became the adopted daughter of the cleaning lady on my dormitory floor! It was awesome speaking to real Chinese natives about their views on life and what they value most. It was an unforgettable learning experience!

What are your future plans for going abroad and for your career?

I actually have pretty big dreams, and I intend on fulfilling them all by the help of God. The primary reasons why I studied abroad is because I'm so interested in other languages, other cultures, and other worlds. In my immediate future I plan to get certified as a TESOL and Chinese Foreign Language Teacher. However, some of my dreams include working in a Third World country, setting up orphanages and going missionary work. Studying abroad helped me to really get out of my comfort zone and out of the norms of American life. Getting the opportunity to teach English while in China (this opportunity is open to any study abroad student), was another confirmation that my direction in life was what I really wanted. I ultimately want to become a missionary, which would make use of my cultural experiences, languages and teacher training.

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher

Ashley has a positive attitude and a thirst for adventure. Her impulse is to go to the most foreign and challenging places she can find is a great one, and will serve her well as she continues to build international experience. Ashley is interested in doing mission work in developing nations and she should have no trouble finding an abundance of opportunities in every area of the globe, especially if she is interested in working in a developing nation. Ashley should also consider professionalizing her experience abroad by working, taking up a professionally-oriented placement or even teaching abroad. She also has an interest in building language skills and should use that enthusiasm to work towards becoming fluent in at least one language other than English.

Ashley's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
Sample Application Documents: See How Others Did It!
Get inspired by actual documents that real students used to apply for internships, volunteer positions and other go abroad experiences.
In a Rush? Read These Articles First
These carefully chosen articles will lead you to our most important go abroad strategies!
Discover the Career Value of Going Abroad
Get the facts! See surveys and stats linking your experiences abroad to future career success.
The World Online
Want to stay in touch with the world? Check out these top (and sometime quirky) links!
Quick Guides! Our Most Popular Go Abroad Topics
View, print or share our easy-to-use guides available in English, French and Spanish.
Do You Have Enough International Experience?
Have you maximized your international experience? Are you ready for the international job search? Find out!
What's Your International IQ?
How much do you really know about living and working abroad? Take this quiz to find out!
Are You Prepared for the International Job Search?
How much do you know about international jobs in your field? Get ready for a targeted job search!
Quizzes: Your Master Scorecard
Check your scores for all quiz categories: international skills, experience & the job search.
Self-Evaluations: Think Analytically About Going Abroad
Keep track of your evolving international skill set before, during and after your international experience. Be ready to apply for jobs in the global economy.
Career-Boosting Strategies for International Students Studying in North America
What does it take for an international student to succeed in North America? We’ve got tips to help you thrive!
Earn $50 Gift Card & Submit Your Story From Abroad
Been abroad? Want to share your story? Submit your Q&A today to see your experience online!
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to all your questions about MyWorldAbroad by diving into our Frequently Asked Questions section.
Top Tips on Going Abroad & Your Career
Scan our top tips in 40 go abroad subject areas: international skills, getting experience, finding work, and the professions.
Your International Resume & LinkedIn
Write your international resume first, and then create that all-important LinkedIn profile.
International Skills: Be More Than Just a Tourist!
International people have a unique skill set. Learn the terminology and get professional about describing your time abroad.
100+ Career-boosting Strategies While Abroad
Discover enterprising, innovative ideas for how to demonstrate your international skills to future employers.
9745
- # of # Filtered -
  • 83
83
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
1
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
2
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
3
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
4
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
5
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
6
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
7
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
8
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
9
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
10
9748
Adventure In The Alps
11
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
12
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
13
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
14
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
15
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
16
9754
Building Memories In India
17
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
18
9752
Giving In Guatemala
19
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
20
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
21
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
22
9753
A Season In Sweden
23
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
24
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
25
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
26
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
27
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
28
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
29
10157
Changing Course In China
30
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
31
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
32
9787
A Spring Semester In London
33
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
34
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
35
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
36
9771
Learning To Love London
37
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
38
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
39
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
40
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
41
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
42
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
43
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
44
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
45
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
46
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
47
9773
Independent In India
48
9741
Adapting To Work In Peru
49
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
50
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
51
9762
American Freshman In London
52
9784
Skill-Building In Bonn
53
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
54
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
55
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
56
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
57
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
58
9807
Fast Friendship In Korea
59
10851
Tips From Tasmania
60
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
61
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
62
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
63
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
64
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
65
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
66
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
67
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
68
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
69
14088
An Eye-Opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
70
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
71
9737
Passionate About Panama
72
10192
Out And About In Paris
73
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
74
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
75
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
76
9756
Springtime In Spain
77
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
78
9765
Simpatico In Florence
79
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern In Rome
80
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
81
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
82
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
83
9745
All Job Boards
458
All NGOs
1426
Au Pair Resources
40
Awards and Grants Resources
51
Business and Finance Job Boards
63
Business Directories
17
Canadian Federal, Provincial and Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
29
Children and Families Abroad
17
Country Guides
70
Cross-cultural Skills
79
Engineering Job Boards
58
Engineering Resources
80
Expatriate Networking Sites
30
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
29
General Job Search Books
18
Global Education and Social Action
41
Health and Medicine Job Boards
49
Health Career Resources
62
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
43
International Development Career Resources
74
International Internship Organizations
261
International Internships and Student Programs With Canadian Governments
34
International Internships With the US Government
40
International Job Hunting Resources
13
International Law Careers Resources
107
International Law Job Boards
27
International Studies in the US and Canada
13
International Trade Resources
25
International Volunteer Organizations
483
Internship Directories and Advice
43
Internships With the UN and Other IGOs
155
Language Careers
31
Learn a Language
99
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
30
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
32
Loans for Studying Abroad
19
Low-cost Travel
59
NGO Directories
34
NGO Job Boards
47
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
103
Relocating Abroad
26
Resources for International Students Studying in the US or Canada
51
Stories From Abroad
83
Study Abroad Resources
184
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
93
Teach English Abroad Resources
63
Tools for Travelers
73
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
74
Travel Health and Safety
41
UN and Other IGOs
255
UN and Other IGOs Job Boards
26
UN and Other IGOs Resources
69
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
35
Visas and Passports
25
Volunteer Directories and Advice
52
Women Living and Working Overseas
16
Working Vacation Resources
60