Jennifer Clark

Wonderwall

Jennifer Clark After my freshmen year in summer 2009, I studied abroad for 12 weeks in Chengdu, China and spent two weeks touring Thailand. During my time abroad, I ventured outside my comfort zone where I learned not only about Chinese language, history, culture, and economics but also about myself. Iíve traveled abroad before but studying in China was like nothing Iíve ever done before. From the moment I arrived in Chengdu, everything was new and exciting from the food and culture to the scenery. I transitioned smoothly and quickly because I immediately made an effort to immerse myself in the Chinese culture.

As I sat in the guard tower of the Great Wall of China staring out the window at the glow of the full moon, I contemplated all of the rewarding experiences that brought me to this crucial moment of self- discovery. The night I spent sleeping on an unrestored section of the Great Wall of China with 10 people I had only met a few hours ago from across the globe is the impetuous that drove my transition into adulthood. These people shared insights on how vital it is to know yourself and see what else is out there before you can ever be successful in the future.

Jennifer Clark Traveling outside the US showed me how America affects and fits into all of humanity. Chinese people were some of the friendliest Iíve met traveling and they were really excited to meet and talk with Americans. I was proud to represent my country and culture to encourage understanding of global diversity. Only after witnessing the perspective of someone elseís culture could I truly see my own. Consequently, I have a better understanding of how I as an individual fit into this world.

"To travel is to live." H.C. Anderson