I believe that as human beings we oftentimes forget or do not realize where we are capable of going; we forget the number of stops we can make, the number of lines we can ride, and where it is we really want to go. For most people, the Beijing subway station is a beginning point, an ending point, or a meeting point. For me, it was a beginning point. I still do not know who I want to become; however I do know the kind of person I want to become. Whatever I do, I want to impact the world and others in a positive way.
Following my senior year of high school, a State Department scholarship allowed me to study Mandarin in Beijing for the 2012-2013 academic year. While I was in Beijing, I went to a local high school where I studied the language alongside other international students. During the week, I stayed in the dorms and every weekend went to my Chinese host family. Living in Beijing allowed me to make greater connections between my past and the present, the place I came from and the place I grew up in, and myself and others. Since coming back from China, I have become passionate about fostering students’ commitment to language learning and their interest in study abroad, as well as, wanting to see a wider range of students study overseas and acquire critical language skills.
This summer, I will be interning with an organization called, One World Now! (OWN). OWN is a non-profit organization, founded in 2002, that promotes global leadership through language learning. In our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, the organization is dedicated to making language learning and study abroad more accessible to a wider range of America’s youth. The organization targets high school students in the Seattle Public School District (particularly youth who come from low-income families) and offers them language and leadership classes after school. Students can choose between Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, two very critical languages.
At OWN, I will fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a Study Abroad Intern and an Administrative Intern. I will help manage the organization’s internal application processes for its Summer Language and Leadership Camp and study abroad programs. As an Administrative Intern, some of my duties will include tracking expenses, processing receipts, and reporting on spending. So far, I have assisted in managing OWN’s Summer Language and Leadership Camp application process (printing students’ applications, as well as, contacting them to get required documents) and processed receipts.
Through my experience at OWN, I hope to gain insights into non-profit management, marketing and fund development, program management, and international education. In addition, I hope to enhance my knowledge surrounding global issues, particularly in China and Morocco. As an International and Global Studies major, I believe that this knowledge will supplement the politics, anthropology, sociology, and East Asian Studies courses I have already taken towards my undergraduate degree.
As I continue interning at One World Now!, I am very eager to see my work benefit the organization and broader community.