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Lauren Ching '12
Why do you want to serve as an International Ambassador at Santa Clara University?
I want to share my experience with students who are thinking of studying abroad. Studying abroad is now such a great part of my life, and I will never forget my experience and I want to help students who are interested in going abroad in the future.
What were the deciding factors in choosing your study abroad program-location?
I was already studying Chinese at SCU, and wanted to further my studies in the language. Also, as a business major, Shanghai is an emerging and thriving metropolis for international business, and I really wanted to go study the Chinese market. Shanghai seemed like the best choice and a great city for me to go to.
Describe a defining moment in your abroad experiences and how that experience(s) has affected you personally, intellectually, vocational, spiritually, or academically.
There is not one defining moment, but the entire experience has changed my views on how I see the world. Being able to experience a new culture has opened my mind to not just the way the Chinese people live and their cultures, but to open my mind on other cultures different from my own.
What advises, recommendations would you give to prospective study abroad students? In retrospect, how would you prepare differently to maximize the study abroad experience?
Do not think that one semester is a long time, because it is not. Make the most of your experience, and see as much of the location you choose as you can. One semester will not be enough to experience everything possible, but just enough for you to get a taste of the culture. Try to immerse yourself as much as you can in the culture and lifestyle to truly experience something new. One thing I would have done to prepare differently is to mentally prepare myself more for the culture shock that everybody inevitably experiences, especially in a country as different from the US as China.