Joshua Jenson is an Ambassador who studied abroad in China
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?
I thought, if I am going to study abroad I want to go somewhere different! Furthermore, the China program was the only one that would fit into my class schedules. I decided to study abroad because it is a rare opportunity that is not available after you graduate.
Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.
Being invited into a Chinese wedding was definitely a cultural experience I will never forget. I did not know any of the people, but because I was American, I was the guest of honor. They offered me many toasts, laughed at my attempts to speak to them in Chinese, and treated me with such respect I have never seen anywhere. A stranger in a strange place with strange people, I could not help but love the Chinese people.
Describe your overall study abroad experience.
Adventures every day. Making memories with the amazing study abroad group as well as new friends. Tasting exotic food and thinking about American food. Amazing! Life-changing! Unforgettable!
Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?
Studying abroad allows you to gain a more global perspective towards economics, politics, and social issues. It really shows that we are all in this world together, we have different tastes but we are all people sharing this planet. Studying abroad allows you to get away from all of the expectations and reputations that are on your shoulder. Free from these burdens, it is truly amazing to explore who you are apart from these things, and perhaps thrive in this new environment. The biggest thing you will learn in China is who you are. Learning the Chinese customs and traditions definitely contributes to your overall professionalism.
What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?
Challenge yourself every day. Go out and meet new people, taste new food, visit new places. Every day is and adventure while abroad and challenging yourself is one of the best ways to get a full cultural experience and to make memories of a lifetime.