Mackenzie Carlson '21

Program: China Fall Semester

Major: Sociology, Anthropology Concentration

Minor: Chinese


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I chose to study abroad in China because I've been wanting to go to China since I was a freshman in high school, and this program was the perfect opportunity to go and get to live there for a few months. I wanted to experience new things outside of my comfort zone and improve my Chinese language ability.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

Eating hot pot was a cool cultural experience that I did several times. It is a delicious meal, but what I really liked was the way people would spend time together during this meal. It was always a long meal, and people would sit around chatting, eating, and being merry.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

I loved China and the whole study abroad experience because I got to see new places, meet new people, and experience and become accustomed to a different way of life. It seemed like I would see something new that I wouldn't have seen in America every day that I was in China, and the world seemed like a more interesting place to me because of that.

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?

For me, the China study abroad program really contributed to my personal development more than anything. This was in large part because the classes were not as time consuming or challenging as my classes at CSB/SJU have been, so I had more time to focus on myself. I became more self-reliant, independent, and I definitely expanded my comfort zone.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

Make the most of your time abroad. This is a really unique opportunity to get to be immersed in a different culture that not everyone has the chance to do in their life. So, enjoy your time abroad and take advantage of all the new situations you'll find yourself in.