Zoua Pa Vang

Zoua Pa is an Ambassador who did an internship in China

Major: Chemistry

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

Before I entered college I knew I wanted to study abroad. I did not know where, but I was determined. China has been a country that I've managed to stay neutral on. I never had much of a opinion on China, however, I chose to study in China because I wanted to experience China and to be able to have an opinion. It was the perfect opportunity, being a chemistry major and looking for internships, China was offering! Therefore, I immediately took the chance to apply.

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

A cultural experience that made a lasting impression would be the people in Chongqing are always so welcoming and respectful. When we first arrived, they held a welcoming dinner for us. However, there were many more dinners, outings, and excursions that they provided for us. I was really grateful for such care they had for their guests.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

My internship abroad experience was amazing! Though there were a lot of challenges, such as language barrier and culture shock, these things has helped me grow to understand the different cultures that I've grown with and the culture I was immersed in at the moment. It definitely was a learning experience as I had to be independent in many cases, such as ordering food, taking the subway, bargaining, etc. However, these things also made me go out of my comfort zone and has taught me to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

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?

There are most definitely benefits when studying abroad. I made a lot of new relationships with people from all over the world, therefore, my networking skills has increased. Though I did not stay abroad for long, I was able to learn a little bit of the language. Lastly, I reflected a lot about myself as an individual. Therefore, I got to know myself more as a person.

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

Be open to new changes, culture, and people. Note that not everyone is the same and that adapting to the new environment is okay!