Majors and Year of Graduation: Chinese, East Asian Studies & Economics; spring 2014
I feel passionate about: Family, friends, Chinese, and sports
Language I have taken at UW-Madison: Mandarin Chinese
Why that language?
China has a population of over a billion people. I also see Chinese becoming even more a world power in the future than they are now currently. As a result, I view being able to communicate with over a billion a huge asset of mine.
Did you begin language study at the kindergarten-high school level? How did K-12 language study impact your later decision to take a language?
I studied Chinese for 3 years in high school. It was a very difficult language but I liked the challenge that it brought studying it. In addition I had an amazing Chinese teacher in high school and he made the class very interesting. I did not want to lose what I had learned in high school so I decided to take First semester Chinese my freshman year of college. Four years later I am a Chinese major and taking Fourth year Chinese.
What has studying that language meant to you? How has it enriched your life, whether personally, academically or professionally?
Studying Chinese has given me the opportunity to study abroad in China this past summer (2013). While in China I was able to travel all around the country and use my Chinese language skills in day to day activities. If I had not studied this language I would not had the amazing opportunity that I had.
I also view having the ability to speak Chinese as a huge asset of mine. I view China has becoming the biggest market in world within the next ten years. This being said I believe people who have a Chinese background will be in high demand in the professional world.
Outside of classroom learning, in what other situations have you been able to apply your language skills or international interests?
This past summer I studied in the UW-Madison Tianjin extensive language program. It was the most eye opening and best experience of my life. I had never been out of the country until that point in time so I was not sure what to expect. It allowed me the opportunity to travel around the country to such places as Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. I also had the opportunity to hike the great wall, climb two sacred mountains and see the Terracotta Warriors. I got to see how different parts of the country lived and allowed me to get very close to the Chinese culture. It was a very enriching experience and would highly recommend that everyone do it.
My favorite word(s) in a language I know:
公共汽车Gong Gong Qi Chi (Public Bus)
A good book I just read:
The Big Short
My favorite UW moment:
Earning 4 Varsity Letters from being a member of the Swim Team
A memorable high school (or pre-high school) language learning experience:
My very first day of Chinese class when we learned how to say hello
A memorable UW language class experience:
Having the ability to learn and practice my Chinese everyday
My favorite memory from traveling or studying abroad is:
Seeing the Terracotta Warriors
My favorite living or historical figure: My father, David Wiederecht
My favorite literary figure: Rocky