Nǐ hǎo, my name is Christopher Steven Covington. I am a 25 year old, lifelong resident of a small, quaint town outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina called Sugar Tit. True to my southern roots, I was raised to hold hard work and dedication in high esteem, and to never underestimate the strength of the human spirit. Unbeknownst to me, these childhood lessons would prepare me for some of life’s most grueling obstacles; including but limited to, being diagnosed with epilepsy my freshman year in high school, and losing two grandparents and a fraternity brother/friend during my first semester of college resulting in my untimely withdrawal from college. But with unwavering persistence and the help of family, I persevered to become a more mature and resilient man all while returning to college to further my education. Now, I am a junior pursuing my BA in Modern Language with concentration in Chinese at Clemson University. GO TIGERS! Thanks to FEA, I will be attending USAC’s program in Chengdu, China for the 2013-14 academic year which will enable me to meet my major’s study abroad requirement, reduce my time in college by one academic year, and gain direct experience of China’s culture and language critical to my future career as a foreign language teacher. As an educator, I hope to foster the next generation of students and leaders of the world with the knowledge and, even more importantly, the appreciation one can gather from learning about different cultures, customs, and beliefs that differ from their own.

Journal entries by Christopher

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