Twins Shonda & Shalisha Witherspoon ('14-'15)
Ni hao! My name is Jennifer Au and I am a fourth year Biology major at the University of California, Irvine. During Fall 2015 I have been given the amazing opportunity to study at Beijing Normal University for four months to learn Mandarin. I chose this program because it was the one option that included an intensive Chinese language program. I want to learn Mandarin so I could better communicate with other individuals including my family in China. It has always been my dream to reach in and discover the culture of my ancestors and who I really am and through this study abroad program, I will be able to incorporate academics and social development with cultural cognizance. My deep rooted desire to study abroad in China as a Chinese American may seem a little predictable, but this desire mainly stems from my upbringing in a predominate Latino neighborhood, in which I assimilated more with the Latino community and felt significantly displaced from my own culture. I’m looking forward to meeting the locals and practicing Mandarin with them everyday and trying authentic Chinese cuisine, like Peking duck! I also hope to use my Chinese acquisition as a physician assistant to communicate with patients who may speak Chinese.