WKU student set to expand her knowledge of China

Miles Schroader

Nashville junior Dominique Wood will partake in a study abroad trip to China next spring. 

With the help of the Benjamin A. Gilman, Freeman-ASIA, and World Topper scholarships, along with the Diversity Abroad Grant, Wood will get to further her knowledge of Chinese history, language and culture.

Wood will earn up to 12 credit hours throughout the duration of her trip.

“I’m majoring in Chinese, so I have a strong interest in the area,” Wood said. “I chose Chinese because I didn’t really know anything about the history, culture, or language; so, I was curious. I’m really excited to go on the trip and learn even more.”

Freeman-ASIA provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial needs to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. From 2001 through the 2013 academic year, the organization supported 4,500 U.S. undergraduates from more than 600 institutions with their study abroad plans in East and Southeast Asia, according to their website.

Wood said the application process was extensive. She was required to create a plan for “service projects” that she would do after completing the trip. These “service projects” are a way for her to share her experience while studying abroad. She also had to write several essays to receive the scholarships, which were reviewed by advisers and friends.

Wood said she found out that she had been selected for the trip on her way to class one day. She looked at her email walking to Ransdell Hall.

“Honestly, for a second I thought it was fake because I was so shocked,” Wood said. “At the end of the email I thought it would say something like, ‘now all we need is your credit card information.’ After the shock settled down, I sat down on a bench and called everyone I could think of.”

During the trip, Wood will participate in a program that will put her through intensive speaking, listening, reading, writing and comprehending courses. She will also get to take cultural experience classes such as  calligraphy and folk music.

“As a student, I hope to fly out of Beijing with more knowledge about China than I know what to do with,” Wood explained. “I also hope to gain a voice to become an example for other students  who want to travel abroad. Especially other African American students like myself.”

Wood added that she will even get to student-teach grade school students English, as well as some American culture.

“As a person, the main thing I hope to gain from this trip is confidence,” Wood said. “Confidence in myself, my abilities and my knowledge. I think you can learn as much as you want, but you need confidence to do anything with your knowledge.”

Visiting the Great Wall and Forbidden City are two of the big things Wood said she will see. She also added that she would enjoy visiting some art galleries to see some local work, find nice places to roam around and visit gardens.

Wood said that she would even like to try to visit South Korea or Japan while she is there because of how much cheaper it is than trying to fly from America.

“I just want to learn more about myself and to keep breaking out of my shell occasionally,” Wood said. “I’ve grown a lot since I first started going to WKU, and I really just want to continue that growth with this trip.”

Reporter Miles Schroader can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected]