Posted by Aria Cabot, CET Florence Resident Director
My name’s Elisa. I’m 22 years old. I was born in Montevarchi, a town near Arezzo. I graduated in 2010 in Foreign Languages and Literatures. I can speak French, English, German, Danish and a little bit Portuguese. I would like to work as a translator in a publishing house. I like travelling a lot and meeting new people from all over the world. I also like listening to rock music and spending time with my friends. I’m an active person: I often go out for a walk and I like running. I’m friendly, reflective and very stubborn and I always fight to achieve my goals.
Ciao a tutti!! My name is Caterina, I’m 22 years old and I live in Florence. I’m finishing my studies at University of Florence, I’ve been studying Foreign Languages and Literatures: English, French and Japanese. I really love travelling, I’ve visited several countries in Europe but would really like to go to USA and to Japan and China. I’ve studied for six months in Paris as an Erasmus student, and I will never forget this unique experience! In my free time I love reading, I’m addicted to cinemas and theatres, I like all kinds of music, in particular Italian cantautori, classical music, folk and jazz. In my city, I love to wander on my bike and to explore new pubs, bookshops or little museums. In fact, I’m fond of Renaissance and photography, even if I’m terrible in taking photos and I can’t paint! I like to walk a lot, to cook sometimes, I’m trying to be as ‘green’ as I can, I love animals and recently became vegetarian. I think the CET program for me will be an opportunity to meet new people, to share opinions and experiences, to see my city from different eyes! I’m really enthusiastic about this project and want to start it immediately!
Eleonora is 22 years old and is a native of Florence, Italy. She is currently studying economics at the University of Florence, and has also studied abroad in England. Eleonora is an active volunteer with the Lion’s Club of Florence. She speaks English and French, and has traveled a lot, including, most recently, to Japan!
Denny De Pascalis
Denny is 23 years old, from Lecce, Puglia and this is his third year as a CET Italian roommate. He is currently studying nursing at the University of Florence. Among friends and roommates, he’s known as a great cook as well!
Attention all CET Intensive Japanese Language & Area Studies in Osaka applicants:
The US-Japan Bridging Foundation is accepting applications from American students participating in semester-or year-long study abroad programs in Japan during the 2011-2012 academic year!
Students planning to study in Japan during Fall 2011, Spring 2012 or the 2011-2012 academic year should apply by April 8, 2011.
Funding from private foundations and major U.S. corporations has made it possible for the Foundation to award 60 scholarships ranging from $2,500 (for students on single-semester programs) or $4000 (for students on academic-year programs) to assist students with travel and living expenses they incur while studying in Japan.
Happy New Year everyone! Before the CET programs welcome another semester of students, we will post the last few blogs written by Fall 2010 CET Intensive Chinese Language in Beijing students. Enjoy and check back soon to read our Spring 2011 blog posts!
Getting to ride in the “sleeper bunk” part of an overnight train? Cool.
Getting to visit THE Shaolin Temple? Way cool.
Getting to watch THE Shaolin Kung-foo fighting monks show off their crazy and almost “too amazing to be real” stunts LIVE AND UP CLOSE?? Even cooler!
Yeah, this trip to Luoyang was awesome and memorable in so many ways. The only complaint I had was that it was too short! I didn’t want to leave! But, we packed a LOT into the short three day trip.
Never heard of Luoyang City? It’s in the West of Henan Province, and its rich with religious, political, and economic history—more than 3000 years of it!
So on this short trip we got to check out the Longmen Grottoes, White Horse Temple, Shaolin Temple, and the local markets near the hotel we stayed at.
By far, my favorite part of this trip was the visit to the Shaolin Temple. Maybe I’m ignorant, but before coming on this trip I had never heard of the Shaolin Temple and of course didn’t know it was a school for students of Kung Foo.
This probably relates directly with the fact that I didn’t know how cool monks could be—or that monks even did Kung Foo. I thought of monks as quiet, peaceful old men with their noses in books or lost in meditation. Never had I imagined monks could be brawny young men that could do some serious damage when handed nunchucks ; or little boys dressed in robes that could break out suddenty into a backflip; or could balance themselves atop ten-foot sticks whilst spinning on them. So you get the point.
Lesson learned: don’t mess with monks. Or at least Shaolin Temple monks.
Another nice part of this trip was getting the chance to wander around and check out their open night market—bustling with locals, ornated with red paper lamps, and lined with venders selling all sorts of local specialties—souvenirs and foods alike. One very noticeable difference between these shops and Beijing’s are the prices! If you’re planning a trip here, save some money for some souvenirs, you’ll get more for your money than you would in Beijing!
Posted by Ingrid Lombardo, CET China Programs Manager
And the First Lady said: “Thou shalt study abroad in China!” Today, while her husband was discussing matters of state with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Michelle Obama discussed the “100,000 Strong” China Study Abroad Initiative on the Howard University campus. The initiative encourages more American students to study abroad in China, in order to “prepare the next generation of American experts on China …” Yay! Yay! I’m a study abroad administrator, so such a call for Americans to study abroad is music to my ears.
However, if answering a government call to study in China is not your idea of a good time, let’s look at the subtext of what the government is saying with its “100,000 Strong” initiative. It is saying that we are going to need a lot of China experts in the future, i.e., there will be jobs!
But let’s not think so practically for a moment. There are other reasons to study in China. The time I spent there taught me many things that will be with me forever. For example, when I first arrived in China, I could not read Chinese characters. That meant I got to experience being illiterate. As a Caucasian female, I got to experience being a racial minority for the first time in my life. I got to experience struggling through a foreign language and having locals puzzle at my mispronunciations. I also got to experience a civilization with a 5,000 year history. (Imagine if the ancient Romans still inhabited Italy today!) I also got to experience wonderful moments of hospitality, care, and attention from the Chinese people … the same people that many people from my home fear for taking their jobs.
Well, that era is moving to the past. In the present and future, China is giving jobs. From the hundreds of people I know that escaped unemployment by teaching English in China, to the thousands of people that will benefit from the $45 billion in American exports to China that will result from President Hu’s current visit, to my own experience of working as the China Programs Manager for CET, I can say with certainty, it pays to know China. But, again, never mind that. When you go to China, and you get your first thumbs up from a stranger just because you’re American, and you let your first hand-made dumpling unfold in your mouth, and you take your first gaze at the 3,000 terra cotta soldiers of Emperor Qin Shihuang, built around 200 B.C., yet staring back at you as if they were built yesterday, I’d venture to say, you might even like it there. You and the other “100,000 Strong.”