Summer Adventures in Taiwan
Global Security and Intelligence Studies Student Expands Horizons in Chinese Language Program
Having chosen Embry-Riddle because of her interest in learning a foreign language, Carolyn Chatham’s decision to join the Eagle family was solidified by the Chinese track available with her major in Global Security & Intelligence Studies (GSIS).
The GSIS degree caught her eye when applying because of its uniqueness and classes taught by faculty with real-world experience in the field. The program will also help prepare her for her goal of becoming a military intelligence officer post-graduation.
In the two years that she has attended Embry-Riddle, Chatham’s favorite academic experience so far has been her Security Fundamentals course. “My team worked really well together and I made really good friends through that class,” she said.
However, her Embry-Riddle experience spans far beyond the Prescott Campus.
“A big reason why I participated in the Chinese track was to go on the study abroad trip,” Chatham said. “Studying abroad has always been a goal for me, so going to a school where it was heavily encouraged really interested me.”
So she jumped at the opportunity to spend her summer abroad to participate in the Project GO Chinese program at National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan.
Through the program, students like Chatham not only improve their Chinese language proficiency, but also gain cross-cultural communication skills and experience Taiwanese culture firsthand.
“My favorite part of the trip was going somewhere new every day,” Chatham said.
Although some experiences were unavailable due to COVID, she got the chance to visit new tourist spots, night markets and landmarks around the area with her group of friends.
“My biggest takeaway from this experience was regardless of the differences in cultures and countries, there is always common ground between everyone,” she said. “For example, I made really good friends with my tutor in Taiwan. Taiwanese and American culture are vastly different, but despite these differences my tutor and I became friends quickly and still talk to each other regularly.”
Chatham encourages other students who are interested in studying abroad to take advantage of the opportunities that the Project GO programs provide.
“No matter what language you are taking, this experience is invaluable,” she said. “Project Go offers study abroad trips for many languages. Even if you don’t have experience in a language, you can still apply.”