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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view lesleymurray's profile
    Posted March 17, 2014 by
    Pullman, Washington
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Why study abroad? Ask Michelle Obama

    Walking in Someone Else's Shoes


    Having spent 11 years living abroad in Europe and Asia with my family, my junior year studying in China unexpectedly changed my life the most. As I am majoring in Chinese Language and Culture at Washington State University, I knew I was bound to study abroad. I assumed it would simply be a fun trip, but little did I know how much it would change who I am today.

    I had the opportunity to spend two semesters with the CET Intensive Mandarin Language Programs in Beijing and Harbin. The following summer, I was invited to participate in the South China Internship Program in Guangzhou. My original purpose for studying abroad was to improve my Mandarin language skills; however these programs pushed me to explore all aspects of the Chinese culture. By completely immersing myself in the Chinese culture, I was able to develop a deeper understanding for the Chinese people and their perspectives. I strongly believe only through immersing ourselves in other cultures will we be able to understand each other’s backgrounds and truly become a globalized world.

    I would like to ask the First Lady, Michelle Obama, how she believes studying abroad will benefit students' employment opportunities.

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