Kaylee B. – BASIS Mesa

There’s a World Out there... Exploring China Through Service Learning and Cultural Exposure

Project/blog link: There’s a World Out there... Exploring China Through Service Learning and Cultural Exposure
BASIS Advisor: Lily Treptow
Internship location: Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Onsite Mentor: Danial and Megan Whitlock

Project Abstract

There is a vast world out there, and every country provides an opportunity for learning and personal growth, cultural exposure, and historical discoveries. What if you had a few days to pack a small suitcase and head to China? What would your experience be like? What cultural norms and stereotypes would be adjusted? Would your vision, beliefs and understandings be confirmed? My project focuses on China as seen through the eyes of a typical high school American girl. I spent time teaching English in a variety of educational settings from kindergarten through college level. My teaching methods included introductions, song, art, dance, games, poetry, and using standard college-level English 101 textbooks. I traveled around China meeting with local people, participating in their culture, learning their history, and gaining experience that will help shape my direction in life. By conducting on-site research in Chinese culture, language, teaching/learning, economics and social behaviors, I was able to break the barriers of social thinking and ideology that is known to many outside of China. I got to see and be a part of their culture first hand, and I had the opportunity to share my American-based knowledge with the locals. As humans we need to step out of our "norm" and learn about the culture of others. With all the division and diversity around us, this project gives me a great opportunity to find ways to comprehend cultural and religious diversities. It will better prepare me to contribute to our country, and to create an understanding of how we can be a greater asset to the world.

There’s a World Out there... Exploring China Through Service Learning and Cultural Exposure