At the Lin Family Mansion and Garden in New Taipei City, Taiwan
My name is Shanelle Glanville and I’m the new Marketing and Outreach Intern at Greenheart Travel.
I’m currently a senior at Northwestern University majoring in Asian Studies, and over my time there I’ve studied abroad three times: in China, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Climbing the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu
Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing about my past four years of college, but I have to say that things turned out much different than I had originally planned. I came to college intending to be a Cognitive Science major, specializing in linguistics and artificial intelligence. However, since I’ve always loved languages, (first trying—and failing—to teach myself Japanese in 7th grade, and then going on to study Spanish and Latin in middle and high school), I decided to start taking Chinese on a whim.
We received a crash-course in teaching English and then taught for a day at a Buddhist high school in Hualien, Taiwan (note: teaching is hard)
I ended up falling for it harder than I expected, and during the summer after my freshman year I studied abroad on a green energy technology and policy program in China. It was my first time in a non-English-speaking country, and halfway across the world at that. I could only understand about 20% of the words spoken around me, in certain places people stared at me as if I were an alien, and within 48 hours of my arrival, I was faced with two choices: become a chopsticks expert, or starve.
I loved it.
Playing with perspective at the Trick Eye Museum in Seoul, South Korea
Before I even left China, I knew that I was hooked: I told my friends there that I was coming back next year. Soon after I got back to the U.S., I decided on a summer program in Tainan, Taiwan, and then to fly from there to Seoul, South Korea for the fall semester.
My language partner/best friend in Taiwan, who surprised me with a scrapbook at the end of our program (one of my most prized possessions)
My study abroad experiences have been perhaps my most formative, and I now believe that intercultural exchange is not just valuable but in fact integral to our modern global community. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, I think that the ability to reach mutual understanding becomes increasingly important as well; in the future, I hope to work towards that in some capacity, though I don’t know exactly how yet. I’m really looking forward to learning as much as I can in my time at Greenheart Travel!