Northeastern University is consistent with encouraging students to hone their talents. It is so that the deserving ones amongst them can get scholarships. Seaton Huang is one of them. The Fullbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program has offered Huang a scholarship. It entitled him to work, study, and volunteer in China for seven months. He is majoring in Asian studies and has a good feeling about this program.
United States Department of Education provided the fund for this amazing program. Its aim is to support students and faculty who wishes to study a foreign language. What’s more, they even let you go to the language’s native place. It brought Huang to Xian, China, where he studied at the Shaanxi Normal University. His scholarship also landed him in an internship at the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce. His job profile was to organise their documents and manage their social media.
“This was a challenging but rewarding experience,” said Huang. “It forced me into a new environment where I had no choice but to work on perfecting my Chinese.”
His time in China introduced him to local people, who became his fast friends and tutors. They sent him memes in Chinese. Huang talked about how helpful they were in settling in. Language is a dynamic phenomenon. Memes represent that. He had an amazing time in China, being a part of four study trips he undertook there. “Each day had its own challenges. One day, I corralled 30 middle-schoolers onto public transportation to go around. On other days, we worked on basic English sounds,” said Huang. “My biggest takeaway was that teachers should pay attention to each individual. It would help in the student’s growth.”
Huang dedicates his transformation to the Progressive Student Alliance. He is also grateful for the Students Against Institutional Discrimination group at the University. They were the ones who inspired him and changed his life. As a result, he changed his major from Economics to Asian studies. It acted as a tribute to his heritage as a Chinese American. He realised how important it was to get to know one’s own culture. He celebrated the Chinese New Year in his parents’ homeland. It was quite an intriguing experience for him. “This scholarship was an important cultural bridge for me. It might be due to the fact that I was never this engrossed in Chinese culture till now,” he said. “It strengthened me and gave me more sense of academic direction.”