Hae Eon Lee
Class of 2011
Chinese Language Award
Mount Holyoke College is a diverse campus where you can hear many different languages in conversations everyday. Coming from an ethically homogenous country like Korea, I never had to wonder what people were saying in another language. Before, I didn’t think much about the beauty of language and its role in communications. In my high school, if I had to study a new language, I learned it because it was part of curriculum. As an international student at Mount Holyoke, I could have opted out of the foreign language requirement. I thought my language education was over. However, in my junior year, I stumbled into a first year Chinese class and I was fascinated by the experience. I remembered the long-forgotten joy of learning a new language from a similar yet different culture.
I continued my Chinese language education at Beijing Language and Culture University in the summer study abroad program. In Beijing, I learned about the many aspects of the Chinese language and culture and enjoyed the new, daily experiences. By studying Chinese, I feel like I have accomplished the true Mount Holyoke experience.
I am very grateful for this award, and I want to thank my Chinese teachers and fellow classmates who guided me in every step.