Hailey Lipman: 7,000 Miles from Home

Her Campus: Where are you from?

Hailey Lipman: New York City

HC: Where are you planning on going abroad?

HL: Shanghai, China

HC: That’s pretty far. How’d you decide to go there?

HL: Well, I’ve been studying Chinese in school for six years. I want to study abroad so I can get a taste of Chinese everyday living. Also, I just think this is the only way I can really take what I have learned in a textbook and apply it to conversational and useful skills.

HC: What’s the program like?

HL: I would say the program is a happy medium between a language intensive program and just a regular study abroad program. I will be living with a Chinese roommate in a dorm who will take me in and show me around for the semester, but I do not have to sign a language pledge or anything like that saying I will not speak any English. However, there is an intense language aspect to it. The Chinese language course is a six credit class and an integral part of the course is meeting with the professor for 30 minutes at least once a week. All my other electives though will also be focused on China but taught in English like Chinese literature, Chinese Cinema, and a history course.

HC: How are you preparing, both physically and mentally?

HL: Truly I think I am just starting to prepare but have yet to do much. I have been saying I have wanted to study abroad in China for years now, but only in the last couple of weeks has it really started to hit me that next semester I will physically be in China. I have met with my Chinese teacher to try to help calm some of my anxieties and she has helped by saying I am prepared in terms of her confidence in my Chinese language abilities -- this is comforting for sure.  

HC: What are you most excited about?

HL: Probably to live in a new place for a significant amount of time. My sophomore year of high school I stayed with a family in China for a week, but that was really just a quick glimpse of the semester I have ahead. I think it will be really cool to fully be living in a place so different than what I am used to or anything I have ever really known.

HC: Any anxieties?

HL: For sure. My biggest concern is that I do not know a single other soul going on this program or to Shanghai for the semester in general. This makes me super nervous as I always rely on my friends, family, or just the people around me, but I also know that this is the type of thing that I need to be independent for in order to get the full experience I am looking for.

HC: What are you hoping to get out of this?

HL: When I come back, I am not looking to be fluent in Chinese as that is a super long process. However, I am hoping to attain a confidence in my speaking and conversational abilities that I don’t think is really accessible in an ordinary American classroom setting. I am excited to interact with new types of people, whether it be the local Chinese students or even just the other students participating in this program as well.

HC: Any advice to people who want to go somewhere just as far?

HL: Since I have not actually been yet, I am not sure how valid my advice is but my one thing for sure is that if you want to do something a little different and far, then just go for it! I never really thought twice about going to China and as it approaches there is excitement and anxiety for sure. I am positive this an experience I will not regret. I also know this is a once in a lifetime chance that will continue to influence the rest of my life, so I think it’s important to just apply and go for it!