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Delmont and Higbee gain intercultural experience in China

By: Clare Danner

Two HAC students, Amanda Higbee and Margaret Delmont, spent part of the summer of 2016 studying at Hangzhou Normal University in Zheijang Province, China.

This 3-week trip allowed Trine students to receive eight college credits while experiencing China and the Chinese culture.

Delmont, a junior communication major and Higbee, a senior communication major and recent graduate from the HAC program, took advantage of the study abroad opportunity offered to Trine students. Both Delmont and Higbee participate in Trine’s Multicultural Student Organization (MSO) on campus and have an interest in experiencing other cultures. 

Higbee said her interest in international affairs began when she took the Intercultural Communication course offered as part of the HAC curriculum with Dr. Don Jones. Ever since that course, Higbee said she has “wanted to travel and pursue a multicultural career.”

“Prior to this trip, I had never traveled overseas before,” Higbee shared.

This study abroad trip has prepared the two HAC majors for their future endeavors in different ways. Higbee, who graduated this past December, will be serving as a Secondary English Education volunteer in Armenia through the Peace Corps in March.

Higbee said her summer trip to China has prepared her for the Peace Corps by exposing her to another culture.

“It’s a unique experience,” she explained. “A lot of times, I would be very frustrated with things that were happening around me, and I’d ask questions like why is the bus driver not going anywhere?, why is there no ice in my water?, why are we eating bamboo? But I would stop myself and remember that I was a guest in the country, and I had to respect that things were different.”

After her graduation in May of 2018, Delmont hopes to enter a profession that allows her “to travel and help people see the world.”

“I’d like to work for a national study abroad company to assist students with their international education endeavors in the short term, and possibly be the Director of Study Abroad at a university in the long term,” she stated.

Having been immersed in Chinese culture for 3 weeks and successfully adapting to the heat, the clean cooking, and the fact that she “seemed to always be surrounded by hundreds of people,” Delmont feels confident and enthusiastic about recommending that other students study abroad in China once she enters the professional world.