For many Americans studying abroad for the first time, things like familiarity with English or recognizable food choices are a deciding factor when picking a country. Not so for Inteus Taylor, UW Tacoma graduating senior and recipient of both the Rod Hagenbuch Award and a full scholarship from the Chinese government to support his continued studies.
Inteus was a four-year student at UW Tacoma, enrolling as a freshman in autumn of 2011, but only three of those years were spent on campus. His first experience in the study abroad program took him for a summer to Beijing, China—his maiden journey outside of the US. He “became addicted” to the experience of life abroad, he says. Subsequently he spent an entire school year at Nanjing University in China through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).
The year and summer studies proved very fruitful for Inteus. A gifted learner of languages, by the end of his second stay he was nearly fluent in Chinese. He says that learning the language is only half of the experience—the other half is learning the nuances of the culture. He says he picked up on things easily because he had “good teachers and good friends” to help guide him.
As a student on the UW Tacoma campus, Inteus has been active in the Student Activities Board’s street team and a tireless volunteer, for which he received the Rod Hagenbuch Award. This award is given each year to a senior that demonstrates the University’s ideal of education and service. He has split his volunteer hours between the Tacoma Rescue Mission and Tacoma Public Schools’ Re-Engagement Center. There he “helped students find their identity through art and photography, and inspired students to apply for college.”
As a recipient of support from the Chinese Government Scholarship Program, Inteus will be flying back to China this summer to continue his studies. There, he will be pursuing his master’s degree in international relations. He says that he will miss his peer advisors and friends he made on campus in Tacoma, and his experience as a student and with the study abroad program has broadened his perspective. “Travelling outside the U.S. allows you to see the world from a different point of view,” he says, and he is ready for the next adventure.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org