Alexandra Webb ’16 in Taiwan at National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Alexandra Webb ’15

OWU Fellowship Received: NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship

My plan after graduation from OWU had always been to look for a position in government service. When I learned about the experiences offered by the Boren Scholarship, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. The Scholarship provides undergraduate students funding to study abroad for certain languages, one of which is Mandarin Chinese. As I was a Chinese minor at OWU and had been taking language classes since my freshman year, I felt this was an excellent opportunity to leverage and expand my skills, as well as further my objective of federal service post-graduation. For my study abroad experience in Mandarin, I chose the International Chinese Language Program through National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. The program consists of daily classes, both small group and individual, conducted entirely in Mandarin with a specific focus on language improvement. The coursework was rigorous, and the instructors and curriculum were extremely effective as my language skills greatly improved during my attendance for the summer and fall semesters. Outside of classes, there were numerous opportunities to engage formally and informally with classmates, as the Program provided opportunities for numerous field trips and other excursions, and students would frequently meet up for study or just to explore the city and surrounding area. It was truly an invaluable experience both academically and personally, and the opportunities presented by the Boren Scholarship became an important and memorable part of my time at OWU. After graduation, I did pursue federal service (there is a one year minimum service requirement with specific priority agencies) as a civilian with the U.S. Air Force, and hope that in the future I will have further opportunities to utilize and expand the language skills developed over my four years at OWU and my time in Taiwan.