Give us a little intro
Chloe is studying a double degree in Law and Arts at the University of Western Australia, and has previously completed a diploma in Mandarin. Following an exchange year in Brazil, and a passion for French and Spanish, Chloe has now directed her focus towards the Asia Pacific, volunteering, studying, and interning in the Solomon Islands, China, and Taiwan respectively in the last two years.
Chloe is involved with youth organizations such as the Australia China Youth Association, Oxfam, and Plan International, and just finished working at the Confucius Institute at her home university. Chloe is currently studying at Tsinghua University and working as an intern at Thirst4Water, an environmental organization advocating around water issues.
Why did you pick this program?
Offered as part of the a flagship program called Young People Without Borders run by the Foundation for Young Australians, the program was a unique opportunity to experience China after I had been studying its language for a semester.
What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?
Go now, think later! At this point in our lives, where (I personally hope) we are not yet chained to desks or babies or whatnot, there are so many opportunities to take advantage of. From exchange, to volunteering programs, to just traveling for the sake of it; these experiences shape our perspective on the world and develop skills that can't be found in a classroom or office.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Say yes! From dinner invitations, to kung fu classes, to running races; do things that you might consider outside your comfort zone, and you may find a new passion.
What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?
There are absolutely too many. One that always arises because it showed how headstrong and ignorant I was when I first arrived was being convinced my Chinese was good enough to order food on my own. I ordered what I was sure was my favorite fried eggplant dish, but confused the Chinese word for 'eggplant' with the word for 'children' and had no idea why everyone was giving me weird stares. When we go overseas it's almost impossible to not make many a faux pas, so sometimes if a local gives you advice or tries to help you, just be open to it. In this case, you won't go hungry.