Katherine Youngkin

Name: Katherine Youngkin
Graduation: 2014
Majors: East Asian Languages and Cultures (China focus); Chinese Education

I chose this major combination because I felt that it would best help me achieve my goal of becoming a Chinese teacher. I specifically chose Miami University because it is one of the few schools in Ohio that offers a degree in Chinese Education.

During my time at Miami, I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad two times. The first time I went through a Miami program that based us in Tianjin, China, for six weeks during the summer. It was an accelerated language program that also allowed us the chance to travel extensively. The second time I studied abroad, I went through a co-sponsored program. This time around, I was in Beijing, China, for a semester. The program was also an intensive language program, but I had the unique experience to live with a host family and get first-hand experience with Chinese culture and how family life is in China.

Since the Chinese Department is small at Miami is small, I have developed a close relationship with Haosheng Yang. I took two classes from her before I went abroad the second time, and that semester I ended up seeing her twice a day, two to three times a week. After I came back from China and received the Undergraduate Summer Scholars grant, she agreed to be my advisor for research. We have continued to work on my research from that summer throughout this year, and she has supported me fully while I’ve been writing my honors thesis.

In the future, I eventually plan to become a high school Chinese teacher. In the meantime, however, after graduation I will spend a year teaching English at Sun Yat-Sen University in China.