What makes Valerie Smith a perfect candidate for teaching abroad and how do you compare?
“I always had an interest in China. It’s an up and coming country. Then I took a class in Chinese and found out I really loved it,” Smith said.
“I think if you’re going to learn about any culture you should learn their language. That reflects their culture in and of itself. If I do research on China I would certainly have to be in China or in Chinese-speaking countries. So it would definitely help to know Chinese,” the 22-year-old Smith said.
“She has a genuine love of learning, she’s curious about the world and curious about other cultures. She will make a wonderful geographer,” said Richard Hunter, one of Smith’s geography teachers.
Smith is really flying outside of her comfort zone by winging to China. She has never lived off campus, doesn’t drive a car and has never traveled overseas. She acknowledged she is somewhat nervous about her trip. “I guess we’re all kind of watching the political situation over there. ... From what I’ve seen I don’t think there’s going to be any political upheaval, but who knows? I just have to expect the unexpected,” Smith said.