San Marcos, CA – Senior kinesiology student Earl Chiong has a passion for the Chinese language. He began studying Mandarin, a dialect of Chinese, at MiraCosta College before transferring to California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) because he wanted a challenge.

"It's a difficult language to master," Earl said. "It's so different from English because many words are differentiated only by tone of voice. I fell in love with studying Chinese and I thought that studying abroad in Taiwan would be a great option for me to fully immerse myself in the language."

Earl is the recipient of a prestigious $4,000 Wang Family Scholarship to study at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, as part of the California State University's (CSU) Office of International Programs. Recognizing the importance of international education, the Wang family created a scholarship fund to provide students from the CSU system with an opportunity to prepare for leadership in our increasingly global society. In addition, he is the recipient of a $5,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship funded by Congress and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

While studying Mandarin and earning CSUSM academic credit, Earl will experience the hustle and bustle of life in the city of Taipei. Taipei, with a population of over 2.7 million people, is the capital of the Republic of China and the principal economic and cultural center of the country.

Moving to Taiwan for an entire academic year will provide Earl with the opportunity to follow his love for Chinese beyond the textbook and into the real world. Although the way of life will be dramatically different, he says that he looks forward to getting a better understanding of the Chinese people and their traditions.

"I enjoy being out of my comfort zone. I won't know the customs or the culture," Earl reflected. "I'll be delving into a whole new world . . . I'm looking forward to seeing things from a new perspective."

Robert Carolin, executive director of global education and associate dean of extended learning at CSUSM, says that is exactly what studying abroad is all about. "It can be one of the most personally enriching and academically rewarding experiences a student can have," he said. "Students come back with a new way of looking at American culture and norms. In addition, studying abroad gives students an opportunity to build their resume for today's global economy."

After graduating Earl says that he is looking forward to applying his experience and Chinese language expertise to his future career in kinesiology. "This experience is going to help me relate to my patients from all over the world."

To learn more about the Office of Global Education at CSUSM, visit: www.csusm.edu/global

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Earl Chiong

CSUSM senior kinesiology student, Earl Chiong is the recipient of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Scholarship.