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Chinese Flagship Program 中文领航

Photograph: Will Meredith

Student Profile--Will Meredith

Will is a Senior, working toward a B.F.A. in Performing Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre.He is Vice-President of the WKU Redshirts(Men's A Cappella group) and Treasurer of Alpha Psi Omega (WKU's theatre and dance fraternity, also the largest honors fraternity in the country).Will is also a performer in the Hilltopper Showstoppers (Western's new Glee-type show choir).

Will went to China three times in just one year. The first experience was in Tianjin where Flagship students studied at Nankai University and traveled to Beijing for a short period. Over the summer, he went with the Flagship to Chongqing to study at Sichuan International Studies University. Apart from Chongqing, I also travelled to Shanghai, Chengdu and Guilin. Over Winter, Will lived in Beijing, interning at Oriental Songlei Music Theatre Production Company. There, he got to observe the tour management of the first ever Chinese Broadway-style musical and the development process of their new work, The Joker's Game. He attended budget meetings, set design discussions, translated documents or just cut up with the people at the office. He would love to combine his Chinese and Theatre interests into this type of work. However, his first ambition is to be a performer. He says that having a useful skill like Chinese will help him survive in the big city while pursuing his dreams.

Will is currently studying in Beijing with a Critical Language Scholarship.

How do you stay motivated to study Chinese while juggling your academic and extracurricular pursuits?

I stay motivated by my classmates. We all continue to push each other. We've been in class together since day 1 and been to China multiple times now; I don't know how many times we've texted each other to make sure we're on top of everything. I also feel like while in College, I need to take absolutely every opportunity that's available.

What has been your greatest linguistic success since you joined the Flagship program?

My greatest linguistic success would probably be finding my own housing in Beijing using no English. I couldn't understand the guy on the phone and had to use Chinese texting to figure it out, but I got a place and survived!

What is your favorite city in China, and why?

My favorite city in China is Chengdu. It's a very clean and modern city. But the winner for me is the Panda Research Center. They're just too adorable.

What is your favorite Chinese dish?

My favorite Chinese dish is the Gong Bao Ji Ding. Chicken, peanuts, and onions mixed in some kind of awesome China sauce. I'm not sure what it is, but it gets me every time.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14