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Walker Institute of International and Area Studies


Global Studies Student Accepted to Prestigious Language Program to Enhance Mandarin Proficiency


Could you please provide a brief introduction of yourself?

My name is Arrington Jones and I am currently in my junior year. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but I have lived most of my life in Columbia, South Carolina. I attended local schools in the Richland One school district, and in 2021, I graduated from Dreher High School. I originally attended The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in International Studies and a minor in Chinese. However, in 2023, I decided to transfer to the University of South Carolina to pursue a double major in Global Studies and Chinese Studies. Outside of language learning, my favorite hobbies/pastimes include singing, acting, reading, and exercising.

Why did you choose to pursue Global Studies at USC? 

I chose to pursue Global Studies due to my life-long interest in world events and learning about different cultures. It was also similar to what I majored in before (International Studies), so I decided to join the program and double major in a related subject (Chinese Studies). 

How did you learn about the program, and what motivated you to apply?

I stumbled upon Middlebury [Language Schools] a few years ago when I was searching up the best summer immersion programs online. I did some research and I was amazed at how rigorous and intensive their curriculum was. They offer programs for eleven different languages, and depending on the language you choose, you will be fully immersed in it for up to eight weeks. Full immersion is one of the most effective strategies for picking up a new language, and I was amazed at the fact that there were other options in addition to studying abroad. I have yet to study overseas, but before then, I would like to improve all aspects of my proficiency in Mandarin (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) as much as I can. This is the main reason why I believe Middlebury [Summer Language Immersion program] is the perfect fit for me. After I sign a language pledge, I will only be speaking my target language in my day-to-day life, which is something that will definitely help me reach my language goals.

What do you aim to achieve by the end of the program?

By the end of the program, I hope that my speaking skills will improve to the point where I can hold long and meaningful conversations in Mandarin like I do in my mother tongue. I also hope that the shared challenge of learning another language will encourage me to build connections with many people.

What are your plans after USC?

When it comes to my plans after graduation, I am currently interested in teaching English abroad or serving in the Peace Corps. However, I am still exploring different career paths that I can take, so I am open to any opportunity that presents itself.

Is there anything specific you would like to share with students interested in this program?

Middlebury’s Summer Language Immersion program will give you an opportunity to significantly improve your proficiency in your target language. All students are welcome to join their programs regardless of their background in the language. Everyone has a chance to achieve their personal goals, and you will get to meet a diverse group of people from all over the country. If you are thinking about applying at some point in the near future, I would encourage you to do so!

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