Natalie Dickson

Chinese Name:Natalie Dickson

Hometown: French Camp, MS

Major(s): Chinese, Journalism

Why did you choose to join the Flagship Program?

I joined Flagship because it offered exactly what I was looking for in a language program. The Flagship Program promised to be challenging yet motivating. I knew that the Flagship would push me to learn Chinese and give me the tools necessary to achieve this goal.

Have you studied abroad? If yes, when and where? What is one of your most memorable experiences?

I studied abroad twice in Qingdao, China, during the summers after my freshman and sophomore years. During those two summers, I accumulated many memorable experiences across China: I climbed two of China’s most beautiful mountains, ate bizarre (and sometimes) delicious Chinese cuisine, and attended two Olympic events. However, my most valued experience in China was probably meeting my host family and becoming friends with my Chinese “sister.” I met my Chinese “sister” during my first trip to Qingdao, and we’ve stayed good friends ever since. Having the opportunity to make friends abroad is amazing, but being able to find a close friend in a foreign country is simply irreplaceable.

How would you sum up your experience in Flagship?

Flagship is tough. It’s requires a lot of hard work. But despite all the time and energy I’ve put into studying Chinese through the Flagship Program, the result has been worthwhile. Flagship ensures you really get to know China, its language, and its people. It truly is the complete experience. Had it not been for Flagship, I’m sure that I would not have come to know and love Chinese as deeply as I have.

What are your post-Flagship plans?

After graduating, I hope either to work as the China correspondent at a Western news agency or perhaps to work in international relations or diplomacy.