UW Chinese Language Flagship Students Travel to Taiwan

Submitted by Anna Schnell on

The University of Washington Chinese Language Flagship Program is excited to announce that four students will be embarking on a new adventure as they start the Overseas Capstone Program in Taipei, Taiwan. The Language Flagship program is sponsored by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). Our four students - Gabriela Unguez, Monita Keo, Reanna Wong, and Alyssa Kuraishi - are very excited to apply and continue to improve their language skills, along with gaining vital experience for their careers.

To qualify for the Capstone Program, students not only have to reach advanced level proficiency in modern Chinese, passing the proficiency tests in speaking, listening, reading and writing, they also need to be academically well prepared in their respective majors and have a solid knowledge base in Chinese culture. During the Capstone year, students will be directly enrolled in the university overseas and complete an internship that combines practical use of the language with their career interests.

Photo of Gabriela Unguez

Gabriela Unguez, a Chinese major, is looking forward to improving her language fluency and expanding upon her translation skills. Gabriela hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Translation Studies with the eventual goal of becoming a translator. She has had previous experience in Taiwan and is looking forward to returning to the island.

“Some factors that will help me to succeed in my Capstone study also include my love of Taiwan and desire to experience and better understand its culture, my passion for learning and improving my Mandarin, as well as my determination to attain my goal of becoming an excellent translator and interpreter. I have learned that by keeping my end goal in mind, and by remembering why I love and enjoy what I learn and do, I can remain highly motivated and succeed.”

Photo of Alyssa Kuraishi

Alyssa Kuraishi, a Political Science major, is excited and hoping to secure an internship where she can hone her intercultural competency and deepen her understanding of security and diplomacy. She hopes this will further support her goal of working as an International Security Analyst for the federal government. She hopes to work for the government so that she may use her knowledge of international relations to strengthen foreign policy and improve national security. Alyssa has just received a Boren Scholarship for Undergraduate Students. The Boren Awards are also an initiative of DLNSEO.

“At the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, I want an insight into the politics and culture of a US strategic ally. By learning alongside Taiwanese students at a Taiwanese university, I will not only improve my Chinese but also make cross-cultural connections by talking to the Taiwanese people about how they view East Asian politics.”

Reanna Wong
Reanna Wong, a Biology and Chinese double major, is eager to be at the intersection of both her interests. She is going to relish the opportunity to expand her vocabulary and apply her language skills in a work environment more suited to her career interests. She is happily awaiting the chance to travel around Taiwan, learn more about Taiwanese culture, and secure an internship in the medical field.  

“I believe that this Capstone Program and finding a medical internship will help improve my Chinese proficiency to the point where I can confidently converse with a patient. In addition, I want to broaden my experiences being in the medical field within an international setting and learn more about this culture. My end goal is to become an English-Mandarin bilingual medical professional who can provide medical care to economically and linguistically underprivileged patients.”

Monita Keo

Monita Keo, a Chinese major, is keen to experience an immersive Chinese language environment both at school and in the workplace. She is enthusiastic about utilizing her language skills within a supportive internship environment and making Taiwanese friends. She is looking forward to furthering her language skills in hopes of pursuing a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

“Upon completing my Capstone studies and internship, I will apply my knowledge to my career goal as a Foreign Service Officer. With my diverse background, I will share my knowledge and provide my utmost assistance to immigrants and citizens around the country.”

Philip Kim

The Chinese Flagship Program is also pleased to share that our first University of Washington student, Philip Kim, is currently completing his Capstone study abroad in Taiwan. Philip is a Chinese major and has been thoroughly enjoying his daily exposure to Mandarin, rigorous language training, and cross-cultural opportunities to expand his understanding of Chinese culture. Philip will be working with the Overseas Center Internship Office in the upcoming quarter to hopefully secure a translation and/or interpretation focused internship. He is hoping to leverage his improved fluency and translation skills to support his career goals of becoming a Chinese translator.