Scholar of the world
Senior Jessie Hunt's parents were not very apprehensive about her traveling to China as a part of the John Belk International Program at Queens University of Charlotte. "I've gotten to travel a lot as a student at Queens, so they've kind of gotten used to it," she said.
Jessie's right - she has traveled a lot. In addition to her three-week study tour to China, Jessie has been to British Columbia (with Young Life), Poland and the Czech Republic (with the Queens Chamber Choir), and Guatemala (as part of an annual Queens mission trip). The Raleigh native was thrilled to expand her horizons even further through the John Belk International Program, which offers international study tours for college credit to rising seniors as a part of their tuition. Close to 90 percent of the Queens traditional student body travels or studies abroad before they graduate.
One of the most memorable moments of Jessie's trip to China was during the class's excursion to the city of Dali. The group of students, accompanied by their professors, got to go to a small fishing village on the outside of town. The Bai people who lived there would throw birds into the water to "fish." The birds catch large fish for the men and women living in the village.
"On the way back to the dock, we had a sing-off-the Bai people would sing traditional fishing songs, and we would exchange with Britney Spears ballads and other American songs," she said. "It was really the coolest experience ever."
Being able to study the Chinese culture through the semester-long JBIP course (required prior to departure) was one of Jessie's favorite parts of the whole experience. "If I ever travel again, I'll always want to be educated before I go. It puts the entire trip into context, and allows you to appreciate things more fully and deeply."