Harlee Phillips knows less than 10 words in Mandarin, but that won’t stop her from traveling to Beijing, China, next school year to learn the language fluently.
Phillips, a junior in the Indiana University Kokomo School of Nursing, received a $10,000 Study in China Scholarship from the Chinese Scholarship Council and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The scholarship covers her tuition, campus housing, health insurance and travel and conference fees.
“I’m now able to realize a dream I never would have been able to on my own,” Phillips said in a press release. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
She will begin classes in Mandarin in September at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Her travel experience with IU Kokomo gave her the courage to consider a yearlong program, she said.
“I learned so much from IU Kokomo’s programs in South Korea, that it made me want to learn about another country,” said Phillips, from Kokomo. “I’ve always had an interest in foreign culture in general, and going to South Korea with the School of Nursing made me want to step it up and go overseas for a full school year.”
Dean Linda Wallace called Phillips “the perfect candidate for this opportunity” because of her previous experiences.
“After meeting Korean exchange students on our campus, Harlee traveled to Korea by herself to see her new friends in their home country,” Wallace said. “Since then, she has been a wonderful hostess when we have guests from Korea. She has a similar passion for learning about China, and she is very knowledgeable about Chinese and Korean cultures. She is well on her way to being a global citizen.”
Phillips is excited to experience China as a student, rather than as a tourist, and to learn a new language.