Teague LLC residents bond over passion for Chinese culture
Sometimes, finding your way at UNC can feel overwhelming. For the 14 members of the Chinese House Living-Learning Community, though, that task is a bit easier.
“Living in an LLC makes UNC seem a little smaller because you know you have a group of people you can always count on,” said Antonio Jackson, the Chinese House student coordinator.
Antonio is responsible for planning programs and events for the LLC. After studying abroad in China during fall 2011, he was a member of the Chinese House last spring.
He decided to take a leadership position within the community after recognizing areas for growth. He created three committees – Internal Coordinating, External Coordinating and Event Coordinating – so that members could play a larger role in the organization and execution of meetings and other community events.
All members, many of whom have already traveled to or studied abroad in China, have prior experience with the Chinese language and are either majoring or minoring in Chinese at UNC. They use the opportunity of living together to further develop their conversational skills and to learn more about Chinese culture.
The Chinese House has meetings twice a week, one focusing on language development and the other focusing on Chinese culture. For the cultural meetings, members prepare presentations on topics ranging from Chinese colloquialisms, to politics, to popular music.
Although not all meetings are conducted fully in Chinese due to members’ varying language levels, Antonio encourages them to use Chinese as much as possible when hanging out on the hall.
“When you’re in China, your language skills develop quickly, but once you leave you naturally lose some of that,” said Antonio. “My goal is to make sure that they don’t slip and lose the ability to speak conversationally. Chinese is such a hard language to learn, so it’s nice to have a group of people you feel comfortable practicing with.”
Linda Zhang, a member of the Chinese House, said that the people are her favorite part of the LLC.
“Chinese House is awesome! I decided to apply to the Chinese House because I wanted to improve my Chinese and to surround myself with intelligent and bright students who share the same passion for China,” Linda said.
Like Linda, Antonio also believes that the community is what makes the Chinese House so special. He said the group is very close-knit, and the members have all become good friends.
In addition to weekly meetings, members of the Chinese House have also spent time volunteering with Duke China Care. This program works with kids that were adopted from China to help them learn more about their heritage.
If you’re interested in living in the Chinese House or another LLC next year, apply here!