Summer 2017—When a student’s pursuit takes them across the globe, trying new food can be one of the most exciting – and one of the most daunting – prospects. Food tells so much about a culture and is central to the travel experience. This was definitely the case for Foster Speichinger, the spring 2017 intern to Wu Hua county in rural Guangdong Province, China.
Foster received the Cheung Annual EFL Scholarship which enabled him to travel abroad to teach English as a foreign Language in rural China. The experience, made possible by generous support from Chi and Candace Cheung from Jefferson City, Mo., gave Foster the opportunity to advance his Chinese language skills, meet new people, and – of course – cultivate a love of Chinese cuisine. Learning the recipe for garlic mint duck sauce might seem trivial, but on a deeper level that recipe will forever connect Foster back to his experience in Guangdong Province, the people he met and the life lessons of living abroad. None of this would have been possible without the vision of the donors who funded his journey thousands of miles from home.
In addition to funding the EFL Scholarship, Chi and Candace also support the New Horizons Community Support Foundation Scholarship that provides tuition, room and board for students from the Guangdong Province to study at Truman. Four students have received the scholarship, which began in 2015.
One of the recipients, Jianxiu Cai, is a transfer student navigating a lot of the same academic challenges as other students. On a more practical level, she realized she needed to learn how to make a sandwich. Back-to-back classes necessitate a quick and portable meal to tide her over. What to eat in a time crunch is small in the scheme of all Jianxiu is learning at Truman, but it’s also a piece of America she wouldn’t have experienced without having traveled the globe to study at Truman.
Thanks to generous scholarship support, the New Horizons recipients are free to immerse themselves in their studies and the culture. The next three years at Truman will be educational, both in and out of the classroom for the other New Horizon Scholarship students.
The Cheung’s five-year commitment to both scholarship funds will afford many students access to rich crosscultural experience. Through their generosity, students have the opportunity to gain global perspective and realworld experience – with a side of culinary adventure. From PB&J to garlic mint duck sauce, scholarship support has opened exciting doors to students who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford these life-changing cultural experiences.