PROJECT GO QUESTION

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Chlobear, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Chlobear

    Chlobear New Member

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    Hey everyone! I'm a college freshman on scholarship in AFROTC who applied for an Advanced I Chinese Program through Project GO. I took Chinese for four years in high school and I'm in college-level third year Chinese currently, hoping to potentially double major in chemistry and Chinese. I had a very strong application (I personally believe), but just found out I'm wait-listed for the program. Does that mean I've essentially been rejected? There was a whole file attached to the email I received saying that I should be prepared to get ready to go to China and that I "will be contacted when spots become available," but I'm wondering if anyone has any further information on Project GO wait-lists, and whether or not it's possible to get off them. Any advice or information would be appreciated!
     
  2. EchoReaper

    EchoReaper Member

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    I would give it another week. Some cadets at my det haven't found out either. Being on the wait list doesn't mean your application is rejected. I do know that there are less advanced spots than basic level Chinese. I myself went through project go in summer 2014 and I'm going through the advanced program through embry riddle this summer. May I ask which university are you applying to?
     
  3. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    Welcome to the military....hurry up and wait. While you're waiting make sure that if you do come off the wait list you are 100% squared away (passport, medical etc.). Also, are there any domestic programs for Chinese? Did you apply to those? Are those deadlines past?
     
  4. DanGir

    DanGir Member

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    I'm pretty sure as other training opportunities get assigned (both mandatory and optional), students drop from Project Go. This leaves openings where they pull off the waitlist. Like nofodad said above, be ready if an opportunity arises.
     
  5. Chlobear

    Chlobear New Member

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    @EchoReaper I applied through Embry-Riddle too! I guess I'll wait it out for a bit and see what happens...I know that some cadets probably applied for other programs as well and might drop a Project GO acceptance in favor of those (hopefully lol). I was informed of the program through my det so I wasn't aware of other Advanced Chinese Project GO programs this year, so that is the only Project GO program I applied for. I think other program deadlines have passed anyway. Regardless of the final decision, I have already at least made sure I'm squared away with passports, DODMERB, etc. @nofodad
    I'm just wondering if any one else on these forums has ever been wait-listed for Project GO and actually made it off. It's probably more of a case-by-case basis thing, though.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    And keep in mind there are plenty of folks who do not hang on on this forum... so don't take a lack of replies as being meaningful.
     
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  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Wish I could tell you more than I hope you're successful.

    DS (AROTC) studied Russian in Kiev, Ukraine in the summer of 2013. I remember him not getting decision until the spring. His program was being administered by Arizona State.
     
  8. Chlobear

    Chlobear New Member

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    Just in case anyone was interested for future reference, in my case I just got off the waiting list and was awarded a Project GO scholarship! So it definitely is possible if you keep on showing interest, and in my case had a successful second interview. I'm not sure how common this is, but now I know it's definitely possible to get off the Project GO waiting list, even with a very competitive advanced program.
     
  9. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    With almost any worthwhile pursuit in life, showing interest with persistence is a prerequisite for success.

    Congratulations to you!

    BTW my DS, an Army 2LT, did a gap year in Taiwan and majored in Chemistry. When you get back, don't forget to take the DLPT, Defense Language Proficiency Test. Several years ago AROTC Cadets were paid bonuses for passing these tests. Even if those bonuses are no longer paid, it will contribute to your OML.
     
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  10. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    For future applicants, I suggest you apply to multiple programs and not just one when going for project GO. It's fairly easy to get the scholarship, but if you apply to just one school's program you may miss out because they prioritize cadets/midshipmen from their school over outsiders. However if it is your own school and you're at least a decent candidate your chances are pretty solid so it's far less risky to put all your eggs in one basket.

    @Chlobear

    Some advice:
    - I did Chinese project GO two summers ago. Take lots of pictures, I didn't document the trip nearly as much as I now wish I had. Don't whole up inside your dorm/hotel, get out and talk to people. Keep in mind, Americans tend to assume a lot of ppl in China speak english, this isn't the case. Even in a big city like Shanghai, I rarely ran into anyone who knew enough english to communicate effectively. Very few older people understand it, you may have luck with younger people but even still the ones I spoke to had about a 2nd grade proficiency level.

    I talked to a Chinese cop for about 45 min as he helped me get to my hotel, the guy remembered a bit of elementary school english but I had to tell him to speak to me in chinese b/c his english was so hard to understand. This taxi driver was sharking me outside of an airport asking for a ridiculous fare and followed me around sabotaging my negotiations with other legitimate taxi drivers. When I ran out of options I checked his car out and it was a black car, not even a black taxi with a meter, just a black car smh. DON'T GET IN THE BLACK TAXIS, they are illegal, expensive, and dangerous. I basically told him in chinese hell no I'm not getting in that and that I was going to the police. The cop was super nice and helpful and got me to my hotel for free.

    - People will always try to rip you off. The price of 95% of what you purchase in china is negotiable. They do that to everyone, even locals, but for Americans the initial asking price will be on average 10x the amount they're willing to sell it to you for. Keep haggling, threaten to leave, lie and say your a poor college student, discounts come easier when you say all this in chinese. Don't settle for what a good price would be in america, the lowest price they'll sell it to you for is probably half of that. Be sure to buy plenty of gifts for friends and family. My group got a vendor to sell us beats pills/headphones for 90 yuan (which is about $14), they were really good quality and just had some cosmetic abnormalities (like a misspelled word). I wish i had bought them in bulk, but I only got two.

    - Keep track of address of the places you stay for a week or more and names and contact info of the people on your program, you'll need it later for your security clearance.

    - Buy your plane ticket now or very soon. I bought mine early and ended up paying just under $1600, some people on the trip bought theirs later and ended up paying hundreds more. Remember some days are cheaper than others when looking for tickets, i.e flying on a tuesday is cheaper than flying on a friday. Also, I advise you to fly in a few days early to settle in and get over your jet lag. I went 3 days early and stayed at a youth hostel with 3 other girls in the program (it was like $10 a night, if that, and we split it 4 ways). Im so glad I did b/c for 2 days we slept all day and were only awake during the night. Took a while to fix our sleeping schedule.

    - Don't be afraid to push and shove. It's a densely populated country so people bump and push each other to be first in the queue and in walking down the street regularly and they wont acknowledge it. There's no word for excuse me in chinese (as far as pedestrian settings go at least) so you're going to have to push and shove with the best of them if you want to get anywhere. I was hesitant at first, but soon we had a system for making sure our group all got on the train. As an average sized female I was bigger and stronger than many of them anyways so it wasn't hard boxing them out to make sure my group got to where we wanted to be, I elbowed quite a few very pushy old ladies lol :biggrin:. Giving up your seat for the elderly, children, or ppl carrying a ton of stuff isn't a thing either. I did that twice and the ppl I offered my seat to looked at me like i was insane, then a young fit male stole the spot.

    - Be open to trying really weird and new things. You may like it, and if you don't you can now say you ate [insert odd thing you didn't know people ate here]. The only thing I said a hard no to was bugs. I was not going to eat any creepy crawly or grub, and they sold alot of those. Though now I wouldn't say no to cricket with the proper persuasion lol.

    - There will come a time when the honey moon phase of study abroad will end and you'll feel homesick and feel resentful of the big culture shocks you're dealing with there. 3 weeks in I was done with china, I didn't want to be there anymore. But I took the weekend and did American things with my other ROTC buddies on the program, went to the French/German designed part of town, played soccer in the park, happened to hear about a German beer festival going on just down the street and went and got to have a real burger with beer. We nearly cried. It was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate me and get back to enjoying the experience. We partied hard for the 4th of July too, the only day it's excusable to be obnoxious Americans in a host country, it was awesome. At the end leaving is a bittersweet experience.

    Congrats OP, I'm sure you'll have a great time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
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  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Having visited my oldest DS who was studying in Beijing (Peking U) for a year back in 2005, I had no idea what to expect.
    The above is almost exactly the same impression I got of visiting there. Wow, talk about culture shock!

    This is one of the most accurate summary descriptions of a visit to Mainland China by a US Citizen I have read. Bravo @Non Ducor Duco
     
  12. Non Ducor Duco

    Non Ducor Duco I am not led, I lead

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    Im sure it was, I at least had some idea of what to expect, but it still far exceeded what I expected it to be. I'd warn it's even more of a shock if you don't look like what they think the typical American looks like. They stared alot at my white companions, but they freaked out when they saw a black American. Staring and pointing isn't considered rude there, and you have to understand that a lot of socially unacceptable things in America are acceptable in China and vise versa, but honestly it got on my nerves quite a bit. A lot of people want to take pictures with or just of you and have their kids practice english with you. You just have to do your best to take it in stride and realize people just completely ignorant of you and your culture, they don't mean to be offensive.

    Always remember that this is their country and here YOU are the foreigner.
     
  13. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Great stuff, NDD! My DS who learned Mandarin at UCLA, is 6' 2" and 1/2 Asian and 1/2 caucasian. When he took public transportation, he got loads of stares. And when he spoke decent Mandarin, folks were just shocked.

    I understand about the staring not being rude. It was more of a "curious" stare with a tone of neutrality. Not hateful or humerous either. Just really more of a look of "hey there's something new and different!".

    I'm 100% Chinese and only speak horrible broken Cantonese with a San Fernando Valley accent. People there asked my Mandarin fluent DS, "so, what's wrong with your Dad? Is he "mentally challenged?" :confused:
     
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  14. usaffan

    usaffan Member

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    For future people looking at this thread, I also wanted to throw in there that I got into Project GO last year off of the waitlist and knew of at least 3 other people with me who did too.
     
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  15. Chlobear

    Chlobear New Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice and information everyone! I really appreciate the detail you put into writing that amazingly informative post @Non Ducor Duco
    I plan on having an awesome time in China despite the rigor of the courses, so I'll definitely be getting out and about--and I expect that the people trying to sell me stuff will be 100x worse than the vendors I've encountered in places like SF Chinatown hahaha! I'm sure the culture shock will be huge, but like everything in the military, getting out of your comfort zone is the only real way you can learn and improve.
    Luckily I won't have to purchase my own plane ticket because the Advanced Chinese program only consists of 8 students and the scholarship covers the visa application fee, round-trip airfare from a US airport to Beijing, China, tuition, books, program fees (including home stay, local transportation, and 4 meals during the week), overnight trips to Shanghai, the Great Wall, Ming Dynasty Village, and food per diem. I also have a few friends from my college who are from Beijing and live during the summer near the university I will be studying at, and they've offered to drive me around to places and show me the good restaurants. :) Multiple people have told me to try the 北京烤鸭!
    The one issue the program presents at least to me is that the departure to China occurs right during my college's finals week, so I'll have to schedule all my finals a week or so early. Another consideration you made me think of @Non Ducor Duco is that I'll be spending the 4th of July outside the U.S. for the first time. I'm sure that will be a strange but enlightening experience!
    Also I definitely agree to not put all your eggs in one basket, because quite a few Project GO programs are way more competitive than you'd think, especially as the language level increases.
     

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