Liz Rutzky and Kenny Savoca | Photo:Mahmood Aryubi
After a successful spring 2012 semester respectively producing the Advanced Practicum films, The Best Man
and For the Nights
, Liz Rutzky
and Kenny Savoca
were awarded the opportunity to study abroad on a Chinese Government Scholarship. With the Chinese film market on the rise and the continual growth of the nation as a whole, the two Film & Video students jumped at the opportunity and are currently studying general Mandarin at the Communication University of China in Beijing until January 2013.
One of the great things the scholarship offers is the opportunity to experience a new culture from such a direct perspective. “Getting to live in a new environment is really eye opening and makes the experience far more enciphering and impactful,” shares Rutzky. “Beijing is simply unlike Chicago, and it's absolutely fascinating to learn about all the differences and similarities between the two cities.”
Savoca compares public transportation, saying “The metro here is like riding the El on the north side of Chicago during a Cubs game, wall to wall people, 24/7!” And, he’s had to make some adjustments, “The culture change can be shocking at first, especially after living in a certain atmosphere for so long. It is easy to take for granted things as simple as a toilet seat—in China it's usually just a hole in the floor,” exclaims Savoca.
The two are strengthening their communication skills and broadening their repertoire of knowledge about the world. “Not many people speak English here, so learning Mandarin has been incredibly helpful in a variety of situations," Rutzky says. "Sometimes it's just nice to be able to know exactly what you're eating.”
Rutzky and Savoca are developing a short film inspired by the experiences and encounters they’ve had so far while in Beijing. They look forward to the endless opportunities to come during the rest of their journey in China.