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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Mandarin Chinese, Journalism Major Completes ‘Perfect Application’ Internship

Washington, D.C., was the summer destination for University of Mississippi senior Natalie Dickson of French Camp. With a double major in Mandarin Chinese and journalism, Dickson completed an internship there with the Voice of America’s Mandarin Chinese service.

“I see my summer internship at Voice of America as an enhancement for my college education inasmuch as it is the next step for it,” she said. “It was the perfect application to what I’ve been studying at Ole Miss for almost four years; I can hardly imagine a better match for me. It was also a bit exhilarating to be a ‘working woman’ in Washington, D.C.”

Dickson stayed at Georgetown University, where she was enrolled in two courses.

“I enjoyed all of my summer; my internship and classes did keep me busy, though, so I didn’t have much time to just explore Washington, except on the weekends.

“I did get to meet several really neat journalists, including editors of magazines and newspapers like The New Republic, The Washington Examiner and The Washington Post. It was so helpful to meet and talk with outstanding professionals in the field that I’m interested in pursuing after graduation.”

Dickson completed her bachelor’s degree this month. She is a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, which provided a stipend for her internship. Her many academic honors at UM include receiving a Taylor Medal, which is the university’s highest academic award, and she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization in liberal arts.

Dickson said she chose to attend UM because of the Honors College and the Chinese Language Flagship Program, which is one of four partnering programs in the U.S. that share two Chinese Flagship Centers in China.

“I liked what Ole Miss had to offer: the Honors College, the Chinese Flagship Program, all for an affordable price,” she said. “I knew it would push me to learn Chinese and give me the tools necessary to achieve my goals. Had it not been for Flagship, I’m sure that I would not have come to know and love Chinese as deeply as I have.”


Dickson studied twice in Qingdao, China, during the summers after her UM freshman and sophomore years, both funded through the Chinese Flagship Program. Her post-graduation plans include her pending application to the program’s capstone component at Nanjing (China) University. In the meantime, she is applying for journalism jobs around the U.S.

The Honors College provides undergraduate students from all disciplines with a vibrant center of academic excellence, merging intellectual rigor with public service, to help them become outstanding in their fields and engaged citizens of their communities.

A graduate of Grace Christian School, Dickson is the daughter of Tom and Sylvia Dickson.

To learn more about the Chinese Language Flagship Program, see For more information, visit