There are many comparisons between me and my language mentor. Some comparisons would include: their interests in the Chinese language, the diverse cultural experiences of learning about America and China, and their enthusiasm to impact people lives. In this instance, I have the same interests when it comes down to impacting people lives as well as when learning a different language. Moreover, I believe that my language mentor has more insight into creating plans that would change the future of China. In a way, these experiences with the Chinese language will form a foundational background that will uphold my successful career. My language mentor read my previous blog about how I use my critical thinking skills to understanding the language dialect. My mentor loved my way of using a different method by proving that I have a dream to influence people in a positive way. Mainly, my mentor or tutor explained to me that I have different views on China that teaches people a life lesson. To an advantage, this will help with my upcoming majors in biology and genetic sciences. For instance, I persevere through my challenges by developing a plan for my future by working hard in school and by changing my views on reality. Further, my plans for my future are: to become a person who believes in herself and a person who starts with the most involving environment which is China. Primarily, I realize I wanted to join the “Teach for China” program that involves the Yunnan and Guangdong areas for getting the students from rural locations to have a greater chance of going to college. My involvement within this program will give me a better thought process about forming a professional and great life. In some ways my mentor made me think about my life more and how I should change the way I disagree with things. Now, I will appreciate the things in reality instead of just tossing them aside as if it was trash.
Excursion Group: 1
This entire trip has gone by really fast as I expected when I arrived to Beijing but even thought it went by really fast I had a really fun time being here and since this is my last week here this will also be my last and blog for this trip. So my final thoughts/reflections about my trip here. Being here in Beijing has taught me plenty of things about the culture here and how it is different from the United States. The culture here in Beijing is really different from what I expected but also there is still some western culture that is mixed in especially western music which didn’t really surprise as I thought it did. Besides there being western culture, Beijing has a culture of their own especially when comes to crossing the street, I think that was one of the parts of China that made me worried because every motor vehicle has priorities over people which is just scary especially when it come to crossing the road but after a while you get used to it which explains why so many Chinese people just walk like nothing across the street. Also one of the many things I liked about Beijing was the food it was different from the Chinese food I eat over in Washington especially when we went to the night market the food there was really just out of the world. My learning experience here in China has been great to because when taking my Chinese classes in the morning even though I was still tired I still managed to learn. Our teachers were also really helpful when teaching because the really did care about us and wanted to let us leave China with more knowledge of the Chinese language.
Excursion Group 3
APSA Scholars 2013
I have established a strong bond with my Chinese mentors: River, Grace, and Casey. The three are intelligent, young professionals that have dreams of graduating from college and working in successful careers. I believe that one of their biggest accomplishments is learning English as a second language. It is a difficult language, but their motivation is very much appreciated. I have difficulties when speaking and reading Chinese. My biggest struggle is trying to figure out what to say when I encounter myself with rural Chinese people who speak a dialect. My mentors try their hardest to help me out even though they do not know the language too well. They told me a majority of the students they know in China have a dream of going to America one day to pursue the “American Dream”. Sad part of the story is that not every Chinese student is allowed to go to America. This dream they have is a challenge but they continue to educate themselves and prepare for when the time comes. They remind me that perseverance, motivation, and adjustment are the main keys for a successful future. We try to utilize these keys here in China by interacting with the people. I need to immerse myself in the culture if I would like to progress in the Mandarin Chinese language. My dream of becoming a multi-lingual doctor will only be achieved if I continue to study abroad or even live in China someday. “Knowing how to speak English and Spanish fluently is a great privilege to have. Now imagine yourself speaking Chinese!” said Casey. This phrase really motivates me. I thank my mentors for the help and support.
Exclusion Group 1
APSA Scholar 2013
Throughout the course of this trip, APSA scholars have been fortunate enough to meet and bond with various language mentors. These mentors are fairly proficient in English and serve to help APSA Scholars become more proficient in Chinese. At every excursion (a trip off campus to tour famous sites), we are accompanied by the language mentors. I’ve been developing friendships with three wonderful language mentors. They’re incredibly kind and are ALWAYS willing to assist me with anything I need. We went to the zoo last week and when the mentors saw that I had an interest in learning the translation for animals at the zoo, they were quick to help me out. I learned so many words that day. They adapted to the way I learned by quizzing me ever so often to make sure I still remembered and they encouraged me to keep up the good work and compliment me for learning so quickly. I greatly appreciate all that they’ve done for me and I’ve found that our similarity lies in our willingness to learn other cultures and show that through learning the language. I have great respect for them trying to learn English, and I know they appreciate my interest in trying to learn their culture. Aside from academia, one mentor and I are similar in our love for fashion and our tastes in clothing. It’s nice that we can talk to one another and relate about more than just language. Since I’ve been here I learned that it’s not as hard as it seems to develop relationships with people from various cultures. Although the person may seem different, they’re truly aren’t that many significant differences. That’s the joy of traveling abroad!
Excursion Group 4
APSA Scholar 2013
I am happy to say that my experience in China has been getting better and better with each day that passes. Our excursions have always turned out to be a good time. I love all of my facilitators and fellow APSA scholars. This trip to China has been greater than I could ever imagine. I really enjoyed traveling to the mountain and having a bonfire with all of my friends. I had a great time.
Traveling with our excursion groups always provides a different challenge. Our first excursion was scary and challenging for me. I think that it wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did if it wasn’t for the language mentors. Our language mentors have turned out to be very resourceful and nice. My favorite mentor is Candy. I really like talking with her. I think Candy is just like us. I don’t really see a big difference from the language mentors compared to us APSA scholars. We both had the courage to take on learning a new and confusing language. Candy’s English is very good as well. I can tell that she is dedicated to learning and I think that is an admirable trait to have. Candy is always so resourceful! She finds a way to help me with my pronunciation and teaching me different ways to ask questions. She always volunteers her help right on time and I have no problem asking her for help. I remember when we were at the Forbidden City, Candy helped me all through the excursion but she really had my back when it came to taking pictures. All day long people had been lining up to take pictures with me and others. I was getting quite annoyed. When we were walking through one of the gates a man asked Candy if he could take a picture with me and Candy refused to let him take a picture with me. She read my blog before and knew how annoyed I get when people constantly ask to take my picture. Candy was protecting me and I really appreciated that! I really love my language mentors.
Excursions Group 3
APSA Scholar 2013
There is a language mentor I’ve been really close to named Lively. She’s pretty much what her name is; she’s incredibly lively. She’s always ready to learn and she always has her phone ready to ask the internet for translations. I really connect with her because she’s always so bubbly and happy. One time while we were walking back to the dorms after a really long and tiring dance class, she popped out of the lobby and to the main entrance to cheerfully greet us with a big smile and a sweet laugh. Lively is also really caring and kind-hearted. Yesterday, we had a new language mentor in our excursion group and when we were all dispersing, she went the same way we did since her mom was picking her up at our school, but Lively had to go home, so she told me very seriously and in a worried manner to take care of the new member. I think Lively has a heart that’s huge in comparison to her physical form since she’s so petite and slim. Lively reminds me a lot of a little girl when she’s out in the real world. She’s always so willing to try new things and share those discoveries. She also tells our group a lot about the academic life of a Chinese college student. It’s hard to imagine her stuck in a classroom from 7 in the morning until 9 at night. She seems just way too bouncy and lively for that! When she told me about that, I felt proud that America was different from that in that colleges look also at extracurricular activities, sports, volunteering, and stuff like that. They look outside of the GPA and test scores. Lively’s taught me a lot about China, Chinese, and myself as well and I hope to be able to keep in contact with her after this is over.
Excursion Group 4
APSA Scholar 2013
My Chinese mentors have helped me learn how to get around China and learn many new words and phrases. My mentor’s names are Grace and River. I have learned that they are very similar to us and have had many of the same experiences. Every time we go out on excursions they, along with our facilitators, help us get to some of the many places we have been. i.e. Forbidden City, Lama Temple, 798 art gallery, and Beijing Zoo. They also help us learn new words and phrases that they help push us to use during our different excursions. Sometimes we will have to use new phrases to order food, buy tickets, ask for directions, and try to communicate with them.
Up until recently I have not known how alike we were. Yesterday we had a pizza party, with real pizza. There we played Uno and showed each other card tricks. We also danced to many songs, both American and Chinese. Besides different dance moves, you couldn’t tell that there was a difference in groups. Our mentors were teaching us dance moves and we were teaching them dance moves. Some of the other APSA kids were also showing the Chinese mentors the new skills we learned in culture class. The party was filled with lots of fun and excitement.
On our excursions we share many fun facts about ourselves and connect with each other over some of the strangest things. Without our language mentors many of us would be at a loss of words and not know what to do. They help us get through the tough situations and I am very happy that we get to meet them and get to know them. They have helped me enjoy this trip and I appreciate that.
Excursions Group 1
APSA Scholar 2013
My language mentor and I are similar in so many ways. First of all, we are both Chinese and we are very talkative. Even though they may be shy sometimes, we get along very well. My Chinese mentors enjoy playing sports such as tennis and basketball. They also do enjoy playing soccer and swimming just like me! These similarities give us a lot to talk about and our conversations never get boring. My Chinese mentors also help me in so many different ways. They help me the most when it comes to the language barriers that I face. When I need to find out directions or to just ask questions, they are always there to help me. Without my Chinese mentors, I feel like I would be pretty lost and would be struggling more than I already am. A funny memory that I had with my mentors was when we talked about our most embarrassing moments over dinner after we went to the 798 Art Street and galleries. Going to 748 with my Chinese mentors was really fun! I was able to understand what the paintings and sculptures meant because they were there to help explain and to define what the meaning was behind some of them. Also, they have very good humor and they do make me laugh all the time whenever we have random conversations. They are so sweet and without them, half of my excursion group would be lost.
Exclusion Group 1
APSA Scholar 2013
First I would like to say that our Chinese mentors are awesome! My mentors are Lively, Vicky, and Friday. Just like her name, Lively is a bright and intelligent person. Lively and I share an interest in each other’s daily routines of how each of us does things. We both like bubble tea! She has helped me with my communication skills. This has taught me not only how to say phrases to get by in Beijing, but how to approach people. One cool trick she has also taught me is to fold a paper heart. The brilliant Vicky and I both watch the same television shows and movies. It surprised me of how Western films are popular in China, while Chinese films are not very popular in America. But one can guess because of the language barrier. Vicky is a committed mentor because she has to commute for approximately one and a half hours to get to our location. She is also very interested in American society as I am of Chinese society. Lastly, who does not love Fridays? Friday is a fun and lovable person. We both play tennis and are adventurous. On excursions he usually gives a history of the landmark we are at. There are too many words to describe these mentors, except that they are awesome! Did I mention that they are awesome?
Excursion Group 4
From my experience with the Chinese Mentors and roaming around Beijing, China the language mentors and myself relate in a couple of ways. Beginning with the first meeting with the mentors, me and one mentors, named Friday, really connected with some stories about school, college, majors, and any other random Beijing information. I could say that we relate with each other in our roles in the program, and just with school, aside from be awesome. We talked about some experiences with school and what we both are planning to do with brought about questions from both of us about the type of work we wanted to do and what made us choose that major. Later on in the week I had a bigger challenge of getting copies done and couldn’t speak with the people at the print shop. Not that I wasn’t willing or able, just more of the language barrier, with his help I got the papers printed. His help was more than just telling me a few words here and there, I was actually learning while in the process of application.
While running around the city it lead to more than just speaking to learning some characters as well.
The greatest way that were “similar” or “same” it that we both being a mentor to another group of students, that not only helps ourselves but, helps other students and people to learn more about a select topic or subject. He is not the only mentor like this, there are more, but I believe that we really relate to one another. Other than that Friday is a very cool guy.
APSA Scholar 2013