Chinese (Mandarin) Category

Posted On June 9, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

The Quintessential Chinese New Year

Stacy is from Pleasanton, CA and an alumna of the Chinese AY 2018-19 program in Beijing, China.  My host family’s hometown 彭水 Pengshui is the quintessential China of my imagination — a city built right in the thick of dark green mountains, perpetually blurred by a misty fog; a river running directly through the city, broken up by bridges that light up at night and reflect in the water; little buses or subways so people walking everywhere, ascending and descending countless stairs and elevated roads; shiny office buildings towering above theRead More
Ben Marcus-Willers is an alumnus from the 2012-13 Academic Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan It all started with a high school social studies project on the tea growing culture of East Asia. Ben had had an interest for tea since childhood, but the styles and variations of Chinese teas opened up an entire world of possibilities he had never fathomed. To Ben, it wasn’t just a cup of tea. It was a centuries old family history, with growing techniques meticulously passed down through generations. Every tea told a story, and everyRead More

Posted On December 17, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

The Sounds of Chaishan (柴山的聲音)

Sarah is from Plano, TX and participated in the 2018-19 Chinese (Mandarin) Academic Year program in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I spent most of my time at the university or with my host family. Whenever I found a free moment, though, there was one place I always returned to. It was a mountain called Chaishan (柴山), about a twenty minute bus ride from my university. I often climbed the mountain with my elderly Taiwanese friends. They were dedicated to the mountain and maintaining their health, and they climbed every day. AlthoughRead More

Posted On November 26, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

My Experience in China / 我在中国的经历

Shivam is from Saratoga, CA and participated in the Chinese Summer program 2019 in China. As exciting as the prospect of studying abroad for an extended period of time is, there also many questions, concerns and worries. What food will I get to I eat? Will I get along well with my host family? Will I make friends? Will it be hard to learn the language? Questions like these tend to dominate one’s mind before embarking on a life-changing journey such as this one, at least for me they did.Read More
Pablo Gutierrez’s music teacher gave him his first introduction to Chinese language and culture. To further this interest, he attended Mandarin Startalk summer language learning programs two years in a row. It was through StarTalk that he also learned about NSLI-Y and decided to apply. He participated in the 2016-2017 academic year program in Taiwan. Pablo was first struck by how different things were in Taiwan. From humorous things like garbage trucks playing whimsical music to more challenging aspects such as standing out as a foreigner, there was much toRead More

Posted On November 20, 2019By Ligaya BeebeIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Rewarding Challenges: Natalie in China

Natalie Johnson was raised in Milwaukee. As a child, she developed an interest in East Asia through her passion for anime. During her junior year of high school, she took a Global History class that covered modern Chinese history, which sparked a specific interest in China and a desire to experience it firsthand. At this time, she learned about NSLI-Y through her older sister. Her dreams came true when she participated in the summer 2014 and academic year 2015-16 programs in China. Her NSLI-Y experiences were rewarding, but also challenging.Read More
Pierce at a Pagoda in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Posted On November 7, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

My Best Advice: Worry vs. Reality

Pierce is from Virginia Beach, VA and participated in the 2019 Chinese summer program in Taiwan. The best advice I got before spending the summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, was from the handbook I received pre-program. It implored me to “expect everything to be much harder than you think it will be. Even basic daily tasks, like ordering food, are more difficult when done in an unfamiliar language and place.” At the time, this worried me. Had I gotten myself into something that I couldn’t handle? Was I in over myRead More
Hassane in Taiwan

Posted On September 26, 2019By Meike FaberIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Being a Superhero Abroad

Hassane is from Westchester, NY and participated in the 2019 Summer Chinese program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Not all superheroes wear capes. Myself along with the fellow Taiwan participants didn’t wear super suits or costumes. Yet, we had superpowers abroad. When I first applied and earned acceptance to NSLI-Y, I had many expectations. I believed I would study Mandarin Chinese and immerse myself in Taiwanese culture. But, I not only left the island with a sense of Taiwanese life but also a realization of my own identity. I’m not a typical personRead More
Chance and friends

Posted On June 14, 2019By Meike FaberIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Foreigners from a Foreigner’s View

Chance is from Missoula, MT and participated in the NSLI-Y Chinese Academic Year 2018-2019 program in Taiwan. The first week I spent in Taiwan, I hardly saw any other foreigners. It seemed like our NSLI-Y group were the only ones around. Unexpectedly, the Taiwanese didn’t take as much of an interest in us. From my short experience in Mainland China, it wasn’t uncommon to feel like you are constantly being stared at.  Especially in tourist areas,  people from rural China can be found traveling and a foreigner becomes the center ofRead More
Shelby with her NSLI-Y friends

Posted On May 28, 2019By Meike FaberIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Being a NSLI-Yian

Chelby is from Frankfort, Illinois and participated in the 2018-2019 NSLI-Y Chinese Academic Year program in Taiwan. Being a NSLI-Y student is extremely bold. It’s bold and awkward and sometimes even comical. With each language gain, there is accidentally asking a grocery store clerk for a “stomach” in Chinese instead of a “bag”. With every connection with friends and family in your new country, there is joining your school’s Beatbox Acapella Club as the only African-American member and being thanked for your race’s contribution to Hip-Hop. And veiled behind everyRead More