Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Chen: I studied Korean in Korea for 2 years after I graduated from college. While I was studying Chinese linguistics, I discovered that there are a lot of similarities between Chinese and Korean. I was very interested in the language, and wanted to experience the Korean culture for myself!
What does the future hold for That's Mandarin - any exciting new programs to share?
Chen: That's Mandarin emphasizes the customer experience as the most important thing. Our school strives to provide a perfect environment for both the students and the teachers. This standard has paid off and the future of That's Mandarin looks very bright. I hope as we grow, we'll keep the same philosophies.
Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?
Chen: I resonate with this statement: "you never know a thing until you know how to translate it correctly into another language". Learning and speaking another language is simply another way to think and another eye to watch the world. The Ancient Chinese also valued language-learning and left us this tidbit of wisdom: "listen to the different voices, then your eyes become bright."
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Chen: I believe what sets That's Mandarin apart from other companies are the teachers. Our staff is carefully selected. We all come from varying parts of China and have different academic backgrounds rather than just simply an English teaching degree. This provides variety for our students so that we can accommodate their unique needs! Diversity is the most outstanding and special quality we possess.
Another aspect that stands out is our teaching method; it is not a typical “lecture/note-taking” class, instead we incorporate dynamic lessons. By implementing this strategy, the classes become interactive and engaging for the students (and the teachers!).
What is the best story you’ve heard from a return student?
Chen: One of the best stories I’ve heard was from a student who came to Shanghai with some pre-dispositions. He was completely honest about the fact that he was scared to be in China for the first time. He wasn’t sure what to expect from the accommodation we provided as well as the quality of the education.
Gladly, when he arrived we exceeded his expectations with the student accommodation, but most importantly, for the school. Overall, he was so happy here and felt that he had a great educational environment where he could learn quickly. He also appreciated the staff's warmth and friendliness. We were proud when his nervousness melted away and he felt at home at That's Mandarin.