Why did you decide to study abroad with My Chinese Study?
Rachel: My friend recommended this school to me. She went through this program but couldn't stay there because of her own schedule. When I planned to come to Beijing to spend the summer, my friend recommended Sanlitun area and My Chinese Study. Because she lived here before, she liked the night life, transportation, and everything.
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Rachel: The school was located in the Sanlitun area, which is very popular among young and fashionable people. There were bookshops, restaurants, banks, bars, and even supermarkets selling American food. Beijing is an amazing city - both modern and traditional. I liked the Hutong area and the modern lifestyle that lets me live very comfortably here. The school is also very accommodating. In fact, they even went with me to the bank to exchange the money.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Rachel: I was invited to two events: a kite-making event, and a dragon boat festival event. I was very impressed by Chinese culture and the spirit of all the people who attended!
What did My Chinese Study do for you and what did you need to do on your own?
Rachel: The school helped me to find an apartment, and also tailored a curriculum especially for me. I travelled around Beijing by myself, and also went to Xi'an and Shanghai! Xi'an is a must-see city that everyone should go to.
Describe your program socially and academically.
Rachel: I enrolled in the class of General 15 and had an additional private lesson every day that met for four hours every day from Monday to Friday. I joined the small group from level 1. At first, we used to have to refer to the book of survival Chinese. However, we soon learned the very practical topics from the beginning.
At my private lesson, my teacher would give me some practice on pronunciation and writing basic characters.
Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.
Rachel: Try Peking roast duck! It is a MUST have food in Beijing.
Did you run into any language barriers? Did you ever think you knew more or less of the language?
Rachel: At present, my language level is not very high, and sometimes I do run into a language barrier. As an artist, the "artist language" itself can sometimes make up for this. I thought I knew more of the language than I really did, but found out quickly I knew less due to the cultural difference.
Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?
Rachel: A guide book from the school which guided my life in Beijing and China.