你好, 朋友！I am 潘睿骑(Pan Rui Qi) or 潘导(Pan Dao) or my English name, Reggie. So for the past 3 years I have been faithfully studying the Chinese language and culture. Last summer(2016) I had the privilege to study abroad in China. It was an experience of a lifetime! It made me love the language and the culture more. And I want to share this experience with you all.
Being raised in a Western/Americanized Culture, I knew that it was going to be a whole new different experience going to an Eastern country. Before going to China, people told me that Chinese people do not like black people as well. Now I did go to China with an open mind, as anyone who is visiting a different country/culture should, but I did have fears. The first night we arrived in Xi’an, Central China, and I thought my Chinese was pretty decent. WAS I WRONG!! I sweated so much that it was hard to tell if it was being nervous or the humidity getting to me. But it gave me the motivation to study and study.
The thing that I realized that made me improve my speaking was that the teachers only spoke Chinese and as soon as I walked out of class, everyone else spoke Chinese besides the “foreigners”, which was the study abroad students. It became easier to understand and learning Chinese in China because it is all around you versus learning in America where you learn in class and speak English as soon as you leave Chinese class and hear English all around you. That makes it difficult. So if you are learning a new language, be open minded and study abroad in that specific country if all possible.