Learning Mandarin

Student takes a trip of a lifetime and incorporates Chinese culture

Kaitrin+Francis+%28third+from+left%29+and+her+Mandarin+Chinese+III+class+visited+China+in+July+2017.+
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Learning Mandarin

Kaitrin Francis (third from left) and her Mandarin Chinese III class visited China in July 2017.

Kaitrin Francis (third from left) and her Mandarin Chinese III class visited China in July 2017.

submitted by Kaitrin Francis

Kaitrin Francis (third from left) and her Mandarin Chinese III class visited China in July 2017.

submitted by Kaitrin Francis

submitted by Kaitrin Francis

Kaitrin Francis (third from left) and her Mandarin Chinese III class visited China in July 2017.

Nolan Piasecki, Reporter

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Senior Kaitrin Francis wanted to learn Mandarin because she wanted a challenge. She knew that taking three years of it at Francis Howell would open up opportunities for her. They offered her class a trip to China and they went to China in July 2017.

I couldn’t help but take it because I wanted to actually experience the culture that I had been learning about for years,” Francis said.

Her trip to China was an eye-opening experience. On her trip, she walked the Great Wall of China, saw the Terracotta Warriors, and visited the top of the tallest building in China. “If I could go back, I would in a heartbeat,” she said. 

She only knows a few Mandarin speakers. Nobody in her family speaks it and only a few of her friends do.

She learned that the best way to understand the culture was to experience it firsthand. 

During her trip, she found out new things about the culture. “I also learned that they serve cat in some restaurants there….so you have to be very careful about what you eat,” Francis said. “The best part of knowing Mandarin is that I can eavesdrop on the people at the nail salon and no one suspects that I can understand what they are saying.”