Why did you decide to study abroad with Minds Abroad?
Daniel: Minds abroad was the most affordable program that I could find that also offered the best experience. There was a lot of travel included on the weekends when we visited different places in China. This extra travel was also combined with a comprehensive Chinese learning program during the week. One of my goals going in was to learn Chinese and the teachers from Minds Abroad were excellent (they spoke English well, too). There was also an opportunity for volunteering while I was in China. I helped impoverished Chinese school children that could not afford English teachers learn some basic English. I found this was a good way to put into practice what I had learned.
What made this experience unique and special?
Daniel: The people and the city are what I most liked about the trip. The HQ for Minds Abroad is in the city of Kunming in China. I really loved this city, which had a great climate and lots of things to do. It's nickname, “the eternal spring city”, is well deserved. It was the best place to start understanding Chinese culture and learn that it is not that different from ours, which surprised me. The staff at Minds Abroad, the teachers, and local Chinese students that were hired to accompany me became close friends of mine. We spent time together just enjoying what China has to offer: an amazing night life, beautiful scenery, great food (with lots of rice), and friendly, fun people. Those were myy 4 favorite things.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Daniel: Traveling to China was a great experience for me personally. Although I by no means mastered the language, I learned a lot in the 5 week period that I stayed there. Many of my classmates achieved the capability to speak proficiently. For me learning about a new culture, one that is the fastest growing in the world, was invaluable. Now I can much better relate with what Chinese people have to go through and I have made more Chinese friends here in America.