My name is Jason Klanderman; I’m a sophomore at Penn State University, triple majoring in International Politics, History, Global and International Studies, with a minor in Chinese. Last summer I spent a month in Beijing studying mandarin intensively at the Beijing Language and Culture University and lived with a Chinese homestay. This was such a great experience that I decided to go back as soon as possible.
A word of advice to future students, get your visa situation arranged in the US. I arranged my visa in Singapore (where I currently live and am writing from); this process was a lot more complicated and limited my options when it came to the visa (number of entries and others). It was also more expensive. Therefore, save yourself the hassle.
This will be my third time in Beijing, having visited China’s capital twice over the summer. This time however, it won’t be hot and humid, it will be downright freezing. I have packed accordingly. I am looking forward to return to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall, but this time seeing them covered with snow, and to enjoy local foods such as Jiaozi (dumplings), Huo Guo (Hot Pot) and much more.
A major help to me during my stay this summer, was the application ‘Pleco’. Its a free application that allows you to translate from English to Mandarin, and the other way around, as well as look up characters using pinyin. If you have a smart phone, this app can be a real life saver!
Apart from that I’ll be submitting a post pretty much every week, so stay tuned for my first post from Beijing.
Six more days until departure.
Here. We. Go.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Jason Klanderman, originally from Chicago, grew up in Amsterdam. He has travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. He is an International Politics, History and Global and International Studies triple major, with a minor in Chinese at Penn State University. When not in State College, where he is currently living, you can find him traveling between Amsterdam, Singapore, and various other places, visiting family and friends. His hobbies include reading, writing, cooking and going to the gym. Read about his experiences as he tackles the middle kingdom, China, during his spring semester 2013.</span></p>