Alumni 

Wirunwan Pitaktong '17

Wirunwan Pitaktong '17

My paternal grandparents immigrated from Southern China to Thailand. Even though they do not speak Mandarin Chinese, I grew up with Chinese characters, culture, folklores, and stories from my grandparents' childhood. Despite this environment, I often said that I am simply "Thai" and nothing else. I never fully grasped the "Chinese side" and how it has informed and shaped me as a person. Thus, I started Chinese since the first semester and went abroad to Beijing my Junior year. dedication of the professors at Bowdoin, organized class structure, and a small class really laid a strong foundation for my language skills. It had prepared me well for my semester abroad in Beijing and greatly assisted me with my HSK exam level 5. With better command of Chinese, I  was able to read literature and watch Chinese TV programs and news; and with such opportunities I was able to better understand the politics, history, and the mindsets of my grandparents whom I had lived with throughout my childhood. To me, learning Chinese is not only for the sake of comprehension of the language, but also for the comprehension of heritage.

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Eduardo Jaramillo '17

Eduardo Jaramillo '17

"Studying Chinese language at Bowdoin has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. My classes at Bowdoin have improved both conversational and professional Chinese speaking skills, and vastly expanded my ability to read and write in Mandarin.  The Chinese Department has also helped me to take advantage of some incredible opportunities off campus, including a Chinese speaking competition in Boston, a Middlebury study abroad program in Kunming, and a summer internship in Kunming.  Furthermore, the Chinese Department is a close-knit community that allows students to develop close relationships with professors and classmates."

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Kevin Ma '17

Kevin Ma '17

My whole family is from Shanghai. As a kid, I grew up speaking Shanghainese, but never really learned how to speak Mandarin or write in Chinese. That being said, one of my goals coming to Bowdoin was to learn Chinese. I've been taking Chinese for the past 3 years and my Chinese has really improved! It's been one of the defining parts of my Bowdoin education.
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Nicholas Fenichell '12

Nicholas Fenichell '12

I wanted to learn a new language at Bowdoin- one that would be challenging and that would open up doors in the future. My first-year and second-year Chinese teacher, Professor Cui, was a huge influence in my Chinese studies. While his classes were very demanding, he was completely invested in his students. Professor Jia was also a very important person in my Chinese career, as he was the one who gave me the Chinese name I use now. Finally, Professor Tsui piqued my interest in Chinese culture and film.

After having studied abroad in Beijing for six months, I decided I wanted to go back after graduation. My Chinese skills helped me find an internship at a venture capital firm and land a job at a Chinese real estate company in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Knowing the language well allowed me to navigate in both the Western and Chinese worlds in social and professional aspects. I use Chinese now mainly in social settings, and people are pleasantly surprised to see that I can carry a conversation quite fluently. I invite students from all backgrounds and years to try learning Chinese and discovering a beautiful language, people, and country.

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