你好 (nǐ hǎo) from Nanjing! Today was the second day of classes for our students in China, and they are excited to improve their Mandarin skills.
Students arrived in Nanjing on Sunday and met their host families, who are universally described as friendly and welcoming. After a few home-cooked meals, students came back the next day, ready to jump in. We started with some orientation about CIEE, living in China, and how to stay safe and healthy. Students also learned about some Chinese cultural norms and how to respect the culture and expectations of their host families. We concluded our orientation with a delicious lunch at the Zifeng Tower in downtown Nanjing, the tallest building in the city!
On Tuesday, students jumped right into their first day of language classes in 1 of 3 levels. After another wonderful group lunch, we did some shopping in the Nanjing City Center district of 新街口 (xīn jiē kǒu) and went to a Chinese Walmart. While there, we tasked our students with their first Community Conversation: introduce yourself to local Chinese shoppers and ask them some questions. Students were anxious about walking up to strangers and conversing in Chinese, but ultimately triumphed and were successfully able to navigate their conversations.
Today, students continued their studies with their Mandarin teachers. Level 1 students learned how to talk about different people’s occupations, level 2 worked to learn about Chinese money and shopping for food, and level 3 learned about buying things on Taobao, the Chinese version of Amazon. In the afternoon, students embarked on a scavenger hunt that took them all around Nanjing University and the surrounding neighborhood. Tomorrow promises to bring even more fun activities and lessons!