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Hello from Marcus!

Hello everyone!

In just a matter of weeks we will all be in China together–trying new foods, seeing new sights, and getting to know each other along the way as we learn about a truly incredible language and culture.

I’m Marcus, one of your instructors for this summer and I can’t wait to meet each of you and embark on our journey together.

I started studying Chinese in fifth grade in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts, which later led me to China for the first time in 2007 for a high school semester abroad. Since first visiting China, I have been there and back many times, whether for studying Chinese, teaching in rural schools, working for a local Chinese NGO, or visiting friends and my Chinese host family (they are very precious to me and are actually coming to my upcoming graduation from my Masters degree program in Taipei!).

Aside from my time spent in China, more recently, I have been working on (and will soon be graduating from *fingers crossed*!) a Master’s degree in Chinese-English translation and interpretation on the other side of the Strait in Taipei, Taiwan, where I have been located for about five years now.

As I type, I am actually in southern Taiwan on my way to visit an aboriginal community that I have formed a close bond with over the years. We are working to sell handmade soaps made from essential oils in an effort to revive and sustain aspects of aboriginal culture–let me know if any of you might be interested!

With respect to my journey with Dragons, I first joined our community a year ago when I led a Chinese language course similar to ours. The experience inspired me to continue “riding the Dragon” on my second Dragons course this past fall along the Mekong River in China and Southeast Asia.

This summer I am looking forward to experiencing China through your eyes, and drawing upon my own experiences as a student in China to help make this summer the best that it can be for each of you. As someone who has been in your shoes before, I can’t wait to share the experience of learning (and using) Mandarin in China.

Now that you know a little bit more about me, I’m excited to learn about each of you in the coming weeks (when you get the chance please post an intro yak for the rest of us to learn a little bit more about you!).

We have many adventures in store for us, and plenty of opportunities to grow and learn together ahead.
Let’s go learn some Mandarin!

Bye for now~