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First Assignment: Your China Story

Dear 6-week Mandarin Intensive Students,

In the next few days before our course begins, we would like to ask you to complete one pre-trip assignment to help us instructors learn a little more about you. We’re asking that each student write an informal email to your instructors (Ben, Ross, and Patricia). Your assignment is to write an email telling your China story. We look forward to reading your China stories soon! We won’t share your emails with the other students, but hope that this assignment gets you started thinking about your connection to Chinese culture and Mandarin language. Soon when we meet in person each of us will have the opportunity to tell our China stories to each other.

Please send your China Story emails to your three instructors before we meet in LA. Our emails are:,,

I have listed some questions below to get you thinking about how to tell your China story:

Background Questions

What motivated you to start learning Mandarin, and how long have you studied?

Who was the biggest influence in your decision to study Mandarin?

What made you decide that you wanted to travel and study with Dragons this summer?


What do you hope to learn this summer from our program?

(After taking a look at the tentative itinerary)…what aspect of the course most excites you? Is there anything left out of the itinerary that you hope we can include? Is there anything that makes you nervous?

What can we do to make you feel safe and supported in our student group?

Interpersonal Communication Styles

What annoys you? Do you have any pet peeves or things you’re sensitive about that we should avoid?

What does it look like when you are struggling or having a hard time? How can we support you when this happens?


Ben, Ross, and Patricia