Elizabeth Loudon

Class of 2014 - Major in Genetics; Minor in Chinese

On a whim I decided to start studying Chinese, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made at UC Davis. I have almost completed my Chinese Minor and have enjoyed every single Chinese class I have taken. Learning Chinese is difficult but worth the work. The more time and effort I put into it the more I enjoyed my time spent studying and practicing my language skills. I consider languages to be a puzzle that once solved, you unlock a new world to explore. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai, China where I took an intensive Mandarin class at East China Normal University. I spent two months in a home stay and was assimilated into Shanghai’s hustle and bustle. In a span of two years I went from not knowing any Chinese to being able to converse with native speakers in various settings—I felt like I could survive in China more or less without using any English! I never would have had the chance to throw myself into a complexly new environment if it wasn’t for the very supportive professors and peers I have met in my language and literature classes. My experience abroad was the most challenging and rewarding event of my life so far. It sparked my interest for learning about other cultures and has changed my point of view to look past my own circumstances to think about people in other countries. If you are interested in studying Chinese, UC Davis is the place to start!