Patrick Laboon

Class of 2014 - Majoring in International Relations; Minoring in Chinese & History

The Chinese Program at UC Davis is fantastic. I really can't stress this enough. In the past four years, the language and culture classes I have taken in this program have been incredibly rewarding. Although the language courses I took were quite challenging, I always found myself having fun in the classes and was constantly pushing myself to work harder and learn more. This is in no small part due to the excellent instructors, who were all dedicated to making sure each individual student was given the instruction necessary for their skill level. While I come from a family with no connection to Chinese language whatsoever, I still found myself learning at a rapid pace, and was writing characters, speaking Chinese, and engrossing myself in Chinese film and music by the end of my first quarter. Yet the courses went further than simple language instruction, by placing an emphasis on Chinese history, culture, and even politics. My continued studies within the Chinese Program over the past three years inspired me to pick up Chinese as a minor, study abroad in Beijing for a summer, and pursue a master’s degree in East Asian Studies. Thanks to the Chinese department at Davis I am now a tried and true Sinophile. I have a map of China on my wall, an entire folder on my smartphone for Chinese language apps, and am proud to be accused of being "obsessed with China" by my friends and family. If you are apprehensive about studying Chinese, put your fears and doubts aside. You can do it, and you will love it.