It was great! I love it. Learning a new language feels like so many things. Like a new life. Like visiting a foreign country. Like getting to know a completely unfamiliar way of thought. Like a new philosophy. Like committing to a years long adventure. Like doing something you are really bad at, but still liking it.
I decided to continue my studies of Chinese after my visit to Zhejiang University in March. China is massive. Anyone who is not familiar with China is definitely missing out. The same principles holds for Africa or India or Russia or South America. As a European it is easy to reduce the global playground to Europe and USA and, well, this other thing called China. But there is so much more. In fact, there seems to be more than in Europe and the US combined. Yes, the US and EU economy is stronger and more stable compared to the Chinese, but that is the past and things will NOT stay the same in the future.
Again, it is easy to assume that the world is the world is now and will be fairly similar in the future. But that is wrong — very wrong. The players of this planet are the US, EU and China and many more countries. Reducing your perspective to English speaking countries can hurt you. The best way to engage with another country is to learn its language.
I want to understand China and its culture. The history of China is very interesting and also significant for its economic and politics future. Getting to know China’s language is probably the best way to understand the country and its people. That is why I want to continue studying Chinese. I already signed up for a year long course during my next two semesters. It’s fun. So much fun!
I recommend anyone to learn a new language, to take the courage of this crazy adventure. Learning a new language is most (non-lazy) human thing there is: trying to make sense of something you do not understand. It will challenge your daily routines and your long-term thought. It’s a certain gain, it is a sure bet. That’s why I study Chinese. :)