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Read what our former students say:

Owen Lin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

After being in college for three years and reflecting on the hectic high school years, I am very thankful that I was able to take Chinese at Ohlone for four years. Though I did not realize it at the time, the moments that I spent in Chinese class gave me an incredibly useful tool for the future and provided a strong understanding of the culture from where I came.

I have learned more and more that the Chinese I learned is a very important skill. The first time I discovered this fact was when I visited China last year for the first time in ten years. Because of what I learned in class, I was able to communicate clearly and effectively. I knew that if I had not taken this course, I would almost not be able to communicate in Mandarin at all. Especially as I learn at MIT that the pace of globalization has increased in the last few years and China has continued to increase its economic power, understanding Chinese has become an extremely important tool.

Learning about Chinese culture was deeply satisfying. Growing up in America, I did not know much about the way most Chinese people lived. I felt that this was incorrect, as I myself was born in China. After taking these Chinese classes, I learned all about Chinese history and culture. I gained a much deeper understanding of why my family and other Chinese families are the way they are. Why do the Chinese put so much emphasis on education? In what ways do the Chinese familial values differ from Western values? All these questions and more were answered after taking these classes, and my eyes were opened much more because of it.

I am glad that I was able to participate in such an enriching and rewarding class.

Lauren Dankiewicz

University of California, Berkely

I recently participated in a Chinese Speech Competition at Lowell High School and received a second place prizes. I started my study of the Chinese Language at Ohlone College with Mao Lao Shi. It was this Chinese program that provided me with the foundation to continue my studies with confidence and perseverance. I hope to see Ohlone’s Chinese program continue to grow into a full-time department with summer classes. I strongly believe that these changes would be widely accepted by parents, teachers, and students alike. It’s a wonderful program for all students who want to study Chinese.

Daniel Sheng

International Business and Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University

As someone majoring in International Business and Finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University, I personally have found Ohlone College's Mandarin program to be very helpful. I came to the United States at a young age so my Mandarin has never been as good as it should have been. I feel this sort of program is instrumental in helping up and coming youth in improving their skills in a language that will undoubtedly become useful in the future. This program has helped me in not only understanding of my own culture and native language, but also in everyday conversation with friends, relatives, and family acquaintances. Ohlone's Mandarin program is not only educational, it is also practical because it allows one to fulfill the UC language requirement without wasting slots in one's high school schedule. This allows for more AP's to be taken without any wasted time. Special thanks to all my Ohlone Mandarin instructors (Teacher Mao, Wang, and Zhang)

Leila Beach

Stanford University

Between 2002 and 2005, I took the first three courses in the Chinese language sequence at Ohlone College. Perhaps unlike most of my classmates, I did not grow up speaking Chinese at home. While I was able to understand colloquial Mandarin, the courses at Ohlone were my first formal introduction to reading, writing, and speaking Chinese. The basic Chinese language skills I acquired have served me well as I’ve continued with my education.

Taking Chinese classes at Ohlone had a number of practical benefits. I was able to satisfy both my high school and university foreign language requirements by completing these Ohlone courses. During high school, this significantly opened up my academic schedule and allowed me to take more advanced science, math, and humanities classes. I’m certain the college level Chinese courses coupled with the increased course load I was able to take during high school made me a more competitive candidate in the college admissions process. Additionally, entering college with the significant foreign language requirement already fulfilled allowed me to initially focus less on general education requirements and more on coursework related to my particular interests and area of study. 

The Chinese skills I gained at Ohlone also opened up a number of opportunities to me. As a pre-medical student, I participate in a number of university sponsored hospital, clinical, and shadowing programs. Space in these programs is generally limited and admission rather competitive; students who have a familiarity with a second language and communication skills in that language are often given priority. The Chinese courses I took at Ohlone and the language skills I acquired there helped me gain admission to these programs. These programs, in turn, have allowed me to apply and practice my Chinese skills, directing clinic patients and helping them fill out paperwork. Finally, the Chinese reading, writing, and speaking skills I learned at Ohlone qualified me to take the accelerated Chinese language sequence at my university. I’m certain my Chinese language studies, which I began at Ohlone and continue today, will allow me to communicate more effectively with more people as I continue with my education and the pursuit of a career in medicine.

George Xu

Harvard University

As a recent high school graduate, I can sympathize with the current students, who are faced with a multitude of activities and a dearth of available time. This is why I would recommend the Chinese Language Program without reservation. I personally decided to enroll in Ohlone College's Chinese Language Program during high school because it was an excellent way to fulfill the cumbersome foreign language requirement while simultaneously freeing up space in my schedule to take other classes.
I had attended other weekend Chinese School programs before, so I had a background in the language, but I still found the Ohlone courses educational and engaging. The courses are taught extremely well, and feature a good mix of both cultural lessons and topical subjects. Aside
 from the textbook lessons, there were also many helpful in-class exercises including weekly student reports of recent news from China and discussions about topics such as global warming. These exercises helped me develop a working vocabulary for conversing about real-world topics.
Participating in the Ohlone College Chinese Language Program was one of the best decisions I made in high school. At the time, it was a practical means of fulfilling a mandatory requirement, but the Chinese that I learned has helped bring down the language barrier between my relatives and me as well as foster a lifelong skill in today's increasingly global economy.


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