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A Hundred Words A Day; Zero in English


Summer study in Beijing data points: The food was delicious, especially the hot pot, Shanghai was beautiful, and during a conversation it can take three full minutes to find the word you need in a dictionary.

Big picture, Anna Liu ’18’s summer with Hamilton’s Chinese language program was a lot of fun. “It was really interesting immersing myself into such a new environment,” she says.

Liu is a Chinese and economics major who also loves to study art.  A Gillman Scholarship and Freeman-ASIA award enabled her to study in Beijing to build up her Mandarin, and it worked. Hamilton’s Associated Colleges in China program requires students to take a pledge to speak no English while they are abroad, and although that was sometimes frustrating, it was worth it to Liu.

“I think that had a really large impact on my vocabulary because I learned a lot of new colloquial phrases, but I also learned a lot of formal vocabulary through watching the news and the textbooks that we read,” she says. The hardest part was learning 100 new Chinese words a day. A great part was a side trip to Shanghai, a place Liu might like to live someday.

Studying in China was phase one of her off-campus agenda. She plans to spend a semester in London focusing on her other major, economics. Liu figures the Chinese-economics combination gives her many post-Hamilton options, among them financial consulting. “I’m open to a lot of different careers,” she says.

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