First Time Abroad


“Nǐ hǎo!” (pronounced /ne/ /hao/ and means “Hello!”)

This is the first thing I recommend you learn if planning a trip to China. The Chinese love Americans, but the Chinese really love Americans who say ““Nǐ hǎo!” to them on the street.

This naïve American is so grateful for a fantastic team of experienced SABEH teachers to greet me in Shanghai. As a “newbie,” I was enthusiastically welcomed and plans began to be made to ensure I was shown around Shanghai properly. I was taught some critical things, like stay with the group and, of course, how to say hello in Chinese.

Many would say I have no “worldly” experience because I have never left North America, and I learned quickly that those individuals would actually be correct. The first day I met the Chinese teachers I would spend two weeks with, I was extremely nervous. I had no idea what to expect. This is my first experience as the person whose native language is not the same as everyone else in the class…and I am the teacher!

Little did I know that I had absolutely nothing to be nervous about. These Chinese teachers have not once made me feel like a foreigner.


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