After HBA has finished, I participated in a summer camp called Building Bridges at a rural area of China. That one week was the great opportunity for me to realize how much my Chinese has improved during the HBA and how suited the HBA was for me to learn how to make friends in China.
Building Bridges is a 10-year-old program in which students of Yale and famous Chinese universities go to a school in rural areas of China and teach students there. Since all of the university and high school students except me were Chinese or Chinese American, I needed to use Chinese to communicate and teach most of the time.
I was surprised to find myself talking almost anything from daily conversation to anthropological discussion in Chinese without almost any problem. Using Chinese everyday every time for the past two months and taking classes on discussion of social problems in China at the HBA made me possible to discuss anything in Chinese. I not only had enough language skill to communicate in Chinese, but also enough knowledge about China to make friends. I think this improvement shows the great features of the HBA.
↓The school I went to participate in Building Bridges.