This summer I will be participating in a program called Ni Hao, Columbia! Through the Columbia Global Health's Global is Local program, I have the opportunity to spend the next 8 weeks immersed in medical Chinese (Mandarin dialect) with other students from the Columbia undergrad campus, medical students, and nursing students. The person teaching our medical Mandarin classes is actually a nurse practitioner student here at Columbia Nursing! ((You can read up about Columbia's Global Health Program here: http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/education/ifap-global-health-program/programs))
Every week we spend 3 hours learning medical Mandarin (basic medical terms, how to obtain health histories in Mandarin, etc.). It's also required of us to spend a few hours every week at a predominantly Chinese-speaking clinic to practice what we've learned in these classes. We will also be discussing various cultural issues by reading "Fresh Off the Boat" (haha). Fridays are dedicated to cultural excursions (eating cultural foods, touring Chinese clinics/hospitals, listening to seminar lectures, etc) within our Ni Hao group as well with the other Global is Local group, Digame Spanish Program.
I definitely need to work on being more comfortable in general just speaking Mandarin and saying things out loud. I guess you can say the 8 years I spent taking weekly Mandarin classes when I was younger were kind of a waste. I just never practiced using my Mandarin with my parents or family members growing up, so it's sad that I'm not that skilled with the language.
Here's to a summer of balancing school work, the impending doom of NCLEX which I will have to pass this coming Fall, and learning medical Mandarin!