Hi everyone! My name is Max Pinsky and in 24 hours, I’ll be on the other side of the world. I’m currently writing to you from my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania but soon, I will be writing from Beijing. For me, this trip started in eighth grade when I enrolled myself in Mandarin 1. I was only one of three kids in my grade to attempt the challenge of learning Mandarin and five years later, I’m the only one left from my grade. Currently in Mandarin five, I’ve come a long way from where I was in eighth grade. I have exponentially improved my skills in Mandarin but have only had minimal experience in Chinese culture. Ever since I started learning Mandarin I have wanted to go to China to experience what kind of cultural differences exist and, on a more personal level, how good I really am at speaking mandarin. It’s one thing to learn about social and cultural differences, but it’s another to experience them first hand. I can’t wait to share with you all that I learn about China’s rich culture!