On December 2, 2022, the Language Peer Mentor/Mentee Program concluded its semester-long program. Through various topics such as food, television, series, and sports, the program acts as a bridge between Chinese and international students. 

Throughout the program, participants are paired up and need to meet for at least half an hour according to their preference to complete their weekly tasks. At the end of each meeting, participants need to write a reflection about their discussion and what they hope to accomplish in the future.

My experience with this program has been fascinating. For this program, Coco Hao was my Chinese mentor and I was her English mentor. One of my favorite moments from this program was going to Huaihai Road with my Chinese language mentor. As we walked around the neighborhood, Coco gave me a tour around her elementary school and kindergarten. Moreover, while we stopped by a souvenir shop, Coco surprised me by speaking Shanghainese with the owner. It was mind blowing to see someone at my age able to speak Shanghainese because I know that even some adults who grew up in Shanghai can not speak Shanghainese because their family did not  speak it with them when they were younger. 

By the end of the program, each mentor-mentee pair needs to come up with a three-minute long vlog. The vlog can include topics from living in China, telling a story in Chinese or English, comedy, food, and music. If you are the Chinese mentor, you have to speak only in English in the video and if you are the English mentor, you have to speak only in Chinese in the video. Milly Yin, the coordinator of the Peer Mentor/Mentee Program, believes that the vlog is a good opportunity for peer mentors to cultivate narrative speaking skills and to practice speaking English and Mandarin more frequently. 

For the vlog project, Coco and I made a karaoke challenge. It was simple: Coco sang in English and I sang in Chinese. It was pretty fun and challenging! There were times that I needed to look for Chinese pinyin as the karaoke screen displayed traditional Chinese lyrics. 

Credit: Coco Hao

Caption: Coco and I won a 100¥ Hema gift card from the vlog project competition. 

In the end, I would like to thank Coco for her cooperation throughout the program as she always reminded me to stay up to date with the program even though both of us are occupied with activities and academics.