By Sujin Kim ’18, Marketing and Communications Student Intern
Senior Nick Tursi will compete in the 9th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in Kunming, China from October 14-31. He will be one of only four American students competing. MFS Mandarin Teacher Li Li will accompany Nick.
Nick’s trip to China is the culmination of seven years of Mandarin study at MFS – he has studied the language since sixth grade. “Because of how different Chinese culture is compared to western culture, it has opened my eyes to different opinions and different ways of thought,” said Nick. “It has put my point of view into perspective with an ever changing and globalized world.”
The Chinese Bridge competition process involves advancing through rounds; Nick competed in the preliminary division for U.S. high school students in Boston in March, and placed second. In Boston, Nick presented a four-minute speech in Mandarin, and answered questions in Mandarin from a panel of judges. He was recommended for advancement to the final in Kunming by delegates from the Confucius Institute at the University of Massachusetts. Travel to China is funded by BanHan, the sponsoring organization of the Chinese Bridge competition.
In the final, contestants will be tested on their language proficiency, knowledge of China and Chinese culture, and their comprehensive learning ability and application skills. The trip begins in Beijing with a tour of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and a visit to the Confucius Institute headquarters. On October 17, contestants will fly to Kunming in Yunnan province, China. Contestants will engage in a variety of cultural activities in Kunming in addition to the competition itself.