American student lands in Nanjing
2017-12-29 12:54:00

Mitchell Blatt, a 28-year-old American, is from the state of Ohio. After graduating from the School of Journalism at Indiana University, he came to study Chinese language and culture at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies as a postgraduate student.

When he was in college, Mitch majored in journalism and studied Chinese for three years, and continued to study the language in China for five years on and off. Now he is a "China hand" and can talk with a reporter in Chinese without any problem.

He often contributes articles to and other media and sometimes translates articles for Chinese magazines, thus introducing China and Jiangsu, particularly their tourism and culture, to the world.

Mitch first came to China in 2011. He came to Nanjing that year and mistook, with great surprise, the beautiful floating lights over the Zhonghua Gate for a UFO, only learning later they were Kongming lanterns, which have a long history in China.

"It's very convenient to travel by train in China", he said He visited Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou that year too, and was amazed by the picturesque scenery and diverse ethnic cultures there. He mentioned an experience eating dragonflies in a settlement of the Bai ethnic group in Yunnan's Dali, and the "crispy and spicy" dish made him fall in love with spicy food. He experienced more interesting things when he studied in Nanjing from 2014 to 2016.

Would Mitch miss his family, studying abroad for so long? He said he is used to it. When he went back to the US for Thanksgiving this year, he told his parents and brother about the changes in Nanjing: when he first arrived to study in 2014, there were only two subway lines — but now, the subway stops at the back gate of the university. He finds travel in the city extremely convenient, as Nanjing has the third longest subway mileage in China.

He wrote an article discussing the ever-improving public infrastructure in China, which is even better than in some areas of the U.S. For instance, in major cities like New York, the subway punctuality rate is only 76 percent, far lower than in Asian cities like Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore, as well as Nanjing.

Mitch made two New Year’s resolutions: study Chinese well and learn more about Chinese culture; and write more articles to become an "intellectual". He quoted a Chinese poem — you always count on tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. Only by taking action every day can one achieve their goals.

Contact us at Editor:Amanda

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