Hello, and welcome to the Kelley in China 2010 blog. My name is Jim Johnson, and I am an Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Kelley School of Business. I am one of three facilitators who will be accompanying a faculty member and 19 students to Hangzhou and Shanghai in March. Our trip is part of BUS G256, "Emerging Economies," taught by Dr. Bruce Jaffee.
Class started this week on Monday with an overview and an introduction to (or review of) some basic economic principles. Last night the smaller trip-specific groups of students met, as we will every Wednesday until we leave for the trip. The China group completed Visa applications and other paperwork before spending just a few minutes discussing Mandarin. We learned that there are four basic tones to the language and that the written characters are composed of parts called radicals.
We certainly won't be experts in Mandarin before we travel, but with the help of our instructor Michelle Hertzfeld we hope to learn enough of the basics that we can get around and stay out of trouble. Fortunately, we will be travelling with at least two people who speak the language.
Please feel free to check out the last blog I wrote, Kelley in Oxford 2009.