Business & Government

Student Represents Southern USA At China’s Top Language Proficiency Competition

October 2, 2017

andrew little
Andrew Little performs the traditional Chinese song “Orchid” on his banjo during the 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Language Competition.

By Amanda Zuccarini Johnson, Texas A&M University Confucius Institute

This past spring, Texas A&M University senior and international studies major Andrew Little participated in the 16th Annual Chinese Bridge Language Competition in Dallas. After delivering a speech in Chinese and performing the traditional Chinese song, “Orchid” on his banjo, Andrew won first prize for the Southern USA division. This honor took him on to Changsha in Hunan province at the beginning of July to compete against 150 students from 110 countries in a month-long competition.

The final series of competitions involved Chinese speech contests and talent shows. Students who advanced to the final rounds were awarded global and continental recognitions as well as scholarships for studying in China. Little made it into the final 30 competitors, which took place Aug. 3-11 with the final on Aug. 12, making it further than any Texas A&M student ever has.

This round was made up of five continental groups (Americas, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and Asia) with approximately six competitors in each group. Only the top place winner from each division moved onto the final. Unfortunately, Andrew did not continue in the competition.

The Texas A&M Confucius Institute helped Little prepare for this experience, and although he did not advance beyond the semifinal round, his talent and ability exceeded expectations. After a month in China, Little returned to College Station full of stories and experiences.

“The most memorable thing about Chinese Bridge for me was the diversity. The contestants came from 112 different countries, so I was by the hour meeting people from new and different places,” Little said. “I met people from places I knew so little about – one friend I made was from Vanuatu Islands, which I had never even heard of. Some of my other good friends were from Barbados, Malaysia, Peru, Namibia…and even more than that. But, at the same time, everyone frequently spoke Chinese and was connected by that.”


This story originally appeared on the Confucius Institute website.

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