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Hey everyone!  My name is Thomas and I am an 18-year-old from New York (about 30 minutes outside of the city).  I have been thinking about this trip all summer and can not wait to meet you all in just a few more weeks!  I originally decided to take a gap year to pursue my passion for Mandarin (I took Mandarin for the first time this year after my second summer trip to China with my school, and immediately fell in love with the language), but the closer I get to my Dragons experience, the more I realize how glad I am to have a year before college to explore my interests and live abroad.

After Dragons, like Bennett, I will be returning to China to do a 3 month Mandarin program in Beijing and as of now my plans are pretty open for the last few months before I head off to Claremont McKenna College in California next September.  But there is a good chance that I will continue my travels, this time in Europe.

In school I am very interested in politics and International Relations, and can not wait to discuss and explore these topics from a different perspective while in China.  I also enjoy going on hikes and wandering around cities, reading, and having long talks with friends about anything and everything.

See you all in 19 days!