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Photo by Kate Gross-Whitaker


Hi! My name is Ben Small. I’m from West Hartford, Connecticut. I’ve studied Chinese for quite a few years, but I’m really looking forward to learning more and to being immersed in all of the tradition and history China has in store.  I’m very excited to go hiking and to try the various different types of local foods. I think one of the most valuable experiences of the next 9 months will be gaining an appreciation of and learning about all of the cultural diversity within China and how these cultures reflect political and economic histories. I’m also excited to live with host families to gain a first-hand understanding of both family and culture.

In terms of my interests and hobbies, I love playing frisbee and board games (Settlers of Catan, especially). I’ve done Debate for almost 8 years now, so I always enjoy a light-hearted bout of verbal sparring on anything from philosophy to international relations to Supreme Court reforms. I’ve also been really getting into older music recently—some favorites are the Velvet Underground, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and the Doors. Next year, I’m planning on studying either biology or economics—I’m not sure yet.