Mandarin Immersion Senior Profile: Alexander Nguyen

The Capistrano Valley Class of 2024 will include the first ever graduates of the Mandarin Immersion Program. CUSD Insider asked the seniors to reflect on their time with the program and share what they have planned for after graduation.

Alexander Nguyen

Alexander Nguyen of the Mandarin Immersion Program at Capistrano Valley High.
Photo by Steven Georges/CUSD Insider

When did you start in the Mandarin Immersion Program?

1st Grade- 2011

Why did you join the Mandarin Immersion Program?

I joined the Mandarin Immersion Program in order to develop proficiency in a second language as well as gain a background in Chinese culture.

What are your plans after you graduate from CUSD?

After graduation, I plan on attending a 4-year university, majoring in either business or engineering.

What other activities were you involved with in high school?

At Capistrano Valley High School, I am part of the National Honor Society, National Chinese Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, as well as numerous other small school clubs. In addition, I am part of the school’s water polo, swim and tennis teams. Outside of school, I am one of the two founding student representatives of the Bergeson Guiding Coalition, helping reinforce the longevity of the program at Marian Bergeson Elementary School.

What was your favorite part of the Mandarin Immersion Program experience?

My favorite part of the Mandarin Immersion Program is the tight-knit community. Since parents of all grades work together to strengthen this program, it reflects onto the kids of our families. For example, it’s not uncommon to see that students of MIP in high school are close friends with students of MIP in elementary school. In essence, MIP creates a large, yet close, community for all its members.

What aspect of the Mandarin Immersion Program surprised you the most?

The aspect of the Mandarin Immersion Program that surprised me the most is the strong parent involvement. Being one of the founding families, I watched the countless meetings that my parents attended to get this program off the ground. Through months of planning, strategizing, and collaborating with many other families as well as the school district, I saw how much the parents of MIP cared for the future of this extraordinary program. In addition, the parents continue to have consistent meetings throughout the duration of the program in order to find ways to improve the overall quality and impact of this program.

How has the Mandarin Immersion Program prepared you for life after graduation?

As China and Taiwan are both large trade partners with America, learning the Mandarin Chinese language gives me a great advantage in the field of international business. With my understanding of Chinese culture it gives me leverage and broadens my opportunities when looking for possible careers and places to work.

How will you use your Mandarin knowledge in your daily life?

The Mandarin Immersion Program has given me an understanding of a foreign culture, allowing me to understand different perspectives and the ability to empathize with people outside of American culture. In addition, learning Mandarin Chinese allows me to converse with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

What advice would you give other students considering joining the Mandarin Immersion Program?

Such an extraordinary program like the Mandarin Immersion Program is rare to come by. Taking advantage of this opportunity will help set any student up for success in the future as well as give them background on such a rich and intricate culture.

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