Mandarin Immersion Senior Profile: Dillon Han

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.

Dillon Han

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


When did you start in the Mandarin Immersion Program?

2011- 1st Grade

Why did you join the Mandarin Immersion Program?

As a third generation Asian-American, traditional cultural practices were a foreign experience. To get a better understanding of my own heritage, I joined the Mandarin Immersion Program.

What are your plans after you graduate from CUSD?

I plan to attend a four year university and major in either actuarial science or statistics. Depending on where I go and what I study, I may want to pursue a PhD.

What other activities were you involved with in high school?

Tennis (varsity player/paid coach), photography (individual passion/club president), volunteering (Radiant Health Center/Laura’s House), freelance editor for CVHS Times.

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

I absolutely love the community the Mandarin Immersion Program has created. Having the same peers for 12 years straight has created an extremely close, tight knit group that I enjoy being a part of.

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

I was surprised by how dedicated the adults behind the organization are. They have done so much to help us, both organizing and funding events such as Chinese Culture Night. All of our teachers were extremely dedicated to teaching us, providing an unmatchable learning experience for all of us.

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

Mandarin is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Any experience involved with the language or culture such as jobs, day to day interactions, or travels to China is something I can have confidence in. More than just the language, the program has taught me about my culture that I intend to practice for the rest of my life.

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

The program has helped me grow into a hard working student, encouraging me to constantly work hard and learn. While an understanding of the language and culture may not be used every single day of my life, the practices and positive habits the program has cultivated will.

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

Dedicate yourself to learning the language and enjoy the journey you get to take with your peers.

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