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Meet our language teacher: Trista Lai – ChinesePod

Trista Lai

Trista Lai


Trista is a native speaker of both Mandarin and Taiwanese (Southern Min) with a Master degree in Chinese Pedagogy from Indiana University Bloomington. She is very easygoing and enjoys meeting people from various backgrounds. Trista has 5 years of Chinese college teaching experience including intensive Summer programs such as FCI (Flagship Chinese Institute) and PiB (Princeton in Beijing). She has recently moved to Baltimore to start a new chapter in her life.


How do you describe yourself?
Energetic, patient, and talkative.
What is your favorite sport to play?
I like to play Ping-Pong, badminton, and tennis. I enjoy watching all sorts of sports, especially when with friends and family.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Waking up feeling refreshed, make a tasty breakfast and share with my loved ones. If it is a sunny day out, I would like to either spend the day by a beach or in a mountain. If it is rainy or snowy, I would prefer to stay in, sipping hot chocolate or hot tea to read or watch movies all day. (Traveling or voluntary services would be great too!)
Why are you a teacher?
My father is a professor, and he has always been a great teacher to me not only on subject matters but also other life lessons. My father is my role model who inspired me to be a teacher. Being a Chinese teacher is exciting because I get to meet people who are interested in the language and the culture, and I can provide the guidance along the way. Moreover, I always learn a lot from the students and their passion keeps me going.
What do you love about Chinese language?
Chinese is very different from English. I especially appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese characters and how literary Chinese can be by bringing out deep philosophies with simple words.
What is your next travel destination?
I always want to travel, and my dream is to speak the local language wherever I visit. I am currently learning German, so hopefully I will be able to visit Germany to test my German.