Brendon Hahns Thomas

China Instructor

B.A. International Relations and Economics, Michigan State University
M.A. Global Human Development, Georgetown University

Even as a child Brendon was fascinated with other countries and desired to see the world. Whether staring transfixed at county’s flags on his placemat or memorizing capital cities while flipping through an atlas in the family van on long trips, Brendon has always been curious about foreign countries. This inquisitiveness drove Brendon to spend a summer studying abroad during his undergrad education. However, a summer spent traveling in Europe was not nearly enough, it was a tease. Brendon wanted everything: language, culture, service, and an experience of total immersion. A desire for more resulted in Brendon spending two years in Northwest China as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.

As a Peace Corps volunteer in China, Brendon’s primary responsibility was to teach English at a University located on the edge of the Gobi Desert. In his free time and with little else to do in a backwards and windswept town, Brendon trained for marathons, taking fifth place overall at the 2012 Great Wall Marathon. In addition, Brendon toured much of Western China’s countryside on his mountain bike. Whether through naivety or a desire for adventure, Brendon never felt the need to formulate much of a plan when taking off on his bike and regularly wound up taking shelter in precarious locations to avoid the sand storms that are common in Northwest China.

Having recently completed a Masters degree in the U.S. that took Brendon into the environment and development nexus, with a brief stint of summer work in Cambodia and Myanmar, Brendon is eager to return to China and return to the semi-nomadic lifestyle that he is most comfortable with. Brendon is excited to share his interests in Tibetan culture, sustainable development models, Chinese noodles, and ping-pong with students.