This is definitely the number one reason why you should come study in China for some time. Learning Chinese mandarin is exciting, but a very challenging one also. As the first months aren’t as rewarding as one might think, many foreigners quickly give up on learning. I remember the firsts 10 characters I had to learn, it took me a whole afternoon to be able to (painfully) re-write the first 5. Another drawback of the first months is that people can barely understand what you are trying to say, and you have absolutely no idea what they are saying.
But if one goes through this first difficult period, they are in for an amazing adventure. After a couple months, the learning Chinese Mandarin experience becomes very fulfilling, and Chinese people finally understand what you are trying to say. For someone who has been using a 26-letter alphabet since birth, it is quite overwhelming to realize that in order to read a newspaper, one has to learn more or less 3000 characters, but if you have the patience to learn them, a new world will open up for you. Learning Mandarin will boost your memory, and enable you to speak to one fifth of the world’s population. Although most Chinese often speak in dialects (such as Shanghainese), majority of them understand and can speak Mandarin, and if you leave the big cities, they will be quite amazed by the foreigners who took the time to learn their language.