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Johan Mahlum

Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States

Maybe Accepting Guests

Last login over 1 year ago

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  • 2 Positive References
  • Fluent in English; learning Chinese, Chinese, German, Latin, Russian, Taiwanese
  • 23, Male
  • Member since 2010
  • Student; Phone Salesman; Legislative...
  • Currently in College
  • From Bismarck, ND, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


Trading away my youth for $7.50 an hour


I'm just finishing up degrees in Political Science and Chinese Studies from The University of North Dakota.

Before I started college I was also born and raised in the quasi-canadian state of North Dakota. Despite all of the underlooked natural beauty that can be found here for a few weeks every summer, I'm still always seeking out opportunities to travel elsewhere, experience new things, and meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds.

I began my limited international travel experience spending a year in Taiwan as an exchange student. Though I haven't gone to all that many countries after that (Canada?) I'm certainly hoping to get back abroad as soon as I finish my degree, likely teaching English in Asia (teaching is s passion of mine)

All in all, I'm just biding my time until greater opportunities become available to me, all the while enjoying my college experience and making strides towards the lifepath I want to pursue.


I believe adamantly that any two people from even the most different backgrounds and beliefs can find much more in common than they would ever have imagined. The trick is giving everyone a shot to tell their story. Friendship knows no bounds.

Why I'm on Couchsurfing


I haven't yet stayed at any place arranged through Couch Surfing, but I've definitely been hosted many times. The most exaggerated of these were the 6 host families I had in Taiwan where I stayed as long as 3 months in their houses. From there, I've traveled and been accommodated by great people from Ontario to New York to Minnesota to North Carolina to Delaware.


Languages,Cultures, Talking with Foreigners about their Beliefs and Values, Geography, Soccer, Cross Country, Plants, Camping, Caves, Trekking, Football, Reading, Practicing Writing, Politics, and Travel

One Amazing Thing I've Done

I have a ton of anecdotes from Taiwan but one sticks out in particular:
The most rewarding and amazing thing I did that year was got to and was able to speak with a traveling Buddhist monk on a rickety train about her religious beliefs, devotions, sacrifices, values, and joys. We talked simply about how she perceives the world. However, we did all of this completely in Chinese. Near the end of it I realized that this was the experience I had been looking for all year, and the whole year of pouring over Chinese books was worth just that one conversation and the insight it gave me on another person's life.

Also, while on a sailboat in Minnesota one summer, I saw a vicious battle between two male Bald Eagles. I watched silently as they dove and clashed talons in mid-air. It was over in just a few short moments, with the loser swooping back into the trees and the victor triumphantly rising back up with the thermals, embodying every bit of the majesty implied by the word "soaring"

Teach, Learn, Share

I aspire to be an English as a Second Language teacher abroad someday soon. I feel like I'm a really good Chinese teacher and a good tutor in general. I'm studying Political Science and I follow politics heavily and really enjoy talking about everything political with other open-minded people.

Countries I've Visited

Canada, Japan, United States

Countries I've Lived In

Taiwan, United States

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