Hello, or should I say 你好！Spring semester at Lafayette has started and I’m still on break. This semester I will be studying in Shanghai, China through the IES program entitled 21ST Century China. My semester begins on February 18, so I have a lot of time left before I go. More time being a good and bad thing.
Throughout this break, which will end up totaling 2 months long, I have watched my twin sister head off to Denmark, and my best friend leave for Paris, all before I have received my housing assignment. So naturally, all of this time is getting me anxious but excited. I am anxious to go to a new place, but less so because I have been to China once before, this past summer, when I went on a school sponsored 3-week interim trip to Beijing and Xi’an.
This 3-week trip is the reason I will be heading back to China for the 4-month-long semester. Although I came home wallet-less and tired, I couldn’t stop talking about my experience abroad, and I couldn’t wait to get back to China. After visiting the original and current Chinese capital cities, I figured going to a more westernized and modern place like Shanghai might be a better fit for me. As much as I want to believe I can go anywhere and be okay, I think the quick pace, Western and modern life I live is more ingrained in me than I originally thought.
Over the summer I learned about the history and traditions of China, and now I am going back to learn about 21ST century China, and what role China plays in the world today. I am excited to immerse myself in this unique culture, to travel to Hong Kong for a 6-day trip, and to improve on my Chinese language skills. As an International Affairs and Asian Studies double major, this trip is an opportunity of a lifetime, allowing me to study and fulfill requirements for my double major, and to gain valuable life experiences as well.
I am very much so looking forward to this opportunity, and can’t wait to finally get there. I know it will be an adjustment, living in a place quite different than New York, but I am so excited to experience this new way of life, and to share it with all of you! Looking forward to writing to you next time where I’ll be 13 hours ahead, jet-lagged, and on the other side of the world! Goodbye for now, or as they say in China, 再见！