This is the first blog that is being posted since the week before we left for our excursion to Xi’an. The trip was a great time to take a break from classes. Xi’an is a city full of evidence of China’s history, which makes sense because it used to be China’s capital (previously named Chang’an). This was a great place to buy souvenirs! Great styles. One of the cool places was called Muslim Street. Many followers of Islam gather here and sell their merchandise and delicious food. We also took a small tour of the wall in Xi’an that the Chinese used to keep the city protected by using archers. We then, of course, had a look at the famous Terracotta Warrior statutes and figurines. It was a great trip that will always be in my memory.
One part of our trip that I did not expect to be at all fun was the sixteen-hour train ride there! I have taken a train ride before in the U.S from New Jersey to Florida once, and I absolutely hated it. I expected this train ride to be just as miserable. However, travelling with about 13 other people on a train ride that actually had beds was quite a fun time. The beds were not luxurious or anything of that sort, but it was nice to have somewhere to actually lay down and put your belongings all together in a separate place. The way the train was set up, it was actually pretty easy to make friends compared to the standard train in the U.S with just seats. I would not prefer so many hours on the train next time, but this style of travel was not that bad at all.
Something that I feel is important to focus on while studying abroad is your ability to use the people you have as professors and as staff members as resources for knowledge. Many of the professors teaching within the study abroad program have traveled thousands of times and know so much more than you can begin to imagine one needs to know about the world and how it works. I feel very fortunate to be able to learn about different routes these professors have taken throughout their lives and the reasons that influenced those decisions. Though they are springs of knowledge, having your own way of doing things is essential, and taking what you can learn and adding it to your own acquired knowledge is what will make your own journey ahead more fulfilling.