Joe Nguyen: Nice Surprises

When I first signed up to study abroad in China, I was unsure of what I was getting myself into. I was unfamiliar with Chinese culture. It did not help that my friends and family only told me about the negative aspects of China. It was not until I met previous G-MEO alumni that I gained a better insight on what to expect in China. Despite learning this new information, I knew that I had to experience China culture for myself.


Upon my arrival to Chengdu, I was unsure of what to expect as I did not know the language used by the locals. In addition, I only knew one other person in the program. This made me feel uneasy as I was not sure of what to do in Chengdu. Fortunately for me, this feeling of unease began to diminish as the week went by. I started making new friends during some of the class field trips.

Some places we were taken to during the first week included the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Wide and Narrow Alley, and Happy Valley Amusement Park. The research base was exciting as I have never seen a giant panda in person before. I also really enjoyed the weather that day as the class had to hike around the entire research base.

The Wide and Narrow Alley was equally exciting. Students indulge themselves with Chinese cuisine and learned more about Chinese culture. It helped me overcome some of the culture shock I was adjusting to. A few days after Wide and Narrow Alley, my new friends and I went to Happy Valley Amusement Park. I met new people and I was able to explore more of Chengdu. I hope that I have more opportunities to learn more about Chinese culture in the upcoming weeks!



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