Salma Hbaich: At Home in China

What Will I Remember about China?

The easy answer to a question like this would be: Everything!

I will miss the beautiful lotus pond in the center of the campus and seeing the huge clock tower on the walk to class. I will miss the Muslim Noodle place where the rest of the students and I found our comfort food. I will miss passing by the elderly people exercising and doing Ti Chi in the early hours of the morning.

I will miss the lady at the Wowo convenience store who would get upset when I couldn’t understand what she was trying to say. Without her, I wouldn’t have forced myself to learn the words hot, cold, plastic bag, and other useful shopping phrases.  I will miss going out to get “Chuan Chuan” BBQ with my friends late at night when nothing else was open.

The thing I will probably miss the most about China is constantly meeting new people – both international and local Chinese. Without these people, I would not have enjoyed the experience as much as I did.  Upon my arrival , I immediately met the wonderful students I would be sharing the adventure with.  We all came in the same boat – lost and unsure how these next 3 months in a foreign country would go.  We all had to learn how to communicate and get around the city without knowing our surroundings or speaking/understanding the language.

This undertaking was vital to our personal growth and independence, but initially we had a lot of help from the incredible staff and interns at the Gmeo Center.

I also met great people at the Rui Teng studio where I did my internship. Both my boss and supervisor where quick to make me feel at home and  welcome at their company.  During my adventure, I was able to travel to Beijing, Xi’an, and Jiuzhaigou , but of all of these places, Chengdu was my favorite. Chengdu truly feels like “the home away from home.”

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