When I first applied for this program, I didn’t know what to expect as well as I didn’t know if I would enjoy my experience here. I’ve had friends who told me about their experience in this program and how they all enjoyed it and I could only hope my time here would be just as amazing. When I finally did arrive here and now three months later, I can honestly say that my expectations were surpassed. I love China and plan on coming back as often as I can.
The classes I took here were great because they were so small and I was able to learn more and with ease. The professors as well were extremely friendly and willing to help me. What surprised me is that we the students were close to the professors and talked with them and hanged out with them as if we were friends. Back home in the States, the professors were always professional and aloof. The ones I met here were very opening and were part of both our personal and educational life. Also when I met the staff, they were extremely friendly and helpful. Jingyu is a serious woman but at the same time she is a laidback director and provided us with a wonderful experience. Sara and Mandy were always there to help us when we really needed help such as with exchanging money or booking tickets to a trip to Beijing. The interns were kind and we made great friends with them and formed a connection. I became close friends with all of them and when I come back I will definitely hang out with them.
Another great thing about the program is that I was able to get an internship and that it was related to my field. I obtained an internship at the Qingsu Vocational School and was assigned to teach the students English. Even though it was a paid internship, it was rewarding in many ways. The kids were full of energy and always friendly and eager to learn. At first they were shy but then they start to get use to you. I also loved how considerate they were. They made us dumplings to eat as well as when it was my birthday they wished me a happy birthday and I didn’t even know they knew it was my birthday. Participating in their field day was also so amazing and plenty of fun because they celebrate it so different from in the United States.
I also participated in English corner in WungJun Campus and that was entertaining. I met many different people there and made great friends with a group of girls from another school. The one I hanged out the most was Lavender and she was so kind and sweet. She showed me and Sabrina a plant garden in Chengdu and when I introduced others from the program she accepted them as well. She showed me where to shop as well as her school and how beautiful it was. I also made friends through the buddy program at the center. We got to sing karaoke together with our new companions and we talked as if we were old friends.
Another amazing trip I took was to Beijing. Honestly, I went there mostly for the sights but it was great to see such history and places I have only seen in books. I got to see and experience them firsthand. However, I can honestly say I prefer Chengdu. It has become my home and it is so relaxed and beautiful. Plus, the food here is like heaven. I never thought I would enjoy it so much and now I don’t ever want to leave such delicious dishes. My favorite by far is Chuan Chuan and I love the beef noodles here. I hope to come back to experience all the food all over again and bring friends to show them how wonderful it is.