Great to be Home

Posted by on January 6, 2013

I wanted to be sure to bring some closure to my blogs from the past few months studying abroad in China. Even though I returned stateside December 15, it’s taken awhile for me to adjust to being home and back again in the US. Getting back into the swing of things right before the Holidays was sort of rough with so much going on and lots to do to get caught up after almost five months away. When I finally got home it was almost midnight after my long flight from Beijing via Chicago to Harrisburg, PA. After catching up a little and playing around with my puppy, we finally got to bed at 2am. The next morning I woke up at 5am, way before my parents even woke up. This continually happened for a week after I got home. For those that know me really well, I love sleep! It’s the best part of the day. Well because I woke up that early, I would start fading around 2 or 3pm. But that’s what jet lag (时差) will do to you.
After the Christmas holidays and New Year’s, I’m back at Wofford College for my last few months of senior year. It is extremely weird being back on campus and seeing friends again. The weirdest part is looking around and not recognizing many new people on campus.
I felt that it was necessary that I document my last few weeks at Middlebury’s Program in Beijing. Right after I posted my last blog we had our final group Experience Beijing Project where we split up into two groups of 5 and did a video on Hutong 胡同 which are little traditional Chinese residences and courtyards. Our group decided to do a short love story that revolved around these residences. Then we ended our video with some comedic relief…our own Gangnam Style, which we named Hutong Style. A girl in our group wrote all of the lyrics, and we recorded the song and included it in our video. It turned out great! Our group ended up winning the best video, and best video editing out of the two groups. (I edited our video!) Here is the link…
After the Hutong video competition it was time for final exams. I actually really enjoyed the two exam weeks we had at MIC, because during that week you only had to worry about preparing for your presentations or papers for the classes, without having to keep up with regular classwork. With this being said there was a lot of cramming, because it was really hard to study everything you learned in a whole semester for each of the four classes. Therefore you had to prioritize which exam needed more attention, or which exam came first. Before exam week even started we had to write and turn in our final one-on-one essay, on top of preparing for a huge written exam and oral for our Contemporary Topics class. Needless to say it was stressful. For our Contemporary Topics class I chose to do my final presentation on Corruption in China,中国贪污. It was really interesting to research this topic, because if I had not been using my VPN (paid internet access) I would not have been able to do research. One Chinese artist in particular created 中国的“耻辱之墙” or China’s “Wall of Shame”. On this wall he had over 1600 paintings of Chinese officials that had been charged with corruption. Between the years of 1995 and 2008 more than $123 Billion dollars has been smuggled by corrupt Chinese officials.
The next day we had our final one-on-one presentations and I gave a brief outline about the development of Sino-American Relations since World War II, focusing on was the development of Sino-American Relations in the 1970s and why it was the perfect time for major improvements with regards to diplomacy between the United States and China. When we finally finished our presentations it was already 5:30, we had to start preparing for our final presentation in our Advanced Spoken Chinese class. It was really hard to start preparing for this presentation with only 12 hours left until we actually had to present it…but it was crunch-time. I had decided to do my final project on Plastic Surgery in China, 整形外科. While researching this topic, I was amazed to see how many people in China go under the knife every year, and how many people travel to South Korea to have procedures done. It was such a relief to have all of that done by Wednesday. We had a break before the final banquet and graduation ceremony on Friday and it was finally time to start packing for home. Friday finally arrived and it was sad to say goodbye to our professors and my new friends, but I was ready to see my family and puppy.
In retrospect, having the opportunity to study abroad in China was amazing. I even still accidently slip in some Chinese words here and there. While in Beijing I had the chance to learn about a broad range of topics, from Plastic Surgery to EBay and Amazon and how these impacted Chinese society. My almost five month opportunity of studying abroad in China was an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

许老师 My one-on-one teacher

钱老师 My Contemporary Topics Teacher

胡同 Hutongs

One Response to Great to be Home

  1. Lindsley Harner

    What an incredible experience you had! We are so proud of you!!