January
Feb12

January

Hiroshima, Japan; January 2020 Before starting my semester abroad, I felt nervous about encountering new cultures within both the host countries and my study abroad program. Semester at Sea involves living aboard a ship for a full semester with students, professors, and lifelong learners from all over the world. One of the first people I met on the bus to our ship came from Milan, Italy and had already studied abroad in Eswatini. I,...

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Getting Prepared for China
Sep23

Getting Prepared for China

This is my second study abroad trip, to China, and so I am preparing for this trip did not pose any difficulties. I was looking forward to this trip, nonetheless, because I’ve never been to northern China, where the weather is more pleasant. So, this time I’ve packed a few long sleeves and a jacket.  Because this study abroad trip was only two-weeks long, I had no reason to be anxious or nervous. I have studied Mandarin for a few...

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The City of New Beginnings: Shanghai
Aug10

The City of New Beginnings: Shanghai

For the longest time, I always struggled with being true to myself yet I was always subconsciously running away from and ignoring it, scared that maybe what I found when I looked hard enough into myself would be someone I really didn’t like at all. And a lot of that insecurity came at a time when I suddenly felt pressured to lose one identity in place of another. When the Asian upbringing my parents used to raise me conflicted with...

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Around and Back Again
Aug07

Around and Back Again

Well, I’ve come full circle. I have traveled to China and returned home all in one piece. I honestly missed the United States. Breakfast food, potato chips in certain flavors, driving, trees, and the sky are all things as aspects of life at home that I missed. My first stop after getting back from the airport was the nearest Waffle House. My experience abroad definitely changed me in a positive way. I am more confident and...

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Life After China
Aug01

Life After China

When the day came to fly back home, I was really sad that the trip was already coming to an end. Where did the time go? The flight returning home always seems to go by so quickly. Because the trip was merely only a two-week trip, I felt like I could spend a lot longer in China. I genuinely love learning Chinese and was really sad that I finished with my final class.  I want to leave some advice to future students who are curious...

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Vegetables and Dessert in Shanghai
Aug01

Vegetables and Dessert in Shanghai

Wow. That’s one word I can use to sum up my time so far in Shanghai. I’ll give you the vegetables first: You’re going to read that the air quality in Shanghai, and most major cities in China, sucks. You’d be right about that. It takes getting used to. You walk around the city and randomly smell excrement, tobacco smoke, or exhaust in any combination, at all times. So that’s fun. I’m only in Shanghai for 8 weeks. This unfortunate fact...

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