Hi, everyone! It still hasn’t sunken in that I’m going to Beijing for two months, even after I’ve started collecting stuff for the trip. I have been reading some blogs from other students that have been in the Beijing programs, and these are some tips I’ve picked up:
One of the other blogs told me to get Viber for free texts. I basically told everyone I wanted to stay in touch with to get this app. It syncs to Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it apparently works with 3G data and WiFi. If you have an iPhone, though, they recommend you turn off data roaming and cellular data, so that leaves you with WiFi, so Viber is a must. If you want to use data and normal texting, you’ll have to ask your service carrier.
You Can’t Take It With You
I’m following previous bloggers’ advice and not packing as many toiletries and clothes as I normally would. I’m a serial overpacker so this will be interesting. Apparently part of our orientation is about going to stores and getting stuff like toiletries and other necessities. I am, however, bringing a towel (since they’re not included with the room) and medicine; apparently, Western medicine is both hard to find and more expensive.
I’m also bringing dust masks for the air, since I don’t know how bad the pollution will be.
I got a small map of Beijing in case I get lost. I’m also going through some guidebooks to see what I’d want to go to, since I’ll be turning twenty-one during the trip.
Other Tips and Tricks
People have recommended Space Bags or Zip-Lock bags for packing. I’m avoiding Space Bags since I’m in doubt that there WILL be a vacuum cleaner in Beijing for the way back; my grandparents had that problem on a cruise once. I am, however, using plastic zip-top bags to replace Space Bags as well as keeping everything dry in case of a downpour on the tarmac. (That has happened to my family before; my cousin put all her clothes in Zip-Loc bags and hers were the only items not to get soaked!)
If you’re a bookworm like me, consider e-books over paper. Space is obviously going to be limited.
I hope these tips have helped! I can’t wait to be in Beijing!
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a rising senior at Tulane University, studying Anthropology and Asian Studies with a Russian minor. In my spare time, I enjoy writing dark supernatural fantasy novels as well as science fiction. I am also a hopeless geek, so if you're into LORD OF THE RINGS, FIREFLY, STAR WARS, or RATCHET & CLANK, feel free to talk with me about it!</span></div>