北京 Bound: Off So Soon??

Gretchen Trupp
May 21, 2015
Ring with a map of China on it

Hello all, I'm Gretchen and this will be my first post in a series of a few (pretty much) once a week recaps of my life abroad in Beijing this summer! I'll be uploading pictures of scenery and people, giving written blurbs about the week, and posting some of my own art in order to give you all updates about what I'm up to halfway around the world. It is my goal to not only just post about my daily life, but to find greater connections with how I'm experiencing living abroad and greater ideas and concepts about social issues in the world, to create a more global perspective. 

I can hardly believe that in just a couple of short weeks, I'll be halfway across the world, 15 whole hours ahead of my home in San Diego! While excitement abounds, there's still so many things that are uncertain... I've never really lived in a big city, and so Beijing will be a huge change for sure-- the thought of having to navigate that is both exhilarating and mildly terrifying, to say the least. Although it seems daunting at the moment(mostly because I'm not actually there yet), I'm hopeful that my time abroad will be full of adventures that I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'm especially looking forward to trying all of the delicious new food in Beijing, as well as being able to find friends not only within the group of fellow IES students but with people in the community as well. 

I've been thinking a lot about the roots that connect me to my home in America, and a lot about my identity as well. I'm currently going into my sophmore year at Swarthmore, and feel pretty established there in terms of classes and friends, and thus feel pretty rooted in the life that I'm currently living. I know that immeasurable growth will take place on this trip, but in doing so I will have to be figuratively repotted and will need to adjust to new soil and a new environment, and in doing so will be able to make comparisons to my life both here and in Beijing. For instance in America attitudes towards queer(an umbrella term that is used for LGBT+people, for the readers who are unfamiliar with that term's most current usage) students can be mixed at best for various reasons, and it'll be interesting to see how being more visibly "out" plays into my life in Beijing versus my life here. With that knowledge--in addition to my clothes and my bugspray--I'm also packing an open mind because just as I have a specific life situation, others do as well, and it's important to approach differences with mutual respect and a desire for understanding. 

Needless to say, there's still so much to do, and so little time to do it(visa applications, packing, doctor's appointments, the list goes on and on) and before I know it I'll be on the plane to Bejing, ready to spend two months of my life abroad! It's been nice to have a break from schoolwork, but truthfully I'll be glad to have a little more structure in my weekday(and more time to focus on my language skills)...

 再见美国,你好北京!

 

Gretchen Trupp

<p>Hi, I&#39;m Gretchen, and I&#39;m currently a prospective Languages and Linguistics Major at Swarthmore College, PA. I was born in Rota Spain, and have grown up in various places around the states (notably Hawai&#39;i), and am very excited to be participating in the Beijing Summer Language Intensive program! I&#39;m really into all different types of art, and exploring that interest through all sorts of avenues (this blog will be one of them). On this trip I hope to gain not only language skills, but innumerable friends and experiences that last a lifetime. Join the adventures of an unapologetically queer, short (but not tiny) college student navigating one of the biggest cities in the world!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2015 Summer 1, 2015 Summer 2
Home university:
Swarthmore College
Major:
Undeclared
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