After a grueling 13 and a half hour flight and an hour bus ride, I'm finally in Beijing! So far the weather has been wonderful-- not too hot and not too cold, with clear skies and rain. The weather is quite different from what I expected, having heard people in the U.S. complain about Beijing's air quality. ((While I'm sure there are bad pollution days, so far the air has been quite clean!!))
I'm all settled into my dorm room (doodled below) at 北外, short for Beijing Foreign Studies University. It's very cozy, and right on the same floor as other chinese students as well as other IESers. It's super close to classes, but on the back street there's tons of shops and food stands with super delicious food that I'm very eager to try. We start our actual coursework tomorrow, but these past few days we've all been getting acclimated to life in Bejing as well as getting ready for said classes (did someone say vocab quizes?)... but this also means we get to partake in common social activities such as 卡拉OK (karaoke)!
These first few days have been quite hectic but I'm loving every minute of it. The other students and I all are connecting with each other, and it's only been a few days since we all came together. I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip holds!
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<p>Hi, I'm Gretchen, and I'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'i), and am very excited to be participating in the Beijing Summer Language Intensive program! I'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>