Standing on the roof of a local Tibetan family’s house in the middle of one of the most beautiful parts of the world, it might as well have been the roof of the world.
Sitting behind my desk, reading through the blog I wrote whilst studying abroad, I am still in awe at how amazing that experience was.
It wasn’t only a great academic experience, but it was a life changing one.
China changed me. Plain and simple.
Studying abroad in China has allowed me to grow as a person in many ways.
Arriving in country and barely being able to speak the language was at first daunting.
Living with a Chinese host family, however changed everything.
It not only allowed me to study Chinese, but also gave me a friendly learning environment and the confidence to speak Chinese.
They gave me an insight into their culture, a peek behind the proverbial curtain, and I feel incredibly privileged to have had that experience.
Coming back to the US, life was different from the way I remembered it.
Whilst certain comforts are nice, and there are some things I did miss, I find I miss China more then anything.
Going out to buy food, or clothes, or other necessities is not the same in the US.
It’s too easy, too comfortable. I find myself longing for the struggle and thrill of going out and using my language skills.
I find myself missing the interest and attention most Chinese people give foreigners who speak some Chinese.
Studying abroad was one of the most influential experiences I’ve ever had, definitely one I will never forget.
Overall if my experience abroad has taught me anything, it is that I most definitely want to go back to China, and that China is only the start.
More Blogs From This Author
<p><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);">Jason Klanderman, originally from Chicago, grew up in Amsterdam. He has travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. He is an International Politics, History and Global and International Studies triple major, with a minor in Chinese at Penn State University. When not in State College, where he is currently living, you can find him traveling between Amsterdam, Singapore, and various other places, visiting family and friends. His hobbies include reading, writing, cooking and going to the gym. Read about his experiences as he tackles the middle kingdom, China, during his spring semester 2013.</span></p>