You are here

Can I Dabao It? 再见北京!

1 Aug 2016

I can’t believe the program has come to a close.  Not only have I been able to significantly improve on my Chinese language skills and travel to major historical sites around China, but I have also been able to make such wonderful friends that I will cherish forever.  We ate together, went on trips together, sang annoying songs together, watched GoT together, and of course studied together.  I wish I could 打包 dabao (take away and pack)this experience with me. I'm going to miss everyone!

This last week in Beijing was an emotional rollercoaster.  All of us had to study hard in preparation for our last and final exam, leaving little room for fun.  My friend Danielle and I did end up going to our local cat café to study though.  When we needed a study break, my friend Ashanti and I went shopping at the Silk Market to shop for some souvenirs.

Beijing_Beijing_Studying at the Library_Crystal Mak.jpg

Beijing_Beijing_Studying and Cats_Crystal Mak.jpg

Beijing_Beijing_Silk Market_Crystal Mak.jpg

The day after we finished our exams, we had our graduation ceremony and Zhao Laoshi's son performed a song for us, such a sweet treat! After that, we went out for our final meal together and I had my third Peking duck in Beijing.  We finally decided to go to KTV to spend our last night together, despite much resistance to go these past two months. 

Beijing_Beijing_Graduation_Crystal Mak.JPG

Beijing_Beijing_Graduation Certificate_Crystal Mak.jpg

Beijing_Beijing_Tian Tian and Friends_Crystal Mak.JPG

Saying goodbye sucks. But I’m glad that it happened and now I have an explosion of friends around the world!  On my flight back home, I saw the most amazing views outside the airplane window.  

Beijing_Airplane_View Over North Pole_Crystal Mak.JPG

Beijing_Beijing_Beautiful Sunset_Crystal Mak.JPG

It's going to be tough transitioning back to life at home.  The slow suburban life in Maryland couldn't be more different from the bustling city life in Beijing, but I'm glad that I am back and reconnected with my family and friends.  I'm also thankful that I can continue to practice my Chinese with my family and friends here in America.  However, when I finally arrived home, I was most shocked to see my Chinese family speaking English to me in a perfect American accent.  I feel so blessed to be able to be immersed in both my Chinese culture as well as my American culture.  I learned so much about my identity and I can't wait to continue to explore this further throughout my life.

Beijing, I miss the convenience of everything, the deliciously cheap food, the endless history, the opportunities and the people.  These two months have opened my eyes to China and I'm so grateful for this experience.  Thank you IES Abroad Beijing for putting together such a wonderful summer for me!

Beijing_Beijing_IES Beijing Summer 2016_Crystal Mak.jpg

再见北京!Zaijian Beijing! (Goodbye and see you again, Beijing!)

From Our Blogs

Apr 19 3:00pm

Sustainable Living While Studying Abroad

by Victoria Bruick

Whether you’re a long-time environmentalist or a budding recycler, interning or studying abroad offers you an opportunity to gain insight into how different communities approach sustainable living.

Learn more
Apr 18 9:19pm

From International Internship in Italy to Pursuing Public Health

by Shaina Moran

IES Internships alumna Michelle Wagner (Rome Summer Internship 2015 | Penn State University) wears many hats: graduate student, world traveler, public health enthusiast, and blogger, to name a few. In a previous role as an IES intern in Rome, Michelle participated in hands-on work, came face-to-face with social issues, gained a professional mentor, and paved her path to graduate school. Read on Michelle explains her international internship in Italy.

Learn more
Apr 18 5:39pm

Wine and Cheese For Thought

by Bo

This past weekend, I went on the IES Abroad led trip to Cremona, Parma and Modena. And let me tell you that IES Abroad did not disappoint!!!

Learn more
Apr 17 5:23pm

A Day in My Life in Granada (As Told by Michael Scott)

by Emily

Here's what Michael from The Office would have a to say about a day in my life in Granada!

Learn more
Apr 17 1:41pm

The Power of Advocacy: Mobilizing the Study Abroad Community

by Hernando Sevilla-Garcia

Hernando Sevilla-Garcia, IES Abroad Diversity Relations Manger, visited Capitol Hill to speak with Illinois representatives on the importance of study abroad programs and international students.

Learn more