You are here

Making the Unknown Known

12 Apr 2017

In Beijing, things are starting to become “normal,” or more routine for me. I really enjoy being familiar with my surroundings and sticking to a schedule. After Chinese class in the morning, I almost always head to the store that’s really close to school either by myself or with a couple of classmates. I can find everything in that store- eventually. Once I spent 30 minutes looking for Band-Aids. Just in case anyone wants to know, they are in the beauty section! I have a feeling I might just buy everything in the store- it’s so convenient and cheap!

After my much-needed shopping trip, I come back to campus and eat lunch in the cafeteria. One of the coolest things about the cafeteria is you never know who you’ll see. I often bump into my friends or even find families with children. I have even seen an older couple enjoying a large plate of rice together! I wish my college cafeteria had people who were different ages! The only people I ever see are sleep deprived college aged students enjoying a meal. Plus, the best thing about Beiwai’s cafeteria is that the food is both good and cheap. I always order rice and get meat and one more dish to complete my meal. Overall, I can’t complain.

Going to classes also is beginning to feel more like what I do at home. I take notes in my notebook, turn in homework, and answer questions. The only difference is that I have to communicate to my classmates in Chinese. It can get stressful, but Pleco, the translating app always has my back. My favorite thing about my classes is hands down going on field trips. Not only do we get to explore Beijing, we also get to learn about the city and its residents!

One of the coolest things I have seen here that I never see in Texas are shops that sell fruit on a stick. Crabapples, strawberries, and oranges or a combination of the three are a popular snack or dessert and are sold on the streets.

Every day is a new day with different things and different challenges. I am still adjusting to the freezing temperatures and have lost count of the number of times I couldn’t feel my toes or hands. Going outside without at least three layers on is impossible. And every time I go into a restaurant or a warm place like the subway, I always feel like I have to take off all my jackets and sweaters. This process often takes five minutes or more, but I am getting faster and at least will still be warm when I go back outside! Thankfully, it is beginning to get a bit warmer!

From Our Blogs

Nov 20 3:42pm

The Best Weekend Getaways When You Study Abroad in Australia

by Marlowe Padilla

I’ll never forget my first few days in Australia – dry heat, cars driving on the left side of the road, a cruise on the habour, and jumping from one beach to the next.

Learn more
Nov 17 1:16pm

Falling In Love And Breaking Your Heart In A Foreign Country

by Jessica Duska

This isn't your typical love story, in fact it is more of a love tragedy. I never expected to come to Argentina and fall in love, but sometimes these things happen and obviously you can't control it.

Learn more
Nov 16 1:02pm

Real Talk About Culture Shock

by Morgan Mccullough

Culture shock is not always very obvious and easy to recognize. Sometimes it is sneaky and seeps into you like a draft.

Learn more
Nov 15 3:31am

Figuring out how to eat paella

by Abigail

We weaved through the hanging scarves and bowls of spices of the outdoor vendors to reach our final destination of the day and appease our growling stomachs. I had designed the perfect “authentic” Barcelona day for my visiting friends, but it wasn’t exactly going as planned.

Learn more
Nov 14 9:33pm

Happy Home-stay

by Danielle

When I was researching programs for a second study abroad adventure, I had many factors new to take into account. This time, I was going into my senior year, and had very few options in terms of classes.

Learn more
Nov 14 3:10am

Singles' Day

by Jason Renner

Being in China has meant that I have missed a lot of American holidays and occasions. Spending these holidays in China has been interesting because they are either not celebrated or celebrated in a different way.

Learn more