Part of the study abroad aspect that you never hear about are all of the things that happen around campus, or even just in the dorm. I’ve been spending my entire blog talking about the places I’ve been, and the cultural interactions I’ve had (and my obsession with Chinese babies), but I think dorm life is a fundamental part of my study abroad experience. I have to say that the people on my program have definitely made my study abroad experience amazing. China would have been awesome regardless, but the people here are so open-minded and willing to have adventures, be crazy and explore China. Although I do miss sooooo many things about America: food, normal sidewalk social interactions (remind me to go into detail on this one), decent restaurant service, my friends and family, my sorority and ballroom dancing, cats without rabies, mattresses, dorms with fire alarms (remind me to go into detail on this one too)- the list goes on and on… But while I miss all of these specific things, I have never wanted to go home.. not once. I am so glad I am staying over the summer because I’m not ready to go home yet!! We’re approaching midterms (aka my Chinese midterm is on friday) and I am nowhere near ready to go back. I could stay here forever!…. maybe. I am also very excited about Xi’an but I wish I could take all these amazing new friends with me! I get really sad when I think about having to make new friends all over again, but if they’re half as cool as all of the people on my program we’re going to have an amazing time.
One of the main reasons I enjoy being around my classmates is that we are all so different! I know I mentioned this in one of my first China blog posts, but we are very, very different people. We’re from all over the US, we have very different personalities, religions, ethnicities, habits and experiences but we all have one thing in common: a desire to live life to the fullest and experience a culture vastly different from the United States.
Some of my best experiences have been here in International Student Dorm 17. Watching weird Chinese tv shows, study parties in Anthony’s giant single, drinking canned wine while watching Mao’s Last Dancer (don’t judge me, I’m 21 in two weeks), practicing kung fu in the hallway, and tonight we had a random turban party aka we all put scarves on our head and frolicked around the building.
One nice thing about the International Student dorm is that I have also made other friends that are not on our program. Some of the people who I’ve become friends with speak much better Chinese than English so we communicate in Chinese which is really good practice. Overall, after tonight’s amazing turban party I felt the need to gush about how I love everyone on our program and how much I’ll miss everyone when they all leave me!
Tiffany and I eating baozi!
Hannah, Sam and Alexis
Hannah with my computer case
Nate looks better in my new sunglasses than I do
Windsor, Jill, Anthony and I
Zack, Sam, Katora, Will, Jill, Hannah and Alexis
Midnight on Jill’s 21st Birthday