WE HAVE ARRIVED!
After a long and tiring journey we finally arrived in China. We were all extremely tired and jet lagged, but so excited for what was to come. We were greeted by Zhang Lin, a lady from the college, who escorted us from the airport to Tianjin Foreign Studies University, where we will be staying for the next 10 months. Once we got shown to our rooms and started to unpack, we made the room our own by putting up pictures of family members from back home and that’s when we finally realised that this will be our new home for the next 10 months.
The following day we went to get registered at the college. We travelled by bus, this showed us how to get to the college every day, the buses to get and the stops to get off at. Then, after registration we were given the challenge of making our own way back to our accommodation! This was a very overwhelming experience as we had very limited knowledge of Mandarin. But it was actually a very useful experience as it forced us to use some of the Mandarin that we had already learned, and work together as a team to speak to people on the bus to help us find our way. It also allowed us to bond as a group and find out more about each other.
In our free time we explored and adjusted to our surroundings. We learned A LOT about how the roads work here, and now we know it’s probably safer to cross a road when it’s a red man rather than a green man. When out and about, we stopped off and experimented with Chinese food. We have tried so many different kinds of dumplings, and been to several hot pot restaurants. The food is very different from back home, but we’re all still enjoying it and are willing to try new things.
We discovered a park nearby and couldn’t believe that something so beautiful and tranquil could be in such a large, busy city.
All in all, this has been a great start to our new adventure and we’re looking forward to what’s to come. We are all so grateful for this amazing opportunity and will be sure to make the most of it!
Sara and Gao
It’s less than a week now before we all go to China, and it’s starting to feel a lot more real now. I wouldn’t say I feel that nervous about leaving but I do know that it will definitely be difficult to get used to living a new country with a vastly different culture.
When other people ask me about it, they all say that it will be a fantastic experience, and I think that it’s very true, especially since very few people get this opportunity. I went to China last year for two weeks and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I am really looking forward to actually being able to live and study there for a whole year.