One of the few difficulties that I have faced while here in Beijing is the way classes are scheduled. In the beginning, all of the international students were given a syllabus with all courses clearly listed with the dates of the classes, along with holidays off. Unfortunately the scheduling here was not actually as black and white as the schedule.
For example, some classes did not start when they said they would. Instead, we would find out through rumors that the class would start on a different day (two weeks later than listed on the course syllabus). While trying to reach professors or faculty to ask about this, we were not given clear dates until the last minute.
A week ago I was lucky enough to have my mom and aunt come visit me in Beijing. Having family come visit was great way to break up the 6 months away from home. It was fun showing them around the city, and seeing all the must-see sites again. When you live here, you forget about the many amazing places that are in the city. You live like a local, not like a tourist.
How is the food? The most common question I get when I tell people I am studying abroad in Beijing. When asked, I like to break the answer into two topics, the first being taste, and the second being sanitation.
I just got back home from my first trip to Hong Kong. Some of the highlights of my trip include seeing the skyline view from our hotel’s top-floor pool, making new friends, eating dim sum, and climbing to “the peak”. I highly recommend these things to anyone going to Hong Kong for the first time. Coming back, my initial thought is that it is amazing how different Hong Kong is from Beijing or Shanghai. The energy, language, and people are all unique. It is very apparent that Hong Kong is a more western city than Beijing. This all stems from its unique history.
Unfortunately, the classroom environment has not been all that I wish it could be. I have noticed that I am frequently disappointed with the caliber of the classroom content and the way it is taught. I understand that I am attending classes taught in English and that this may a have lot to do with why the quality of teaching suffers, however, I feel as if this school is not living up to the expected standards.
As of last night, my five-day trip in Hong Kong had come to end. Looking back on the trip, I can’t believe all that I had managed to see and accomplish in such a short time. It feels as if the entire time there was experienced in fast-forward.
A few weeks back I attended an alumni event in Beijing, where I met a good friend, Vlad, who introduced me to his mixed martial arts fighting team. It is here that my most memorable trip in China began.
The past 2 weeks in Beijing have been surprisingly similar to what I would expect in the United States. I have finally begun developing a schedule and adapting to my life here abroad. My routine has become much more consistent as my classes’ workload has picked up and I have gotten to know the campus. I am still learning about all the different organizations the university has to offer, but soon that will constitute a large portion of my time here at Peking University.
Last summer I was studying in Shanghai for two months. That program, and my current Peking University program are very different in terms of what they have offered me. Regardless, both have been amazing experiences in their own way, allowing me to see China in two different ways.