China on the Mind

“China. China, China China, China.” It almost sounds like a sentence, no?

The name itself carries so much context that an introduction is not quite needed. China, the home of the Great Wall. China, the land of almost unrivaled smog. China, a country of designer lovers, city dwellers, and factory workers, all of whom make this modern country possible.

But of course, there is a lot more to it than that.

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Back from Hong Kong, Feeling Like a Changed Person

It’s been a week since I’ve returned and wow are things different.

In these few lines of my last blog post, I would like to talk about how study abroad affected me as well as tell you a little more about Hong Kong. If you are thinking about studying abroad in Hong Kong or would just like to learn a lot more about it, I’d also want this to be your best resource.

First, here’s Hong Kong through my eyes.

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My Research Program in Hong Kong

Hello again!

In case you have not read my last post, I shall introduce myself again: my name is Sarah and I am a biology major and psychology minor. I’m going into my fourth year this fall and this summer I’m studying abroad in Hong Kong! My study abroad is unique because I am not taking any classes — instead I’m doing research through the Undergraduate Summer Research Program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Thank You, Japan

Well, my stay in this country has ended.

I have to say that my life in Japan has been absolutely amazing. Though it definitely was not easy at first, I found that some of the most difficult things to do in life are the things that are worth doing. Being as introverted as I am, and having never even left my home state before, it was a big jump to travel across the world all on my own. Yet, I stepped over 5,000 miles outside my comfort zone to live in a country that — in almost every way — is completely opposite from mine.

For three and a half months.

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Ding Ding Smile — Welcome to Hong Kong!

“Ding ding” is what the buses are called here; one of the many names Hong Kongers use where sounds are incorporated into the naming. Aside from the names, there were many other things that shocked me upon arriving and for the last three weeks that I’ve been here.

But before I dive in, let me backtrack a little so you have a better idea of who I am. My name is Sarah and I’m a fourth-year biology major and psychology minor. If you’re a biology major, you know how hard it is to study abroad due to our course requirements and schedule — but I made it!

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A Cultural Illumination in Justice

The recipe of a successful study abroad experience typically carries a checklist of core requirements: enthrallment in culture and society, academic captivation and meeting the right people.

You can have two out of the three and still call it a wonderful experience — but my personal list can go on, filled with checks that have made my study abroad experience one of the most memorable trips in my short but fruitful college career.

As a result, I am coming home with an extra beat and note to add to the incessant rhythm and melody of my life.

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Lessons From a Samurai

If you had told me four months ago that I would have the chance to be able to swing a real katana, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. I would respond with something like, “No way, I’m way too clumsy for that.” However, a few weeks ago I got to do just that, and I learned quite a bit from it too.

Some friends and I had been planning a trip to Japan for some time. One of the reasons we went was that one of my friends was from Japan and was about to start a summer internship in Tokyo. So, jumping at the opportunity, we decided to have a last hurrah before the end of the semester and the four of us proceeded to book our tickets and accommodations.

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