Before I arrived in Bangkok, I had a very clear idea of what my role here would be. I was going to be a student. I don’t mean to flaunt, but with a whole life of experience and a passion for learning, I think I’m pretty good at being a student. This confidence made me feel as though I had a leg up on the competition. It made me feel like taking the leap and spending six weeks in Thailand would be easy. I was both right and wrong.
With Spring semester officially over and warmer months ahead, we’re excited to welcome a new crop of study abroad bloggers for Summer 2017! Before you start to follow them on their exciting adventures around the globe, let them tell you a little about themselves.
Nĭ hăo! Wŏ jiào, Nasreen! Hello! I am called, Nasreen! Learning the language Mandarin is incredible! I cannot believe I have never thought to learn it, let alone come explore the Chinese world. But here I am.
I couldn’t help but laugh. Last week, as I was walking around Macau with some fellow exchange students from Portugal, we were discussing all the cultural things of Macau. Macau used to be a Portuguese republic not 20 years ago, and they had a lot of fun facts for me to learn.
After the Chinese New Year, my cousin and I had planned to travel to Taiwan. It was so cool to know that traveling in Asia, while in Asia, is extremely cheap and is a must if you’re planning to stay for a long period of time. This was the first time I’ve traveled without older adults in a foreign place. At least by now I am a pro at packing.
It has always been traditional for me to be at home on New Year’s. This year, I was in two homes for two New Year’s. When I came to China, I did not know that the Lunar New Year was fast approaching (just letting you know beforehand, Chinese New Year started in early February, not January 1).
I am known to be a loud and very smiley extrovert who loves to always see the positive side of things and make the best out of life for others and myself. I am Mexican-Iranian-American in America, but here in China, I am American. But that does not mean I forget who I truly am and what my heritage is while I study in Shanghai, China.
I started writing this on a United Airlines airplane, slowly realizing that I was heading to a new home with only five recognizable faces for the next six months. Things will be difficult – getting adjusted, learning the language, and figuring out Chinese culture. I did not know what to think, except to think about the faces of my loved ones back home. As I arrived in Shanghai, 14 hours later, I was immediately anxious to see China and my Chinese brothers and sisters.
In Thailand, the year is 2560. Although it technically is the same year here as anywhere else in the world, because Thais go by the Buddhist calendar, everyone refers to this year as 2560. The planners, calendars and online websites all declare boldly that it is now the year 2560. Odd? No. In every way this actually seems to make sense.