When you study abroad, you need to make sure that you also make time to travel in your host country and, hopefully, the surrounding countries as well. Traveling is such a great way to educate yourself. You get to study the culture personally.
As I continued with my studies and made new friends, I was presented with the idea to travel with my friend, Feli. Feli, short for a German name that means happiness, invited me to explore more of China with her. She asked me to come along to see Xi’an.
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.
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.
Greetings from Macau! I want to start this post by reviewing some of the complications I faced while coming to my exchange program. First, I was stuck in Seattle, as one of my connecting flights in China was canceled. Even worse, I couldn’t get the flight company, Juneyao Airlines, to book me a new fight nor give me a refund! This forced my hand to pay 1.5 times as much as I originally paid just to ensure I would arrive in Macau on time from Seattle, taking a rather large chunk out of what little I had saved/borrowed for going abroad.
Welcome to my first blog post! After more than 14 hours of travel from Los Angeles, my plane touched down in the beautiful city of Hong Kong. I have been in the town for a little over two weeks now and I can’t believe how much I have already done.