I’m Not Saying Goodbye

My favorite part of language learning is discovering how the language can reflect the native culture. A major reason I decided to study Chinese is because it is an intriguing and surprising, albeit complex, language; much like its native culture. Each character has its own history, meanings, pronunciations and associations with other characters, and paying…

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Street Food (The Good Kind)

If you’ve never heard the term “street food” before and think it sounds a little sketchy, then you’re definitely not alone. I might question your judgement skills if you didn’t think so. But you truly haven’t experienced true Chinese food until you have dined on street sides at midnight. Unfortunately, I neglected to try street…

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Made it to the Mountain!

This past weekend I finally completed a major travel goal of this semester: hiking on Huangshan (Yellow Mountains-黄山)! Much of my first blog was dedicated to explaining this goal, and it was even more beautiful and worth it than I had imagined! Neither my friend nor I had ever hiked on (and up!) mountains before, so we researched much-needed tips before leaving, especially using traveler blogs. I learned so much and…

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Small Opportunities Often Forgotten

One aspect of studying through Alliance (the program that Rollins is working through in Shanghai) that I have truly come to appreciate and enjoy is the existence of Alliance-coordinated lectures, activities and extracurricular activities. Sometimes we get caught up in big weekend trips and forget to take in the small experiences. (I say this about myself just as much…

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Chinglish at its Finest

While learning a second language, there is always a stage where you’re getting ahold of grammar but your vocabulary is limited. During this stage you tend to develop a highly entertaining mixture of your native language and the one you’re studying. During our trip one of our favorite jokes was to use “Chinglish”: the mixture…

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One Way to Meet Locals

One of the special parts of studying abroad is interacting and speaking with locals. Sometimes locals will come up to you because they wanted to practice English for a little while; it has happened to us in a mosque in Xi’an, an art museum in Beijing, a park in Shaoxing and both a cafeteria and the subway in Shanghai. Other times they…

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A Bird’s-eye View of Shanghai

During orientation in August, the Shanghai Alliance program we’re studying through gave us a “Must-See, Must-Do” list for Shanghai to give us ideas and help us make the most of our stay in this ginormous city. Even though it’s so large, whenever you web image search the term “Shanghai,” most pictures that fill the page are of The Bund and the city’s icon: the Oriental Pearl…

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Kindness and Unintentional Hitch-hiking

Wow-time really does fly when you’re abroad! In the blink of an eye it’s been a few weeks and I haven’t uploaded any new posts! A few weeks back during the last day of our independent travel week, two of my friends and I woke up, having no idea what the day would hold for us! All we knew…

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The Art of Packing

So it’s the day before you leave and you’re figuring out how to stuff a weeks worth of living into a carry-on and a backpack. I’ve been there! Some items are obvious (i.e. clothes, toothbrush, cell phone) but others can be easily forgotten. I’m particularly forgetful and negligent so I always take 5 minutes and make…

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