Blog Post #1 (22nd September)
It’s been a month since I arrived to China, which is blows my mind as I type it, keeping busy is making the time fly! Before heading to campus in Shenzhen, I had two weeks of travel through the country, which I spent exploring Beijing, walking the Great Wall, and hiking through some stunning national parks in the Hunan province. Navigating all of that was a deep dive into practicing my patchy Chinese, but I managed to get by with a lot of smiling and creative hand gestures. The kindness of strangers here really struck me in those first few weeks, through rides offered when I was carrying my bags through the rain, to shared noodle pots on the overnight train, I felt truly welcomed.
This kindness only continued once I made it to Shenzhen. I was met at the train station downtown, by one of my fellow cohort members. The bus ride from there to campus was full of stories from our summers and excitement for another shared semester. Volunteers were on hand in the International Office to help us through a few hours of the admin side to living in a new country, and soon enough I was in my dorm, climbing up the ladder of my bunk, desperate for a well earnt rest.
Now a couple of weeks into campus life, my love for life in China keeps growing. The struggles of connecting to VPNs aside, it’s been incredible. There is much on offer to do, hiking trails nearby, street markets to explore, hidden beach spots to find, and that’s only Shenzhen! Start planning weekend trips away, and I begin to feel like I’m going to need more than just one semester here.