Everybody Loves Amanda


"This is the story of Amand's 17th birthday.

Amanda wakes up to the distinct smell of Beijing’s famous air pollution.

As she heads downstairs to grab her daily breakfast (a slice of bread with Nutella and banana), she notices that hanging on her door is a birthday greeting. All of her friends have written her cards giving her birthday wishes.

Beijing Tests and Final Days


"Ni hao!

The dreaded day of testing finally arrived today as we retook our stamp ID tests to see our improvements from the beginning of the trip.

I am excited to see how much my Chinese has progressed over the last few weeks; however, the stamp ID test is definitely not one that we have been looking forward to very much. Although the test is a bit tedious and boring, it is an important aspect in order to receive the complete experience of Chinese immersion.

Beijing Week 4



"I don’t think any of us can believe how fast these three weeks have gone by! We only have two days left here so we have been making the best out of these last few days by speaking all of the Chinese we can and creating our last memories here with the city and our friends.

Today, as time with our classes runs out, we spent quite a bit of time in these small groups. After a fun class on Chinese movies, TV shows, and musical culture, my class (group 2B) went out to lunch.

Students Eat at Beijing Duck Restaurant, Paint, and More!


Ash R:

I suppose that it’s just my luck to write about what feels like the most relaxed day we’ve had among the usually activity-packed days here in Beijing. But hey, relaxed isn’t a bad thing--and it doesn’t mean that we’re not learning plenty.

A Visit to the Purple Bamboo Park, Interacting with Locals, and Exploring New Culture Classes

Julia E:

This morning, students had the opportunity to explore the Purple Bamboo Park nearby the university where they connected with the locals: asking the locals what activities they enjoyed doing at the park in the morning. Excited by these opportunities to explore the Chinese culture, many students decided to join the various activities that were held at the Purple Bamboo Park such as boat riding.



Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

Rachel S:

"Sunday was a very fun, yet very hot, day! We were all able to call our parents for one hour. The morning was pretty laid back because the call times were staggered.

After that, in the afternoon, we went to The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We were able to walk around with our classes for both.

When we were at The Forbidden City, we went to a few small museums and looked at various buildings and areas. There were blurbs about every individual area and I really learned a lot.

Students Travel to THE Great Wall of China!

Anna L:

"Let me start off by saying my legs are very sore. I thought I knew what it was like to be really sore, but let me tell you I did not, I promise.

Today we conquered the Great Wall, and great doesn’t even begin to cover it. You never knew if you were near the top, bottom, or next resting point (of which there were many.) I also don’t think I have ever been as proud of achieving a school-like field trip.

Students Visit a Local High School, Watch Chinese Movies, and More!

Arden W:

"Today was the first Friday we’ve spent in China, as well as the 4th day of speaking exclusively in Chinese. I know that I am feeling more confident in my language abilities, and I can tell my classmates and friends are as well.

I realized that I know far more Chinese than I would have thought; I can carry conversations with friends, teachers, and random people who ask where we are from with few problems.


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