Life Abroad from the Perspectives of the Students!
Beijing Academy students write about their experiences with full Chinese immersion and life abroad!
In the words of the students, here's what went on today:
"Today, we ventured to the Summer Palace and Peking University. To go to the Summer Palace, you need to buy a ticket for 10 yuan. After that, you need to hike up these rigid, rock-shaped stairs. There were over 300 stairs! After this, you can see over the great lake surrounding the palace. After this, my friends and I went down the stairs heading towards the sound of Chinese music; we were interested in what it was. To our surprise, it was just a street performer dancing. One of our friends joined him, and people started videotaping them. It was very funny!
We left Summer Palace and headed toward Peking University. There, we heard about the college and visited the library. We were all very tired after this long day of walking. After the college visit, we ate lunch at a very high scale restaurant. As we exited the restaurant, there was a vendor selling an interesting yellow hat. He was selling it for 20 yuan and my friend lowered it down to 16 yuan he is a good negotiator; he knows a lot of Chinese. All in all, today was very eventful and I will remember later in my life."
"To start with, I can say that it would be very easy to say that I want to live in China from what I have seen during this program. The classes are well-structured and flexible; for example, I cannot read Mandarin, so my teacher tells me what the characters are before we move on. We went to the palace museum, which I am told is only one of a few palaces that have alternated inhabitance with the change of emperors. On the way to this palace, I saw two Buddhist monks sitting on a bench and on the way back I saw a man with one arm lip-singing karaoke. When we go by and take pictures of China, the people in China take pictures of us because foreigners are not too often seen. Today, I found out the significance of an international plan because when I tried to call my mom, a Chinese girl picked up instead. After a few trial and errors we found that Yahoo worked fine for communicating to my parents. I will more than likely revisit the program then hopefully with the few years I have left I could become fluent as I have heard you can learn a full courses worth in these four weeks."
"This morning, all the students got up and prepared to visit the Summer Palace. Once we arrived, we were free to walk on our own. Some of our class walked around the lake and explored both the inner buildings and outer gardens of the palace. Many people would walk and stare, while some asked to have their kids take pictures with us. One family even had one of the students hold their young son as they took a picture. Two and a half hours later, we grabbed lunch, consisting of a variety of meats, vegetables and noodles. We then headed to Beijing University, where many college students had just graduated. There, we toured the college campus before finally heading back to CNU. After we returned, we learned how to finally use our emergency phones. That evening our RAs returned our own phones to us in order to contact family and friends, as we will do every weekend. Unlike this weekend, tomorrow we will attend classes, marking our first full week of Chinese class."