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Study Abroad in China

The Great Outdoors

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers At Peking University, students in the school of Chinese as a Second Language are taken on one expense-paid field trip per semester. Last semester our teachers took us to the Summer Palace and out to dinner. This semester we went to the Beijing Botanical Garden so I hopped myself up on allergy pills and took a lot of pictures. I’d never seen so many flowers in my life. The Russian Embassy I don’t have any religious background and in fact have never even attended a […]

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Spring Adventures

I’ve been going on lots of adventures! Most notably, I visited a portion of the great wall in Tsingdao. People were shocked when I told them I had never been to the great wall, considering I’ve been here for eight months now. The reason is actually deliberate.  In general I don’t enjoy tourist attractions, especially those set up for foreigners. I think in order to experience the real China your time is better spent elsewhere. I am saving the touristy part of the great wall for when my girlfriend comes to visit […]

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A New Semester

Chunjie Before I came to China, I heard a lot about the spring festival.  It is the most important holiday in China and equivalent to a lot of western countries’ emphasis on Christmas. During this time Chinese go home to spend time with their families. It also acts as the break for students between the fall and spring semesters. Though all of my friends had left campus, I originally planned to spend this time working and doing some site-seeing. Something I didn’t know about this holiday is that most companies […]

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Fall Goes Fast When You’re Having Fun

Halloween So Halloween was a lot of fun. I was invited to a party by a friend of mine who is currently studying at Normal University through CET. The two of us were Chinese classmates at the University of Minnesota for the past two years so it’s been pretty crazy to meet up again on the other side of the Earth. I wish I had taken some pictures of the party but alas I was too busy having fun to remember! The Summer Palace Yeah yeah I know, I’ve said before and I’ll […]

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How’s Classes Alex?

I’m going to keep this blog honest. I want to tell you about the good and the bad times I have while I’m here. As such, this post is going to be a mix of both. My first week of classes was not a good time. In fact, I would say it was a very very bad time. Students in China are not catered to in the same way as students are in America. This means if you have problems, it is a lot less the University’s responsibility to help you. It’s your responsibility to help […]

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Arrival and Orientation

Hello again reader. If my count is correct, today is my twelfth day in China. I was not able to blog during the past few days due to the extremely busy orientation schedule, and it hasn’t helped that my choice to upgrade to Windows 10 has effectively impeded my VPN from connecting. But I’m here now, and I’m going to talk about what I’ve been up to. Health Forms and Move-in I had to go to the doctor again to get all the tests done that I already underwent in […]

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A Year in China: Introduction

Hello reader, My name is Alex. Here I will be taking you on a tour of my time spent studying abroad at Peking University in Beijing, China. To start off, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m currently 21 years old. I spent the past three years studying Political Science at the University of Minnesota, but I’m originally from the small town of Saukville, Wisconsin. I have LOTS of hobbies, but the biggest one is probably recording music. Throughout this blog I’ll be posting a lot […]

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Luke: Birthday Shenanigans

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and to celebrate some friends and I went to the Beijing Aquarium. At the aquarium we saw tons of different kinds of fish, jellyfish, sharks, sting rays, sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins, and beluga whales. After the aquarium we went to a really great Chinese restaurant for dinner. One of my friends even made a pie! Needless to say it was a great day! Beluga whale being fed Mammal show Table 1 Maple almond pecan pie!

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Luke: Parental Supervision & Chinese New Year

In early February my parents came to Beijing for two weeks to visit and go sightseeing. During the first week we visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and the Lama Temple. Reunited! Campus in winter Forbidden City Great Wall at Badaling   The following Sunday was Chinese New Year, the country’s most celebrated holiday. Also known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is a traditional holiday based on the lunar calendar, so the exact date changes from year to year. My good friend […]

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Luke: Sino Trip Part 2

Our adventures in Sichuan province began as we arrived in the capital, Chengdu. We took a bus from the train station to our hostel, dropped off our bags, and found lunch at a nearby restaurant. After lunch we took a bus to Chengdu’s main shopping district and walked around a bit before heading to People’s Park. The beautiful park was filled with locals, many of them taking part in group dancing (Michael even got into a dance-off with somebody). I was really impressed by the number of people, young and […]

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Luke: Sino Trip Part 1

As the sixth and final week of our winter break approaches, I’ve finally found some time to write about all that’s happened. I spent the first three weeks traveling throughout China with friends. Then I got to spend the past two weeks with my parents, who came to Beijing. For the sake of length, I’ll stretch those five weeks over multiple posts, starting with the first leg of our trip across China. On January 12th, my friends Michael, Yao Li, Julia, Julia (yes, two Julias) and I began our 3-week […]

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Luke: New Year’s in Shanghai

After spending a mellow Christmas in Beijing with friends, I got the chance to do a little traveling. Our school gave us a 4-day weekend for New Year’s, so some friends and I decided to go to Nanjing and Shanghai for some sightseeing. To save time and money, we rode an overnight train to Nanjing on Thursday night. The economy sleeper car, known here as the “hard sleeper,” had rows upon rows of 3 bunks floor to ceiling. With my earplugs at the ready, I climbed into a middle bunk […]

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Luke: Saturday Art Day!

This Saturday my friend Yiwei and I went to 798 Art District, home to Beijing’s contemporary art scene. The area consists of dozens of galleries and shops, housed in Soviet-era factory buildings. We spent a few hours browsing through many of the galleries’ works, finding nearly any type of artwork imaginable – paintings, sculptures, even an airplane wing! That night we kept up with the art theme for the day and went to the opening night of my friend Bethany’s art show. I met Bethany through a Bible study group […]

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Luke: The Hunt for Red, Orange & Yellow October

It’s official: fall weather has finally hit Beijing. Our first round of midterms has come and gone, along with the last of the shorts/t-shirt weather. In an attempt to get some one-on-one time with the fall colors, I went with my friends Yiwei, Lanzhi, and Michael to Fragrant Hills Park, Beijing’s supposed Holy Grail of autumn goodness. Fragrant Hills Park  On Friday we joined in the horde of tourists at the park and climbed our way up the tree-lined hillside. It didn’t take long before we reached a good vantage […]

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Luke: Roadtrip!

Two important Chinese holidays were held this past week (Mid-Autumn Festival, a.k.a. Moon Festival, and National Holiday). I celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival by going to my friend Ellen’s apartment (she’s staying with a host family for the semester) and having dinner with her host family and some other friends. We even got to help her family make dumplings – they turned out pretty good! It was amazing getting to celebrate this traditional Chinese holiday with a Chinese family in their home. It felt a lot like a family gathering back home […]

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