(I started writing this three months ago, and have only just finished it now.
Better late than never?)
One thing I can say for certain is that this past year has changed me. Challenging my independence, patience, and maturity, so I think it’s safe to say I have grown from the whole experience. I don’t think enough people emphasise just how testing a year abroad is. Of course, I am glad I went, I learnt so much! However, it was likely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. At the beginning I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. I have always known I could do anything I set my mind to, but in the back of my mind there had been this doubt that a year abroad would just be too much. Yet here I am a year on, and I am coming out the other side stronger for it.
Continue reading “My Year in China”
(Before I start, I’d just like to say that wifi has been super bad the past few weeks making it hard to do much online, so that’s why it’s been a while since my last entry. That and the fact I have exams and assignments due in two weeks time. However, you can all rest in the knowledge I’m still alive and working away in Beijing.)
I visited the Temple of Heaven (briefly) last weekend. I got a tad lost trying to find my way around and stumbled upon the exact spot I stood on five years ago when I visited as a school student as part of a Hanban/Confucius Institute Summer Bridge Camp. It was strange being back. It’s been so long since I was last there, yet I recognised it instantly. It made me think about how fast time passes, and just how quickly things we think will never end (dramatic pause) are over. I cross off my calendar every day and watch as my life ticks by. I wonder how quickly this will all just become another memory, a photo I look at and reminisce over. I may not be able to slow down time, but I can at least make the most of the time I do have.
Continue reading “Five Years Later”
So one question my friends and I keep asking ourselves, and each other, when going to pay for anything is “how much is this in pounds?” The constant mental calculation from yuan to pounds to figure out how much we’re actually spending is slowly becoming easier, but for those of you who don’t know, and are ready to go for a shopping spree in China, here’s a little guide!
Continue reading “GBP to RMB”
The three main things I’ve found myself struggling with since I arrived in Beijing are food, temperature, and the language barrier. These things can sometimes make my day just that bit more difficult than I feel I can cope with. So finding new ways to cope in this foreign environment are more than quite important. I have started finding small pieces of solutions to the culture shock of being on the other side of the world, however I’m still trying to work a fair chunk of it out.
Continue reading “Facing Challenges”
On my third week in Beijing now. A few more days and it’ll be the longest I’ve stayed in a foreign country. It’s so strange to think about really, how far away from home I am. Flying doesn’t help with that I think, you don’t really comprehend how far you’ve traveled, it’s all sort of a blur of films, sleep and plane food. Even so, here I am 4,928 miles away from home, just a bit further than my usual 268 miles when I’m back at uni… And, of course, with such a distance comes homesickness. I’ve always gotten quite homesick because I tend to spend a lot of time with my parents when I’m home, whether we are just watching movies, going on dog walks or late night chats, I always enjoy spending time with them. I told my mum last night that I was missing her and my dad a lot, her reply was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my little bout of sadness “That’s perfectly understandable. We’re awesome parents. Xx” She always knows how to make me laugh, even if I’m miles and miles away.
Continue reading “Homesickness and Learning to Live in a Whole Different World”
I am on my year abroad in Beijing, and let me tell you, it’s quite nuts. I’m attending Beijing Language and Culture University, which to be fair has a really cool campus, and has lots to do in the surrounding area. However, all the stuff you have to do to register and actually be able to attend the uni is stressful to say the least. Continue reading “First Week in Beijing”