China: The Finale

Final exams are finished. We officially completed the CET program. Our language pledge is over. The two months of intensive classes are finally done. I’m en route to Pensacola, FL for vacation with my family. But this ending is much less climactic than what I had always imagined. On the days I spent cooped in…

China: Marriage & Art in Shanghai

Since I’m stressing about final exams next week and don’t have a lot of time or energy to write – I just edited an article I wrote last summer in Shanghai that I never published anywhere; hope you enjoy!  Emerging from the chaos of the Saturday afternoon Shanghai subway traffic, my classmate, Hope, and I loosened…

China: Culture of “Mianzi”

As final exams creep up, I’ve been spending most of my time working on my final 2,000-character paper about the Mosuo ethnic minority group. Besides going to classes, going out to eat, visiting a couple museums and getting a massage, I’ve spent this entire past week in my dorm studying. I’ve also been thinking a…

China: Empty & Full

Random Chinese people walking down the street gathered in the front courtyard of our hotel to watch my classmates and I as we danced to a rendition of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” Considering that we were in the relatively rural county of Jidong – home to Fenghuangshan (Phoenix mountain) – I wouldn’t be surprised if…

China: 自相矛盾 & the “Eastern Moscow”

  334 BCE: “My shields are so sturdy, nothing can pierce them!” a street vendor yelled amid the chaos of a marketplace in the state of Chu. After the unexpected conquest of Yue, everyone in Dangyang was in high spirits – especially the vendor; he knew he was going to make a pretty penny from all…

Last Days in London

The worst part about studying abroad is having to leave. When you’ve moved to a different country for a certain amount of time, you become settled there. New friends, new *favourite* coffee shops, new routines, and then you have to leave it. I got so incredibly lucky during my time in England to make new…

Harry Potter, Hikes, and…Soccer?

When you study abroad, one of the best things that happens is that you make friends who live in your host country, and one of the best things about studying abroad in England is that no matter where they live, they don’t really live that far from your uni. One of my last days in…

Three Nights in Brussels

For my entire life I’ve always wanted to go to Belgium. When I was younger, my neighbors had family connections to Brussels, and they would go visit every summer, bringing back stories of this cool European city that my child sized mind could only dream of visiting one day. Luckily, in early June, I got…

Why I’m learning Chinese

On my first leg of the journey from Cleveland, Ohio to Harbin, China, I sat next to a man from Brooklyn who would not stop complaining about everything: the minor delay in take-off, the noise the plane engine made, how much he hated flying, the disrespectful people in New York City, etc., etc. “I actually…

Recommendations in Reading

When studying abroad, it’s imperative to try and live like a local. I was fortunate enough to become very close with the people I live with, all but one of whom are actually British, and this helped me really settle into the British way of life. With this being said, there are a few things…

24 Hours in Edinburgh

Last week I got the opportunity to visit Edinburgh on a last minute trip to Scotland. I’d not been to Scotland yet, and given that Scotland is where some of my ancestors are from (shoutout to clan Bruce), I felt like I needed to go, so I woke up at 4:45 in the morning to…

Reading to Rome

  At the beginning of April, I got the opportunity to spend a few days in the city of Rome with some of my friends I’ve made while being on study abroad. As someone studying Italian, this opportunity was one I couldn’t pass up, and I’m so incredibly happy that I decided to go. We…