Hi my name is Alan, and I’m currently an accounting student on an exploration seminar at Tsinghua University in Beijing. I studied Chinese at UW for the past year, so this program seemed perfect for me to connect the language skills I learned in the classroom to the culture of China. After a long flight from Seattle to Seoul, South Korea and a transfer from Seoul to Beijing, we finally arrived. My first impression when our group got outside the airport was that Beijing was very hot and very humid. The bus ride to Tsinghua University provided a view of many landmarks such as the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest. Since we got in quite late to our dorms, our teacher already had food waiting for us. Ironically our first meal in Beijing was McDonald’s. So after a full day of traveling and a stomach full of McDonald’s we all headed to bed to rest up for our first day in Beijing.
Surprisingly I wasn’t jet lagged at all and had no trouble waking up in the morning. Following breakfast we went to culture class on Chinese government, Chinese culture, and Chinese history. We learned a lot of basic information such as how the Chinese government works and some background on Chinese culture and customs. After class we had lunch and then went on a tour of the Tsinghua campus with a few current students. The campus is so big that it seems like its own village. Unlike the schools in the States, Tsinghua isn’t just inhabited by students, but there are many ordinary citizens that set up shops, use the facilities, and work at the university. The rest of the week is packed with exciting activities such as visiting the Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, and the Forbidden City. I look forward to visiting these landmarks and being able to share these experiences with you guys.