Chemical Engineering Major
Engineering in China, Summer II Short-Term Faculty Led Program
The flight over to China was exhausting. Twelve hours on a plane with a child constantly pushing the button that calls the stewardess and I couldn’t wait to get off of the plane. Luckily, I am traveling with a friend. It’s nice to travel with a friend because you always have someone to talk to.
Beijing airport is busy; when you don’t know where to go, follow the crowd. Immigration and getting our luggage was a breeze. Now, how to get to the hostel. Beijing is nice because the metro goes to most of the city and even connects to the airport.
I highly recommend staying at a hostel. It’s usually cheaper, there are people that speak English, and many people from around the world use them. Yay, more friends!
The hostel that we stayed at was called Leo Hostel. They are a great hostel and they give you directions from the Beijing Airport using the metro.
Most of everything to see in Beijing is about a mile away or a short metro ride.
First experience of ordering food: not as hard as I thought it would be. Choose a restaurant that has pictures; this way, you can just point and you have an idea of what you’re getting instead of blinding asking for a dish.
First day of exploration.
Itinerary: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Beijing Zoo.
Let me just say, China is amazing. The heat is real. The humidity is trapped by the pollution in the city; the sun also gets intensified through the smog. BUT it’s amazing. All of these people and all of this culture that is sitting in the middle of the city.
The people in the city, I came to know, are mostly tourist. Many people will stop to take a picture with you. Western people are desirable in China and people tend to see Americans as celebrities. It’s definitely a bit of a culture shock because in our culture, we don’t see Americans taking pictures with foreign people. I can’t recall a time where I felt like a celebrity in Kalamazoo.
I really recommend seeing every tourist attraction that Beijing has to offer because it is so interesting to see a city thriving around ancient artifacts and the history of a culture’s birth. I promise that Beijing will not disappoint, but it might get you too excited and make you walk 15 miles your first day in China. Needless to say, we aren’t in Kalamazoo anymore.