The friendships I have made through my time in China are some that I know will be friendships for life. Spending every day and every night with my classmates was a very new experience and one that has helped me grow as a person. Feeling the emotional connection to each person has been life changing for me. During the day everyone was in work mode and we all came together to create the best lesson plans for the children we were working with. After work we spent many meals together talking, laughing and enjoying each others company. We experienced the wonderful culture in Chengdu together. Many of us would have deep and meaningful conversations in the wee hours of the night. We helped each other get through any homesickness or physical sickness that we may have been going through. Acts of kindness from one another like bringing home food from dinner for someone that wasn’t feeling well brought us together as a family. Although we might have had some disagreements at times we always worked through them by consistently communicating with one another. I personally know I have come back with so much more knowledge and drive because of everyone in our group. Thank you for such an amazing journey! Love, Joe
What an incredible 4 weeks! The time just flew by and we couldn’t believe it was over. We gave our final activity without a hitch, even though singing the goodbye song was not easy. He gave our rewards and said our goodbye. This was a special group of kids. Very different than the previous two schools that we had been to, these kids we really got to work with on a daily basis. We were going to miss them without a doubt. We had a group lunch then headed back to wrap everything us. I ran a couple errands, ate some food, packed all my stuff, and just chilled with others for the rest of the afternoon and evening. It had been a crazy week and a crazy 4 weeks, so moments in which I could relax were much appreciated. Even more so we had an early wake up time the next day, so I didn’t want to get too ridiculous. The night ended singing Laura and Oliver happy birthday, then it was time to head to sleep. The program has officially come to an end. --Ben
While it is hot and humid here in Chengdu, there has been a fair share of thunder storms, lightning, and even a monsoon!! I have never heard thunder so loud in my life!! It has been such a cool experience seeing how different the weather can vary and how powerful nature can be. The team has been safe and sound from this kind of weather. We have just been enjoying the weather changes from the inside... mostly.
We decided to spend our last free Saturday with Dr. Rodriguez downtown at Chunxi Road. Ever since our first taste of inner Chengdu, we have been wanting to visit the Dali & Picasso exhibit. So we decided to make a day of it! We started off by grabbing boba at Gong Cha to help cool us off, as cool drinks are very scarce in Chengdu. Then, to heat us back up we made our way to some delicious vegan hot pot! As we chose our ingredients, the waitress looked at us in shock of how much food we were ordering. To her surprise, we ate most of it-- from tofu to lotus root to pumpkin. Yummy!
After lunch, we went to the exhibit. We wandered from piece to piece in awe of all of the stunning artwork these two talented men had created through so many different mediums-- paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and even films. After the exhibit, we treated ourselves to a luxury cup of Starbucks coffee and chatted. Once we finished, we visited the mall for a second and headed home! We were so happy to have such a fun day with Dr. Rodriguez!
- Diarra & Symphony
We spent Friday meeting some of the parents from Future Eagles! We had so much fun getting closer to the students and parents. They really enjoyed our songs and games we played with them! My favorite game to play with them was Golden Bridges (our SF version of London Bridge's) and freeze dance! We are all looking forward to teaching our new curriculums to them next week!
Please check out the parent newsletter about the work our Psychology Study Abroad team is doing.
Today is our last day in Xindu before we relocate to Chengdu!! It was such an honor to be here with these children and their families, who have shown nothing but acceptance and beyond great hospitality. This photo is at a barbeque they decided to have for us where we spent a whole day with them eating, playing games, and building relationships. I got to learn a little bit about each child's personality as I got to watch them interact with each other, as well as us. They have brought so much joy into my heart and I will miss them all greatly! This trip has been amazing so far and eventhough I will miss this set of kids, I cant wait to see what experiences Chengdu holds for the team and me in the following weeks!! --Jana Wong
Today my partner and me worked with 2-3 year olds. We did activities such as reading time, dancing and signing, scavenger hunt and bubbles. This particular photo was one of my favorite. This boy was so captivated by the bubbles that he wanted to blow them on his own. These kids are adorable and very fun to work with! I am thankful that we got to work with children at the Deyang preschool! ⁃ Laura A.
On Thursday, all of the study abroad students used the Chengdu subway system for the first time to explore more of the city center. We were all amazed by how clean, high tech, and easy to use the subway system was in comparison to public transportation in San Francisco. We hopped on the transit at Panda Avenue and got off at the Wide and Narrow Alleys. Here, we got to explore the beautifully adorned shopping alleys of downtown Chengdu. In the alleys some of us bought trinkets for family and friends back home, lots of tasty street food, or took up a cup of Starbucks coffee while people watching. After lunch, we explored a similar shopping area called Jinli. To get home, we took a bus straight to the city center where we experienced the big city full of name brand shopping stores like Gucci, Prada, Versace, and more! We stood in awe looking up at all of the big screens full of advertisements. Xindu is fun, but as a bunch of big city folks we can't wait for a taste of Chengdu! - Symphony Wren
I signed up for the San Francisco half-marathon before I realized I was going to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to study abroad in Chengdu. When I told my classmates that I was running in the S.F half-marathon the day after I get back from Chengdu they were so supportive right from the beginning. I remember the first day I met Jana she said she would run with me in China and she did. This great support system has carried me through these four weeks in China and I feel I am ready to run when I get back. Thank you to those who have run with me especially my roomie Ben who is now a friend for life. He has run with me a few times a week and almost every week we have been here. It has been awesome to run with you Ben! Special appearances by Dr. Paik and Dr Cookston made for some great running in China! I look forward to at least finishing😊 --Joe