Where Has Time Gone: My Farewell!

Our amazing journey is almost done! Learn what I will be doing during my final two weeks in China, what motivated me to come to China, and what I hope to do in the future. I even have some advice for you!

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Ni hao Pengyou! Hello friends! I hope you guys are doing great. I just finished my last exams here at Peking University. In two weeks, I return to the United States! Do you guys remember where I live? Yes, New Jersey! It is a little bit sad having to leave this amazing city and beautiful country. I had a lot of great moments here. I visited many cities in China, like Nanjing, Shanghai, Guilin, Kaifeng, Luoyang, and of course Beijing. I am excited because next week I will spend my 21st birthday in Inner Mongolia! I plan on being there for a few days. I will be riding camels and horses, drinking Mongolian milk, and seeing Mongolian performances. I think it seems like the perfect trip to finish my amazing journey! Ever since I was a freshman in college, I have wanted to visit China. I feel really blessed and happy to have accomplished one of my goals. Let me tell you a little bit of how I was inspired to come to China.

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I was born and raised in an urban area called Queens, which is part of New York City. I loved Queens because it was very diverse, which means that there are many people from different countries. This allowed me to learn about different cultures, languages and traditions. I had friends from all over the world like Greece, El Salvador and Japan. I loved going to their house and staying over for dinner, because I could taste new and tasty food such as gyros, pupusas and sushi. Yum! Apart from my friends, I also spent time with relatives who live in different parts of the world such as Ecuador, Spain and Italy. Through them, I learned about famous tourist attractions like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I also learned about local traditions such as the importance of flamenco in Spain. As I learned more about different cultures and traditions, I became more obsessed with traveling the world.

When I was ten, I went on my first trip as I traveled to Ecuador. I lived and studied there for two years! While I was there, I had Spanish language classes in the morning and spent my afternoons in the park playing soccer with Ecuadorian friends. In Ecuador, I also went to many restaurants and tried local Ecuadorian dishes like “cuy,” which is cooked guinea pig. As strange as it may sound, it was delicious!

Through my childhood experiences, I became more enthusiastic about a future career in international affairs. I loved speaking to people who were different than me, because I learned about new cultures, traditions and languages. These experiences have shaped the way I am today as they have made me eager to explore the globe and make a difference in the world. I want to become a Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State. I want to travel all over the world and meet people from different backgrounds. I want to learn from them and have them learn from me as I teach them about American values, history and culture. Through this cultural exchange, I hope to help people from different countries understand each other a little bit better in order to have a more peaceful world. When you grow up, what would you like to do?

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When I started college at Fordham University, I began to study Mandarin Chinese. You may ask, why did you take Chinese? Well, after going to a Chinese New Year celebration in New York’s Chinatown and visiting a Chinese Christian church, I became curious about China and its language, history and culture. Soon after I took Chinese language classes, an East Asian history course, and joined the Asian Cultural Exchange club. As I learned about Mao Zedong, Tai Chi, and the Chinese language, I became passionate about China. This motivated me to study abroad in Beijing, China! I received a Gilman International Scholarship to study in Beijing, China. Thankfully, the Gilman International Scholarship program helped me study abroad and achieve my goal of living and studying in China. I submitted an application and received a scholarship to pay for the cost of traveling to, living in and going to school in China.

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This shows you that dreams really do come true: My dream to visit China came true! If you work really hard and motivate yourself, you can achieve your goals too! Please remember to study and go to college! College will open so many doors for you to accomplish your goals. Also, please remember to study abroad! Visiting another country is really important, as it will open your eyes to different cultures, people and languages. It will also fill you up with so much knowledge. While living in Beijing, I have learned so much about China and about myself. Remember this quote all your life: The world is like a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. Never forget it!

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for reading my blogs, seeing my pictures and videos, and virtually joining me in this amazing adventure in China. I hope you all had as much fun as I did! Zai Jian! Farewell!

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