This is my first post from China! I arrived in Beijing on the night of the 17th, and with my friend Hannah (who I met on my last study abroad experience!) stayed in ~very~ sketchy Airbnb while we looked for an apartment! I am not ashamed to say, the first couple of days were not fun at all. We ran around the city in 95 degree weather looking for apartments, buying phone plans, opening bank accounts, and doing all the frustrating little tasks that have to be completed when you move to a new place. On top of all that running around, we had to study for our placement exams at IUP! In the end we found our apartment (although we don’t move in till this Sunday) and successfully completed the placement exam, although it was horrible.
One of the best perks of the IUP program is that it is hosted by Tsinghua University 清华大学, one of China’s most prestigious universities. In addition, it is the largest and, arguably, the loveliest of all of China’s university campuses (see pictures below for proof). I get access to three awesome libraries and countless beautiful parks.
The massive libraries are key, as it looks like the homework in this language program will be copious! I will be taking two classes that each meet for two hours a day, one that discusses China’s relationship with Taiwan and another that discusses Chinese culture. Two of the hours are spent in one-on-one classes, where I am paired with one teacher, and the other two hours are in classes of two and three. All in all, the structure is very similar to the structure of the study abroad program I did my Junior year of college, but I hope to be able to better take advantage of the this opportunity to really improve my Chinese!
Sidenote: This post was written a good two weeks ago, and I am only posting it now. The reasons for the delay in posting will be explained in the next chunk I write!