As I come back home after my study abroad in China, everyone has asked, “What is your favorite thing about China?” After much contemplation, I realize that China is so unique because of its people.
There is this “hustle” mentality that sweeps the nation. During my time in China and speaking to the other students in the class, we quickly realized how the students hustle to get ahead. They are very competitive when it comes to school. One student told us how she took 16 classes in one semester. I could barely take 4 back at UMass Lowell. These students were so focused in succeeding. Another student told me how she takes exams outside of school for different languages and certifications. They don’t stop at all. They are always finding what is next. I truly admired by this mentality and it has inspired me to keep moving forward.
Additionally, the people were extremely hospitable whether it be the students we met in class or complete strangers. The other students we met in our classes would go out of their way to make sure we were all enjoying our experience. I was so lucky to have some amazing teammates that would take us out to see Nanjing. One of the most memorable moment was the day we went to go see the new campus at NJUPT. We had learned about how China has a shared bike business and I had mentioned to my teammates that I never truly learned how to ride a bike. I could pedal but had trouble driving straight on my own. My teammate, Mickey, was determined to teach me. She held the bike handles and sprinted with me to other side of the campus to make sure I didn’t fall off the bike.
Even the strangers we had met were very kind to us. The first two days of being China we went on tours to Yancheng and Yangzhou. We were all continuously stopped by strangers who wanted pictures with us. They treated us like celebrities. They would give us compliments and hugs and sometimes even gifts.
Here is a picture we took at the YanCheng ChunQiu Land.