From Thought To Action

Back in February when walking to class, I saw a poster at UML that said “2 Week China Trip” worth 3 credits for undergrad and graduate students. That night when making conversation at dinner I just brought up to my Fiancé how cool I thought it was that the school was offering a trip like that and could you believe the opportunity that would be for the students. Before I could say anymore, he replied: “well, you’re obviously applying right?!” I looked up at him a bit surprised by his enthusiasm and said: “do you really think I should?” He said, “you have been looking for a way to expand your network, right? And I know that you’ve always wanted to go to China since we started dating, this is perfect!” I thought about it for a while and said: “you know, your right, I will apply!”  

Fast forward to hearing back that I was accepted to be part of the program, I was absolutely thrilled and of course a bit nervous. What would China be like? Would I fit in even though I was the only grad student and about 5 years older than every else? How could I survive being away from my home and Fiancé for 2 weeks? Will I be able to adjust to the 12-hour time difference? Well, luckily, I didn’t let these questions stop me from making one of the best decisions of my life! I got on that plane and after about a days travel wound up in a totally different country ready to make the most of every opportunity that I could.

My Amazing Team!

The first day of class, when I first meet my team, I was wondering how it would work out with an Indian student, three Chinese students, and me? Would we get along? Would we be able to work together well? How will we be at communicating with one another? Luckily, I believe I was assigned the best group of students I could have asked for. We became fast friends, even opting to forgo the free dinners at the hotel and decide to go and continue to spend time together outside of the classroom. It is incredible even though sometimes we need a little extra time for us to type sometime into google translate to understand what the other person is trying to say. I feel that this trip has opened up my eyes to international relations and the fantastic people who can live half a world away from you!