Guest post by: Winnie Chen is a Sophomore majoring in Finance and Information Systems. This Fall, Winnie participated in a study abroad Chinese Bridge China Study Trip.
Going on this trip, I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, yet nervous because I was entering a foreign country, even though my parents are from China. The last time I went to China was almost fifteen years ago. I felt disconnected from the language and culture since it’s been so long. However, after I arrived in China and experienced more and more things, I became excited as the days went on. Although our schedule was very hectic and tiring, I still had fun and learned a lot throughout the trip. All of the experiences and trips we visited were memorable.
My favorite part of the trip would either be visiting the panda sanctuary or Jinli road. These two places were my favorite places because these places cannot be experienced without actually visiting China. Our tour guide said that pandas were originated from Chengdu and how it’s difficult to see them anywhere else.
The tour guide compared Chengdu people to pandas because they’re both very lazy. He said that the reason why pandas were going extinct was because they were too lazy to mate so, eventually their numbers decreased. Due to their laziness, the Chinese people built a sanctuary to help them mate and protect them from any harm. And as time went on, the number of pandas is rising and currently they are not endangered anymore.
Jinli road was also one of my favorite places. It was an unforgettable and beautiful place. The road was lively as if s a festival was happening. I have never experienced something similar to Jinli road before and I would love to go back. They had different kinds of street food like a cheese-stick hot dog, mochi on a stick, a flower pudding, and much more! I got a fried mochi on a stick and it was really sweet, crispy, and fresh. The employees make the mochi on the spot, so it adds a new form of excitement.
In addition to these exotic and fun foods, they also had unique souvenirs. There was one souvenir shop that I specifically liked because it was customizable. They were selling rice engravings and putting it inside a clear pebble. The clear pebble can either become a necklace or a keychain. There were also two sides of the rice that could be written on and many colors to choose from for the keychain/necklace. They turned out really pretty and unique, so I decided to get a few for souvenirs! My friends liked how it turned out and I’m happy I got to experience it firsthand.
As this trip came to an end, I was sad to head back. It was a dream come true, and I wasn’t ready to end it so soon. I am really grateful that I had this opportunity to go and experience this trip. Not only did I come back with more knowledge of the language and culture, but also made a lot of new, close friends. I hope that I will be able to experience something like this in the future and hopefully, inspire others to take the same opportunity. I want to thank you again Mr. and Mrs. Bontje for giving me this opportunity and supporting me!