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Anajae Weste


By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

24 hours until departure!

 Today marks the end of my journey in China. It’s a bittersweet moment. I miss home, but I also know I’ll miss it here when I leave too. China was a great experience. I was able to live in a country halfway across the world, interact and meet new people, and grow as a person. This was my first time being so far away from home especially for an extended period of time. China pushed me out of my comfort zone (in a good way) I was able to fully immerse myself in a new culture. The people here are so kind and welcoming they are quick to help you with any questions you may have. 


As a group trip, we all went to the Tianjin Great Wall. It was a HIKE; I didn’t expect it to be so much of a workout lol. Definitely wear shorts and bring water (it took about two hours). It was really cool though when you get towards the top you can see the difference between the original Great Wall and the rebuilt version they had to do over the years. We also had a tour guide who was able to inform us of all the history that took part during construction.  

Great Wall

Also, I was able to go to the Beijing Zoo it was one of the places on my list to visit. It was super cheap with our student cards (student discounts are everywhere), and they had a ridiculous amount of animals not just from China but all over the world. I mainly went to see the pandas. It was the highlight of my trip. After the zoo, we went to go to the Pearl Market, a place where you can get anything from electronics to souvenirs; bargaining with the sellers can get you some really good prices for stuff. I was able to get a load of things for my family and finish off my gift list. 

Giant panda
Giant panda

Now in the last 24 hours I have in China I’m packing and looking forward to our last family dinner we have planned for tonight 🙁 

MJ doggy chips
Hey Tea

Goodbye Tianjin

Hello Florida (again) 

Study abroad group spring 2019


By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

Hi guys,

We are halfway through the semester YAY! It’s crazy to think I’ve already been here for two and a half months; time is flying by so fast. Now that midterms are over, we start to prepare for our finals and final projects. I was worried about attending school in another country but it honestly is a great experience. Class sizes are much smaller so it is easier to keep up and students get to interact with the professor more often. Professors really care that you understand everything they are teaching and are willing to go over the topic as many times as needed for you to understand.

As for my social life, I’ve made good friends with the students I came with from FIU. We often travel together with Beijing being the most recent place. Beijing is only thirty minutes away by bullet train and costs about $25 round trip. We’ve been multiple times visiting places like the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Pearl Market, etc… It’s a beautiful city and the capital of China.  We are able to see so many remarkable artifacts that have been around before the United States was even built. Of course, we had to try some authentic street food and the world famous Beijing duck, which is delicious.  We also got some souvenirs for our friends and family back home.

This trip is quickly coming to an end, and I look forward to seeing what else I will do while I’m here.

Chinese New Year/ Spring Festival

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

The Chinese New Year/Spring festival took place during our two-week break from school. During the break, I along with seven other students took a five hour train to Shanghai. Shanghai was just wonderful – much different from Tianjin – and because we stayed in Pudong everything was within walking distance. Shanghai also more “tourist friendly.” I was surprised to discover how many “western” style eateries there were. I’m not lying when I say one of the best burgers I’ve ever had was in China.

While in Shanghai we visited the Pearl Tower , Jing’an Temple, Xaihai Temple, Disney, Shanghai Museum, and Hangzhou. Disney was my favorite thing out of the whole trip. I’ve been looking forward to going since I got here. The park is beautiful – it’s the newest out of all the Disney parks and has rides the others didn’t. Not only that, the castle is the biggest one I’ve seen – definitely a place I believe everyone should try to visit when coming to Shanghai.

We visited some historical sites too. The Shanghai Museum had artifacts dating all the way back to the Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). The temples had statues that people would come and pray to. We also visited a neighboring city, Hangzhou, where we ate, visited a mall, and walked miles around the west lake. All in all, our break was amazing! If Shanghai wasn’t so far away I would’ve definitely gone back.

Street food

Arrival/Start of Classes

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

Hi All,

Today marks my first week in China. Exactly seven days ago, I, along with five other students began our four-month journey for the first time. Fortunately for our group, we had two other students who would be here for their second and third semester (Shivam and Nersi) to help us out. Also from the time we arrived, we had a group of Chinese students who were apart of the “Golden Panthers” working with us to get everything situated from bank accounts, sim cards, even meal cards. They’ve been a great help. I no longer have to stress about those things because they helped me sort it all out. 

Classes started this week just like at FIU.  We spent the first day just going over the syllabus and what is expected/needed for the class. All the professors seem nice and care about attendance. I don’t expect much difference on how classes are run here versus Miami. I’ll keep you guys posted, but I honestly don’t have too much to say since we didn’t really do anything yet.

The campus is huge, literally like a little town. Everything is on-campus – a supermarket, bank, barber, etc…. A lot of things you will need can be found here. They have multiple food places, even a three-story canteen, which is my personal favorite. And everything is so cheap here I spend less than $5 a day on food. I’m really enjoying my time here so far. 

Pre-Departure: 8 Days!

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2019

8 days until departure! Hello, everyone, my name is Anajae Weste, and I’m currently a sophomore at FIU. This will be my first time being so far away from home, and I am ecstatic to say the least. I’ve been telling everyone I’ll be studying in China for the Spring 2019 semester and how much I’m looking forward to it.

Because I’ll be leaving right after Christmas, my friends and family thought it would be a great sent off to throw me a surprise “CHRISTMAS FAREWELL PARTY.” I wasn’t expecting that at all, and it makes leaving more bittersweet. Although I know I’ll be missing home, the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received makes me want to embark on this journey that much more.

Preparing to live in a completely different country, I did A LOT of research –  and I mean A LOT. I spent hours on end looking up what/what not to bring. I am the “what- if” queen when it comes to packing, which causes me to overpack 10/10 of the times I go on trips. Because I’m only allowed 2 checked bags, I really had to prioritize what I really needed to bring and what I could buy after I arrived. This had to be one of the hardest things for me to do but after a very, very, veryyyyy long time I did it.

Finally packed and ready to go. Bye, Bye Florida. Hello China!

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