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Jennell Barnett


By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

This was the first Thanksgiving I was away from family. The Golden Panthers helped us feel at home by throwing us a big Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was very delicious!  We played karaoke, virtual reality, and  “guess the liquid” games with the Chinese students that put on the event for us international students. I was very grateful and thankful for the Thanksgiving dinner. I felt right at home with caring people thanks to the students and teachers that worked to organize a happy Thanksgiving dinner.                                                                               

During one of my weekends before the Thanksgiving break, I went to a wedding in Qinghai, which is in the North Central part of China. It was my first time seeing snow in person! It wasn’t much snow, but it was cold and wet in my hands and something different from the hot tropical weather of South Florida that I’m used to.                                                    



Qinghai has beautiful snow mountains and tasty desserts. The people are also very kind. The Chinese wedding was different from our weddings in the U.S. The woman will dress up in red, and the man has to play games to win her. It was a very tearful, romantic moment.   

After my little adventure and the Thanksgiving holiday, it was time to prepare for final presentations, projects, tests, and my departure. My group presentations were a success, and the Chinese students were great to work with. I practiced my presentation skills and used teamwork to get tasks done. 

The day before I left China, I tried Chinese cupping on my back and saw Aqua Man in the movie theater. Yes, the movie was in English.

3 Three Days after leaving China, I walked across the stage to earn my diploma. I took a piece of China with me. I wore the red flower crown around my head that I got from a mountain in China. This was a wonderful last semester to end the journey of obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I am very grateful for this experience! I recommend everyone to take this study abroad journey in China, it will change your life for the better!



By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Xiangshan Mountain

It is now November and it’s becoming cool, especially when the wind blows.  I now have tests, projects, and presentations. I must say, the professors are here to help. My first test I didn’t do well. However, when it was time for the second test, my Mid-Term exam, my professor let me take it on a different day along with other students who needed a different day because I told her I had back to back exams and felt overwhelmed. I later took the exam and scored a 97. The professors want you to do well and are willing to work with you. After my mid-term exams, I went on a class field trip to the country side of Beijing to see the Xiangshan Mountain. It was very beautiful. I must say, there was a swarm of people like moving ants everywhere because China has so many people, especially to see beautiful destination spots.                           

For Halloween I stayed at school to study for my makeup midterm that I scored a 97 on. However, although I didn’t leave school, I went to the badminton court in the gym and played with my Chinese friend. We took funny spooky pictures for Halloween.

You can paint your nails, go to the movies, and the mall. It is a nice experience. There are also many places to eat. The picture with the Christmas lights is at a restaurant inside of Joy City Mall. Joy City Mall is a popular mall that we have all been to. This mall has six floors of greatness! If you do this study abroad program, I recommend you go there. They have some of the same brands and stores in Miami’s malls such as H&M, Nike, Gucci, etc. You can live a regular life here in China, and I recommend anyone to take this study abroad trip!                                                        

Golden Journeys

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

It is now time to study for midterms. Classes are the same level of expectations as Miami.  Professors care about attendance and you must complete all assignments. Professors encourage group projects; I have a group project in every class. It helps you to connect and work with the Chinese students and improves team building skills.

There are also plenty of organizations and activities on campus. The picture below is me attending the Tea Time event, which is a group of Chinese and foreigners that meet to discuss differences of culture, while connecting with each other and enjoying tea with cake. This experience has impacted me as a global citizen and future professional because it teaches me how to connect with people from different backgrounds, religions, and culture which is very useful within the hospitality industry. It also helps enhance one’s public speaking skills.



Before Golden Week, I went to the 798 Art District and the Temple of Heaven. Both are in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven is a historical and ancient site where the emperor used to live. The art district has interesting sculptures. An artist from the art district drew a portrait of my face.

While I was in Beijing, I tried the traditional Beijing duck with the wrap, vegetables, and sauce. I’ve never had duck until I came to China. It tastes delicious. I’ve also tried Korean food, which is spicy, from the canteens on campus.

Coming to China allows you to be open-minded and embrace a new culture. Learning and exploring in a new environment will prepare me for my future professional goals in the industry once I finish studying in China.

During Golden Week, the first week of October, all of China is on holiday, and everyone travels. This means everywhere is packed and crowded with people. Tickets were booked for trains and planes. The later you wait to book the ticket, the higher the price goes because everyone wants to travel. It’s like the airports during Christmas or New Year’s – very busy!  Therefore, I ended up staying in Tianjin and had a blast!

Coming to China, you’ll some of the most caring, genuine, helpful students that will go above and beyond to assist you in any way.  They can ensure that you feel welcome and happy to be in China.

During Golden Week, I went to a nice restaurant with a foreign exchange group with people from several different countries.  The food was delicious.  I also attended a soccer game at Tianjin University’s old campus with foreigners.  I went to a gathering to celebrate the winning team.

Tianjin is a beautiful city with a gorgeous night life, as seen in the shot at night.  Overall, during Golden Week, I relaxed and enjoyed my break from class. Coming to China has been one of my best decisions,  and it will be a helpful experience towards my future career!


Arrival/Start of Classes

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018


Wow, right now all I can say is wow. I am having a blast in China thus far! The excitement and thrills of something new is astounding! I have already stepped outside of my comfort zone by trying eel and lamb. These foods that I do not eat in America surprisingly taste delicious.

Shortly after arrival, the group of international students went to the Tianjin Eye. It was a very interesting experience to see the ferris wheel and the beautiful scenery. We even tried dry, colorful ice that made smoke come out our nostrils and mouth. We walked around the beautiful landscape of Tianjin’s Eye. I even bought a chocolate puppy dessert!

The beginning of classes are just like America. I have a strict professor, but if you do all of your work on time and don’t miss class, you will be fine. I like all my classes because they are interesting and encourage participation. The students are eager to meet me and greeted me with welcoming arms. I am loving my stay in China thus far and I look forward to more adventures!


By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018


The moment has arrived! Tomorrow I will be boarding a flight to my new adventure. My name is Jennell, and I am a senior graduating in December at the end of this trip! This moment is so surreal; I am elated! I would have never thought I would take on such a journey.  I hope to learn and embrace the new environment I will be studying in!

This is a great way to finish my bachelor’s degree. I will take my last classes in Tianjin which is a great asset towards my future career. I want to run a Beach-Front Hotel one day. In doing so, I will have to interact with different cultures; therefore, this trip will be a great experience that can aid in preparing me for success. I am truly grateful this program exists!

I was so excited that I told everyone I was going to study in China this Fall. I spent tireless hours packing neatly and ensuring I have everything. I ended up removing some stuff to make space. I even ordered Chinese money that is beautifully vibrant and colorful. It reminds me of Monopoly money. I also learned a few basic words prior to arrival in China. I hope the other students are as thrilled as me to share this adventure together!

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