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Kiara Duarte

First Week in Tianjin

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2020

After a long fourteen hour flight, I finally arrived in Beijing, China. When I arrived, the sun had already gone down, I was completely jetlagged, and in a daze so it hadn’t quite hit that I was on the other side of the world for the first time. As the week carried on and classes started, I began to get a feel for how my time in Tianjin would be. Everyone has been so welcoming, and willing to help as well as curious about us foreigners.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to try many different dishes, both on campus and in Tianjin itself. I’ve found that most canteens have several spicy options, which is perfect for me, and a couple vegetarian options for those who prefer it. I quickly learned that the Chinese culture entails eating in a family style setting, meaning all side dishes are placed in the middle of the table and as you crave an item you reach out with your chopsticks to place just a bit on your plate. This is completely different to the American way of eating as we typically serve ourselves all that we wish to eat in one sitting. I had the chance to take part in this way of eating at the TUC-FIU welcoming dinner, at a Hotpot restaurant, and a Korean Barbecue restaurant. Overall, I really enjoyed it as it felt really intimate amongst a group of new friends.

Korean BBQ

New Adventures Loading….

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2020

It’s the night before my flight to Beijing and I cannot believe how fast the last four months have gone! I can only imagine how fast the actual experience in Tianjin will go.

Hello! My name is Kiara, and I am Junior majoring in International Business at Florida International University. I’m really excited to learn a bit of how hospitality works in Tianjin and see how it correlates with my major. I was born and raised in NYC, the melting pot of cultures, so I can’t wait to see how Tianjin has been influenced by the western world.

Over the last couple of weeks my family has made sure to feed me all my favorite Spanish dishes so I won’t miss them too much. I absolutely love exploring different cultures through their typical dishes as I feel it’s a piece of one’s culture that can be taken wherever you go.  I’m intrigued to find out how people prepare their foods, what foods are traditional for holidays, and what dishes are staples in every home.

I am forever grateful to be a part of a University that creates such great opportunities for its students. Stay tuned to see all the incredible foods & sights China has to offer!

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