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Karen Sanchez

This Journey has come to an End

By Marriott Tianjin China Program

It has been unreal how time passes. This trip has been the best I have ever had, and I cannot wait to return next semester. I had a lot of fun, made many friends, and ate delicious food. The last few days before leaving I was going insane trying to buy as many gifts as I could. Packing everything was crazy, trying to see what I would leave behind and things I would take back home. Also, during that week before leaving I went to eat at different places, trying to take in everything before leaving. I went to eat hotpot 2 days in a row, that was delicious; they have really good fried bread that I will never forget. I cannot wait to have it again.

The time I had spent in China was amazing — out of this world great! The group that I spent these 4 months with were friendly, nice, and gave me good advisce. I miss them already, and I think we will continue to be good friends after this trip. I am glad that I decided to go back and continue to experience more adventures next semester!



It’s Almost Time to go Home!

By Marriott Tianjin China Program

I can’t believe how quickly the semester has gone by. I realized a couple of hours ago that I’m almost half way home. I feel like I still have so much to see and discover, but I also feel like I will be coming home with stories to tell, lots of pictures, and great memories. This is is by far the best experience I’ve had, and that’s coming from someone who has never traveled. Realizing now that I have a month left in China, I want to see as much a possible these next few weeks.

Although, two weeks ago, I had a very special experience. I stayed over at one of the Chinese student’s home for the weekend in Beijing, and that was beyond great! I got to try her mom’s home cooking, yum! I went to the summer palace which was beyond beautiful, and peaceful, and so unreal. I also went to the Beijing zoo, and guess what I saw? Pandas! They are so cute, but they can’t stop eating. On another note, meeting new people here almost every day is amazing. I love how my we-chat is filling up with new contacts. If anyone ever gets a chance to participate in this study abroad, I say go for it, its an experience that you will never forget.



Golden Week!

By Marriott Tianjin China Program

Hi everyone!

I know that back in Miami, FIU students do not have a week off in the fall semester. But guess what?  We do here in China!! It is a time of relaxation, traveling, and karaoke, which is what I mostly did on Golden Week, but I do not have pictures because the rooms were dark. Not only did I go karaoke, but I went to different restaurants. Below are pictures that I took of my food. The last picture is one of the restaurants that was introduced to me by a Chinese student at FIU.  It is called hotpot, where you order different meats, veggies and other ingredients and the person starts to put them into this boiling pot in the middle. Delicious!

Another place that I went to and I loved very much was Korean BBQ! It is located inside a mall on the fourth floor and it is located very close to campus; but I could not get the name because it was in Korean (I am very sorry). I also spent the weekend in Beijing, and as you can see from the pictures below, I spent it with my friend, Angie. It is her hometown and she showed me different temples, and we ate delicious noodles. Yummy! They took this picture of me in a traditional Chinese dress when I was passing by a booth in a street market. That is what I mostly did on Golden Week, and let me just say it was great! I hope to have more of this amazing adventures. Which reminds me, we are half-way through the semester, and I do not want to leave! Until next time!

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My Arrival to China!

By Marriott Tianjin China Program

I didn’t realize I had arrived in China until I was on a bus to TUC- FIU campus, where I would be spending 4 months of my life. I definitely could say that arriving here was a culture shock, and till this day, I still am shocked.

When I first got to campus, I realized that it was huge. For instance, eating your meals with chopsticks and people driving crazy (make sure to look both ways at all times on and off campus). Those are some of the things that really made me feel like I was in China. On campus, there are a lot of things that are offered. For example, it has various places to eat, convenience stores, a bank, laundry services, etc. In addition, students at TUC are very friendly and willing to help with anything you need, but they are very shy, so you have to approach them first. The room that I am staying in is pretty big: two beds, a TV, a closet, a bathroom, little tables, and a desk set for two people.

The picture on the left is a picture of me, when I arrived at the Beijing Airport. The picture in the middle is a picture of the group taking our first ride on the metro. The picture on the right is the TUC-FIU campus, where we live. My experience in China has so far been good, and I hope to keep experiencing such great things.


Let’s continue the adventure!


The Beginning of my Adventure to China!

By Marriott Tianjin China Program

China is the world’s most populous country with lots of delicious food, merchandise, parks, temples, and much more. How could I not visit? I have been dreaming to go to China since last year and here it is, finally! I am very excited and I cannot wait to start on this journey with 7 other students of Florida International University. It brings me joy to know that others are interested in visiting China as much as I am.

There are many ways to prepare for this trip. The way I prepared for this trip is by taking care of my bank accounts and making sure to create a travel plan. I have also prepared by taking all the vaccines needed for China, as well as other medications. I have packed the necessary items or maybe even more. I have also filled out all the paperwork with Dawn Fagnan. Thank you Dawn Fagnan for your help! On the pictures below (left hand side) are my 2 luggage for the trip. In the picture in the middle is a picture of me having a departure Chinese theme party/ birthday party, since my birthday is on August 23. The last picture on the right is a picture of Chinese money (yuan) that I exchanged at the Dolphin Mall before my departure.

I believe this experience will enhance my knowledge on a different culture. I know that this semester in China will bring more success into my life and much more independence. I am a person who hasn’t even been outside of Florida, and I have found the courage through FIU to go out there and see the world from a different point of view. I have to finish packing and be warned, I am taking way too much stuff. China is only a couple of hours away, and I am so nervous, but also very excited. You will soon be able to see the beauty of China through my eyes. Until next time!



Ready for ChinaIMG_2566[1]IMG_2640[1]

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