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China…Ohh..My China =)

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2020

I loved my winter break back in the states with my family. I missed them greatly, especially my twin and mother. Those few weeks along side my family were precious.

One of the major events I’m grateful of witnessing was my twin brother’s wedding (he was waiting for me to come back from China). Of course, it was something truly special to be a part of (I was the ring bearer; I did a great job if I say so myself ). Mr. Disney got hitched, I feel for him (lol, I’m happy for him!), but at the same time, I missed all my Chinese classmates, true lasting friendships that have been forged by whips of academic work.

I’m happy of returning but also sad to leave my beautiful family. Eh, they have one twin; they don’t need double trouble… I always miss them…my $5 Smoothie King. Anyways, I know Spring 2020 will be filled with new experiences and friendships to remember for years to come.

Stay tuned for future posts!

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!

“The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Are Only Reading One Page”

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2020
left to right: my sister (Randi), younger cousins (Cameron, Shannon, and Knoxx), myself
left to right: younger cousin (Stonie), sister (Randi), myself, younger cousin (Ocean)

Above are some of the people who mean the most to me in this world! There were a lot of tears shed while saying our goodbyes, but after promising to Facetime and text as much as possible, I felt better about the temporary split. My family and I are SUPER close, especially my sister and I, so I know that the separation will be tough. However, I also realize that this is a huge step in my life, so I intend to embrace the experience and bring back stories to tell them that might inspire them to study abroad one day, too.

Distance from my town to Miami

The drive down south took quite a while, and it was our first time ever visiting such a large city! My hometown is extremely small and primitive when compared to Miami. I couldn’t believe there were so many pedestrians everywhere, and people drove much faster than I had expected given the number of vehicles in close proximity. My hometown consists of a meager 2 gas stations, a Dollar General, and the woods–you can imagine my shock and how many exits we missed. Admittedly, I am a bit anxious to visit China, because I know that the cities will be similar to Miami, and likely even more intimidating. It will definitely be an interesting experience!

As for a little information about myself, I am a 20 year old Senior at FIU. This coming Spring will be the last semester before I graduate with my B.A. in East Asian Studies and minor in International Hospitality! Way to end things with a bang, am I right? While I am here, I plan to find inspiration for my writing–one of my hobbies. I can’t wait to immerse myself in China’s language and culture, and build a foundation in the field of hospitality as well. Since I come from a rather small town, this semester abroad will undoubtedly allow me to grow as a person and see the world through a broader lens.

Cheers to a New Year!

Amante Tolbert

Goodbye Rainy Miami, Hello Cold Tianjin

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Spring 2020

Hello! My name is Nicole Garcia and this is the first trip I am taking without my parents, and this is also my first time to travel to Asia! A few months before the trip, I started purchasing winter clothes, medicine, etc. I will be sharing my journey and experience alongside with my twin sister, Angely, who I am very happy to share my experience with.

Since my theme is small victories, I will be sharing my experience pre-departure of the trip. After submitting all of the important documents, I began purchasing necessities for the cold weather in China. Now, looking for the right winter coat was the hardest for me to find. Since I live in Miami, it is not very common in buying winter clothes since we are known for having hot or rainy weather. But luckily, after searching for weeks, I was able to buy most of my winter clothes and coat online, what a victory! I was able to pack 2 checked bags and my backpack (as a personal item) and I am ready to go and start the New Year in China!

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