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Marriott Tianjin China Program at FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Tianjin First Impressions

By Marriott Tianjin China Program, Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Tianjin Eye Experience


During our stay in China, it seems as if the weeks are going by really fast. Since we first landed we have come a long way, at first we couldn’t do much because of barriers such as not having a phone with data or having a Chinese bank account set up, which made things a little harder for us. We got all these things sorted out and after that everything came easy, getting transportation, ordering food, and paying through mobile. I got all these things sorted out as fast as I could, so my journey would be as convenient as I could make it.

As a group we have become very close and I am glad that the people around me have the same intentions of making the most out of this adventure. We have gotten to see things such as the Tianjin Eye and the Tianjin Library. We have tried various different, local, popular restaurants such as Haidi Lao, and another place called the Old Ship Bar, which was primarily Chinese barbecue. Even with classes, all the students who attend here are very friendly and helpful.  They go out of their way to help us at any chance they have. We have gotten to travel to many places because of our newfound friends that guide us.

The transition for me personally was not a rough one at all.  Because of the setting and the people around me it was easy to grasp the way things work around me. In terms of the classes, I enjoy all my professors’ teaching styles; they are all very interactive and like to include students in conversation. The material is well-presented and I haven’t found it difficult to study the content from each of my classes. And now that the midterms are approaching it’s time to hit the books…

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!

The Journey Begins

By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Hey, my name is Shivam Sharma. I was born in India, in the city of Dehradun. When I was 4 years old, my family and I moved to Canada. I had many questions about my new surroundings and that curiosity is what brought out my interest in exploring new places. My family would move to different cities around Toronto. Although at the time I despised having to start all over and make new friends, but it made me realize home isn’t just a physical place, it’s the feeling of comfort you get around loved ones.

When I graduated high school, I felt comfort in knowing I would be happy no matter where I was, and I looked at new opportunities as adventures. Little did I know that my enthusiasm for getting out and exploring would bring me to Iowa. When I first moved to Iowa, it was definitely a culture shock, coming from a heavily populated city in Canada to the town of Grinnell, Iowa, which has a population of around 9,000 people. Having that contrast in environment really helped me form a view from an alternate perspective.

Once I finally got accustomed to living that Iowan lifestyle, my professor at the college I attended brought up this opportunity to learn in the field of hospitality while gaining cultural experience abroad in China. Soon as I heard about the program, I could already imagine myself being submerged in the culture and began seeing myself in a brand new environment. Once again my mind was filled with curiosity about all the things I have no idea about.


By Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

The moment is finally here! In a couple of hours, I will be on a plane to China for the first time ever. My name is Taina Rodriguez and this will be my first semester as an FIU student. This trip is really special for me, since this will be the first time I have ever traveled on my own, far away from my daughter. I can’t wait to explore China and see what their culture has to offer, and I am very curious how I am going to adapt to a new environment.

I have worked in the Hospitality Industry for five years. and it’s very important to be open to different diversities and have a great understanding about their culture. Interacting with people is the number one key in Hospitality and being a study abroad student will show that you are willing to travel around the world, that you want to learn new languages, and you will have a great understanding and appreciations of different types of people and their history. 

Packing for this trip was a nightmare! I am the queen of over-packing. I tried my best to minimize the clothing and products inside my luggage, but I just want to bring everything so I can be comfortable with all my favorite products. I really deserve a pat on the back since both my bags are not overweight. I also posted a picture of the money that I easily exchanged in Aventura Mall with no problem. The last photo is me at my surprise going away brunch that my friends put together.


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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