It’s time to start a new chapter of my stay in China. On Sunday, I’ll be taking an overnight train from Beijing to Shanghai. Initially I was planning to leave Beijing a little bit earlier, but since many Chinese are coming back from Spring Festival celebrations, getting tickets for this week wasn’t easy. However, I think I should have enough time to make a smooth transition. My IES Abroad orientation begins on March 2nd and classes at Fudan University don’t start until the March 8th. It’s mind-blowing to me that I was able to learn and experience so much even though my study abroad program has not started yet. This was only possible because the hospitality and generosity of a member of the Wabash family, Khurram Tahir’01. I always told prospective Wabash students that the Wabash alumni network is one of our greatest assets and now I have yet another personal experience to back these words up.  If it weren’t for Khurram, I don’t know if I would have a chance to visit China’s capital this year. It was an awesome opportunity and I did my best to use my time here wisely. I made good progress with my Mandarin and helped prospective Chinese Wabash men learn more about our college. I also started getting ready for the exciting upcoming BD Medical internship and made sure to go out to test the language and experience some of the things that the Beijing area has to offer.

Last week, for example, I completed the Jinshanling (金山岭) – Simatai (司马台) Great Wall hike. The views were amazing and I felt really lucky to have the chance to set my foot on one of the 2007 new wonders of the world. I will certainly miss Beijing as a city and all the people I met here, but it’s time to move on. I’m thrilled about the Fudan University semester. I’m sure it will be a time of personal growth, learning and… fun:) My first week will probably be quite unpredictable and very hectic. Therefore, it might take me a little bit more than usually to share my experience with you, but I will make sure that the next note gives you a good feel for China’s largest city.

Please continue keeping your fingers crossed as I’m waiting to hear about the Dill Grant. My C-ville host parents, thank you for your invaluable help this week.