China

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

Thanksgiving/Departure

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

This was the first Thanksgiving I was away from family. The Golden Panthers helped us feel at home by throwing us a big Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey was very delicious!  We played karaoke, virtual reality, and  “guess the liquid” games with the Chinese students that put on the event for us international students. I was very grateful and thankful for the Thanksgiving dinner. I felt right at home with caring people thanks to the students and teachers that worked to organize a happy Thanksgiving dinner.                                                                               

During one of my weekends before the Thanksgiving break, I went to a wedding in Qinghai, which is in the North Central part of China. It was my first time seeing snow in person! It wasn’t much snow, but it was cold and wet in my hands and something different from the hot tropical weather of South Florida that I’m used to.                                                    

 

 

Qinghai has beautiful snow mountains and tasty desserts. The people are also very kind. The Chinese wedding was different from our weddings in the U.S. The woman will dress up in red, and the man has to play games to win her. It was a very tearful, romantic moment.   

After my little adventure and the Thanksgiving holiday, it was time to prepare for final presentations, projects, tests, and my departure. My group presentations were a success, and the Chinese students were great to work with. I practiced my presentation skills and used teamwork to get tasks done. 

The day before I left China, I tried Chinese cupping on my back and saw Aqua Man in the movie theater. Yes, the movie was in English.

3 Three Days after leaving China, I walked across the stage to earn my diploma. I took a piece of China with me. I wore the red flower crown around my head that I got from a mountain in China. This was a wonderful last semester to end the journey of obtaining my bachelor’s degree. I am very grateful for this experience! I recommend everyone to take this study abroad journey in China, it will change your life for the better!

 

Thanksgiving/Departure

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

“Bittersweet” is the best way to describe my feeling towards China. This journey will always have a special place in my heart with all of my memories that I created. I wanted to thank FIU for offering this opportunity to your students. As a transfer student, I will never forget my first semester as an FIU student. The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough because this will be my first Thanksgiving without my family. I am very grateful for the students to put together a nice Thanksgiving dinner for us. I was so much fun — we were listening to music and we played games together.

Living in China for the past four months have been life-changing. I am super grateful for this journey, and I will never forget the people that I have met here. I can’t believe that I did everything that I wanted to do including taking a last minute trip to Thailand. If you are a student and you have the opportunity to study abroad, please take advantage of it. It will give you a better perspective of the world and let you open your mind for new things. I fell in love with China and I hope one day I can return to visit again. 

Farewell China

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Farewell China! The last couple months have been nothing short of amazing, the experiences and the people have made this study abroad unforgettable. Firstly, the time went by like a blink of an eye.  The fact that is over is still crazy to think about. The memories that have been made with the people around me will be everlasting and we all will continue to be in touch no matter where we all end up. The first couple weeks I got used to the culture shock and the lifestyle I was going to be living in.  Slowly but surely I became accustomed and started to feel like a local.

With classes keeping me occupied, I got to learn many things with the great professors’ teaching and with them being extra helpful and taking the extra step to reach out to me when I needed them. The semester was a major learning experience as I got to learn about the field of hospitality, along with cultural values of China. The students at this campus were the best people you could ever meet, never denying the chance to help me out or my colleagues whenever we needed some assistance with anything!

This is one of many countries I wish to visit, but going to China definitely opened up that door for me personally. Knowing that being in such a foreign place knowing little to nobody and still having a life changing experience is reassuring that I can survive anywhere, almost. This trip has been nothing but positivity and learning and I can recommend this to anyone willing to step outside their comfort zone.

Halloween/Mid-Trip

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Xiangshan Mountain

It is now November and it’s becoming cool, especially when the wind blows.  I now have tests, projects, and presentations. I must say, the professors are here to help. My first test I didn’t do well. However, when it was time for the second test, my Mid-Term exam, my professor let me take it on a different day along with other students who needed a different day because I told her I had back to back exams and felt overwhelmed. I later took the exam and scored a 97. The professors want you to do well and are willing to work with you. After my mid-term exams, I went on a class field trip to the country side of Beijing to see the Xiangshan Mountain. It was very beautiful. I must say, there was a swarm of people like moving ants everywhere because China has so many people, especially to see beautiful destination spots.                           

For Halloween I stayed at school to study for my makeup midterm that I scored a 97 on. However, although I didn’t leave school, I went to the badminton court in the gym and played with my Chinese friend. We took funny spooky pictures for Halloween.

You can paint your nails, go to the movies, and the mall. It is a nice experience. There are also many places to eat. The picture with the Christmas lights is at a restaurant inside of Joy City Mall. Joy City Mall is a popular mall that we have all been to. This mall has six floors of greatness! If you do this study abroad program, I recommend you go there. They have some of the same brands and stores in Miami’s malls such as H&M, Nike, Gucci, etc. You can live a regular life here in China, and I recommend anyone to take this study abroad trip!                                                        

Countdown Begins

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

As time starts to pass, we slowly start to approach the end of our trip. The last couple weeks were filled with mid-term exams and ,which is why I mostly stayed in to prepare. I got the chance to explore many different styles of food through various restaurants. Firstly, one restaurant I experienced was CoCo, this was a restaurant that focused on curry dishes and had many other options as well. This was an amazing curry, it was spicy and had so much flavor!

Around Halloween time, I got to celebrate with my colleagues by attending a student organized Halloween party. We got to play games like musical chairs. It was very refreshing to be a part of it. The students did a great job of organizing the event, and they made it for us because Halloween isn’t a common celebration here compared to other days like the Autumn Moon Festival.

Recently I got the chance to visit a smart restaurant, this restaurant was based around robotic service. It was a hot pot-style restaurant so the the ingredients come raw and you prepare it in your choice of broth; there are many options. I went to the same restaurant in tianjin but the difference was that all the food was being delivered by robots! It was very interesting to see that work, the materials in the back were also prepared by robotic arms.

The ambiance of the restaurant was very pleasant, they had screens all over and they would display settings such as mountain views and cherry blossom trees. Overall, it has been a busy time, but I’m making the best of my last couple weeks in Tianjin!

Halloween/Mid-Trip

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

 November is already here and we are all getting ready to do our final assignments , project presentation and final reviews before the semester is over. Since fall is approaching the weather has completely shifted for this Miami girl.  Winter is coming and seeing fall for the first time is really beautiful. All the leaves are changing colors and sometimes staying in is more on the safe side since the pollution level can look pretty dramatic .

Spending Halloween here in Tianjin was very different and fun since not that many Chinese people celebrate it. We went to this Mexican style restaurant called La Bamba to at least experience something spooky, and they had Halloween decorations everywhere.  Some people were dressed up and had a little bit of blood makeup, but nothing over the top. We were also were invited to the university Halloween get together where we carved pumpkins, played games with each other, and enjoyed our time with the students.

Golden Week

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

In China there is a national holiday that takes place during the first week of October, this week is referred to as Golden Week! It is very typical for students to travel to various places, some of my classmates went to Thailand while others explored Shanghai. My experience was a little different!

Prior to Golden Week we had another week off due to school activities. During this week I visited Beijing!  Beijing was filled with many historical sites and great moments. We went to many sites such as Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and the famous Great Wall of China! All these experience were exhausting but all worth it after seeing such beautiful views of nature and deep rooted history. After coming back we were all ready to relax and study for exams.

Finally when Golden Week arrived, initially I was planning on staying in studying and completing assignments, instead I ended up taking a train with a local friend and visiting their hometown in the countryside.

The countryside was a very unique experience as I got to experience rural China. The scenery was surrounded by mountains and natural beauty.  During my time here I got in touch with other students and got together in the countryside. One of my classmates celebrated her birthday here as well.  We had great food and great company! Overall my experience during Golden Week was very adventurous, and I got to experience the true culture outside the city.

 

 

Golden Journeys

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

It is now time to study for midterms. Classes are the same level of expectations as Miami.  Professors care about attendance and you must complete all assignments. Professors encourage group projects; I have a group project in every class. It helps you to connect and work with the Chinese students and improves team building skills.

There are also plenty of organizations and activities on campus. The picture below is me attending the Tea Time event, which is a group of Chinese and foreigners that meet to discuss differences of culture, while connecting with each other and enjoying tea with cake. This experience has impacted me as a global citizen and future professional because it teaches me how to connect with people from different backgrounds, religions, and culture which is very useful within the hospitality industry. It also helps enhance one’s public speaking skills.

 

 

Before Golden Week, I went to the 798 Art District and the Temple of Heaven. Both are in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven is a historical and ancient site where the emperor used to live. The art district has interesting sculptures. An artist from the art district drew a portrait of my face.

While I was in Beijing, I tried the traditional Beijing duck with the wrap, vegetables, and sauce. I’ve never had duck until I came to China. It tastes delicious. I’ve also tried Korean food, which is spicy, from the canteens on campus.

Coming to China allows you to be open-minded and embrace a new culture. Learning and exploring in a new environment will prepare me for my future professional goals in the industry once I finish studying in China.

During Golden Week, the first week of October, all of China is on holiday, and everyone travels. This means everywhere is packed and crowded with people. Tickets were booked for trains and planes. The later you wait to book the ticket, the higher the price goes because everyone wants to travel. It’s like the airports during Christmas or New Year’s – very busy!  Therefore, I ended up staying in Tianjin and had a blast!

Coming to China, you’ll some of the most caring, genuine, helpful students that will go above and beyond to assist you in any way.  They can ensure that you feel welcome and happy to be in China.

During Golden Week, I went to a nice restaurant with a foreign exchange group with people from several different countries.  The food was delicious.  I also attended a soccer game at Tianjin University’s old campus with foreigners.  I went to a gathering to celebrate the winning team.

Tianjin is a beautiful city with a gorgeous night life, as seen in the shot at night.  Overall, during Golden Week, I relaxed and enjoyed my break from class. Coming to China has been one of my best decisions,  and it will be a helpful experience towards my future career!

 

Golden Week

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

Hello Everybody,

I can’t believe that October is already here, and we only have a couple of weeks left in China. Not only did we have a week off during Golden Week, but I was able to experience time in Beijing and Shanghai during my relaxing vacation.

Beijing was an amazing experience like no other, and it’s very diverse compared to Tianjin. We took a two-hour speed train ride from Tianjin to get there, and it was really cool experience. I was able to visit the Summer Palace, which is the imperial garden for the Qing Dynasty.  The scenery was so beautiful and breath taking.

I visited the Great Wall of China in the Mutianyu location — it was really the highlight of my trip. Climbing all those stairs was a nightmare but well worth it to see the magnificent view that the Great Wall has to offer. I also had a chance to visit Tienanmen Square which is the city square in the center of Beijing and it’s next to the Forbidden City. It has wonderful architecture that was used for the Ming and Qing Dynasty.

Finally, I had a chance to visit Shanghai, which is located in the east side of China. I had a chance to see the Bund.  It has the most futuristic building that is the most recognized in Shanghai and is located in a waterfront area. I also went to Disneyland Shanghai Resort; it was so enjoyable since I am a true Disney fan. It made me feel right at home. They were singing all of my favorite Disney songs – in Chinese, of course – and they have a bunch of cool things to see that Disney in Orlando does not have to offer. Golden Week was such a great experience and I am still excited to see what my journey in China has to offer me.     

 

My Arrival / Start of Classes

By | Marriott Tianjin China Program – Fall 2018

It’s only been a couple of weeks, and I am enjoying every minute that Tianjin, China has to offer me. The transition was very difficult for me since this is my first time away from home. We had some troubles trying to get money transfer from our American cards; but with the help with the Chinese students we accomplished all of our tasks, and we feel more comfortable on campus. The students over here are the sweetest people that I have ever met in my life. They are really shy at first, but once you approach them they will answer any questions that you have and help you with any task that you need with no hesitation.

The classes over here are very informative; they always have a way to compare and contrast the Hospitality Industry from the United States standpoint in comparison of what China has to offer. There are a lot of group projects involved and also class presentations to show the students what opportunities they have for their future.  

The food over here is so different and interesting to taste.  I have tried Hotpot which was very delicious and quite an experience; and also Malatang which is delicious soup that you hand-pick your ingredients and they create it for you. Both items are served on-campus, and there is nothing like them in Miami. The photos that I have posted is my time in the Tianjin Library, which took us two hours to get there by train; the second photo is the Tianjin Eye; and the third one is my time on campus on a mini bike, which the Chinese use as transportation.  

 

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