Traveling Abroad: Adoptee Style

Hello, everyone!

I bet you thought you’d seen the last of me, right? Well, I promised one last reflection post about traveling abroad as an adoptee, and I am bound and determined to follow through!

Studying in a foreign country is all-encompassing, but now I can see that it was only a chapter in my story.

Now that I’m a good six months out from my China experience, it’s easier to look back on my time there and see the bigger picture. When I was abroad, I had a hard time remembering what life was like before I’d arrived in China, and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to come back home to the United States. Studying in a foreign country is all-encompassing – it took over every aspect of my life – but now I can see that it was only a chapter in my story.

So without further ado, here are the most common questions I’ve been asked since returning home: Continue reading “Traveling Abroad: Adoptee Style”


Shanghai Spring Reflection

To wrap up my China experience, I reflect on the spring semester and my entire year in China. Thank you all for following along on my journey!

Hi, everyone! Well, the time has finally come for my China wrap-up reflection. I’ve been putting this off long enough. So let’s just dive in, shall we? 

Spring 2015

After months of highs and lows, I feel like I was finally able to mellow out and just enjoy my spring semester – the steady comfort of good friends, fun traveling, and delicious food.

I didn’t travel as much this semester, but I feel like the experiences I did have out of Shanghai were more meaningful because I traveled with friends. While I do enjoy solo traveling, I came to realize that having someone to share my experiences with made sightseeing fun in a different way.


Last semester many of my favorite memories were of the new places I’d seen, but this semester my favorite memories are of the people I’ve met and the small everyday moments that I got to share with them. I had a really fun time with the entire 21st Century City group in Sichuan, I had great girl friends to explore the city with, and I had an amazing team of interns waiting for me every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the office.  Continue reading “Shanghai Spring Reflection”

Welcome Home

My last days in Shanghai are spent on a graduation trip with my study abroad program, on a trip to Tianzifang with Yan and Jess, and one last karaoke night with my intern friends, before finally making it home!

Hi, everyone! I am officially back in the United States, and I already miss China! Here’s a look at my past three weeks: my final days in Shanghai, my homecoming, and some culture shock upon arriving home. I’m in the process of writing two additional posts, one with final reflections and the other with thoughts on adoptees studying abroad in their birth country.

Thank you all for sticking with me throughout this journey! Please just hang in there a little longer while I wrap up this blog and say goodbye to this long, crazy adventure. 

Thursday, May 14th – Friday, May 15th 

On Thursday after our Chinese finals, everyone from the Alliance program piled into buses to take a graduation trip to Anji (famous for its bamboo forests). Three and a half hours later, we arrived and ate dinner. Then we all packed back into the bus and came to the hotel. Continue reading “Welcome Home”

The Beginning of the End

I’m back from my blogging hiatus! I’ve been studying like crazy these past few weeks, but I also had time to go to a club activity on campus and to go bowling with my internship friends! The end to my year abroad is near!

Hi, everyone! I’m really sorry for taking such a long, impromptu hiatus from blogging. The end of the semester has really had me running all over the city tying up loose ends and completing all my projects at the last minute. (How did I let myself procrastinate? Didn’t I learn from last semester?)

My favorite final was my Architecture and Urban Design projectI wrote a capstone paper on integrating sustainability into urban designs here in China. I tracked down five professionals who were willing to sit down for one-hour-long interviews with me, and I ran around the city to speak with them. That led to some interesting mishaps and adventures as I got lost trying to find the right office buildings in a sea of skyscrapers. Continue reading “The Beginning of the End”

Field Trip Report: 5

In my last two field trips of the semester, I visit an old-style lilong neighborhood for architecture class, and I head back to Chongming Island with my food class!

Friday, April 17th, 5:43pm

This afternoon, Non took us on our last field trip! The class met up at the West Nanjing Road subway station, and I could see the JUCCCE office nearby! When everyone was ready, Non led us to his old lilong neighborhood, Jing’an Villa. A lilong is a type of old-style alleyway house. Many of these neighborhoods are located in a prime location downtown and have been torn down to make way for newer skyscrapers.


My overall impression of the area was that the houses looked a bit worn, but they really stood the test of time well. The alleyways gave the area a feeling of community (so many people sat around outside at tables chatting with friends), and the renovations to the interiors of some of the lilongs made the buildings feel downright modern. Continue reading “Field Trip Report: 5”