Name : Ariana Murray
Country of Origin : United States
Occupation : Educator
Years in China : 1
My journey in China began back in 2018, when I saw a flyer at my university to study abroad for one semester. At that time, I recently won a prize to receive a free passport through a drawing so it just made sense to apply. When I applied I wasn’t thinking I’d actually get selected but come fall semester 2018 I was on the plane to Harbin, China with 11 other students from my school.
我的中国之旅始于 2018 年，当时我在大学看到了一张传单，内容是出国留学一个学期的项目。那时，我抽奖获得了免费护照，所以我才申请了这个项目。我申请的时候，万万没想到真的会被选中。到了 2018 年秋季学期，我和同校的 11 名学生搭上了飞往中国哈尔滨的航班。
As my semester was coming to an end I had this deep feeling of nostalgia. This feeling lingered as I went on to finish my bachelor’s degree shortly after my return. Bachelor’s degree now complete, I had thought what’s next for me? I then began looking for programs that would lead me back to China. I thought if I just get back maybe this feeling of nostalgia would finally disappear. I finally found a program that was perfect for what I was looking for. It was an Au Pair cultural exchange program where I would live with a family here in China and learn mandarin. The rest is history.
At the time of my Au Pair program, I was living in Hangzhou, China. I love how beautiful that city is. It has so much history and a lot more diversity than I had ever imagined. I really enjoyed the tea houses, museums, and the many mountains making the air so fresh. China as a whole country has opened my eyes to how big it really is, feeding my desire to travel and see more. Moving from Hangzhou to Shenzhen has changed my lifestyle from more of a slow pace, to a bright, fast city lifestyle. I must admit I enjoy both sides of this spectrum that China has offered me.
There are so many things that piqued my interest about China. From the efficient subway stations, to the convenience of having everything you need in the palm of your hand. I also found the process of selecting an apartment is commodious, even for foreigners. Lastly the way the language has so much history behind it. Studying mandarin for year, has taught me so much about the culture itself.
Living with a family from China was such a beautiful experience that not many can say they have done. They willing opened up their home to me and I am forever grateful for that. Learning how to properly use chopsticks, trying new Chinese cuisines every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner to experimenting with calligraphy classes and more. It truly made that 15-hour flight worth it.
One thing about my hometown is the local university called Beloit College. It is the oldest college in the whole state of Wisconsin.
作者：Ariana Murray 翻译：潘泽彬
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