An entry from Janessa, a Penn State student in the 2011 PSU-PKU Summer Biology Program
Being in China was an amazing experience. We not only saw a different city and landscape, but also learned about a culture and its people. Before traveling here, I was not sure what China would be like. After spending almost three weeks in the capital city, I feel like I have a much better understanding of Chinese history and its people. Seeing the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, various temples, the hutongs, and even the campus of Peking University was breathtaking. It is hard to imagine how ancient some of these places are when most of the structures are so intricate and a marvel for the past and present. Experiencing some everyday life aspects of the Chinese people, including riding the subway, having hot pot for dinner with friends, and hanging out with the college crowd at Hohai was also a tremendous opportunity for us to do. Many of the foods I tried really added to the experience in Beijing and I would highly recommend trying everything - at least once.
In all, Beijing was an amazing adventure. We were able to explore the city and meet its people. We saw how similar people our age are, even if they live across the world and speak a different language. It was an opportunity I am grateful to have been able to enjoy. I will have memories from this trip forever.