NSLI-Y China Summer 2013: Jiaxing, Zhejiang

This past summer, I spent six weeks in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, China on a program called NSLI-Y through the State Department. While there, I stayed at the school during the week with my host sister & two other roommates and went home to my host sister’s house on the weekends. Seventeen other Americans and I went to Chinese class every morning for four hours. Our teachers were awesome and we learned a ton of the language in a short period of time. We also did morning exercises and martial arts everyday, which were pretty hilarious. After lunch, we had culture classes where we did activities like paper cutting, Chinese knots, calligraphy, and Chinese music. During the week, we also went on at least one excursion to places like a silk factory, a Wu Fang Zhai factory, an ancient watertown, a local museum, an orphanage, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. At nights at school, the American student usually went out and explored Jiaxing while our Chinese host siblings and roommates studied. On the weekends, we spent time with our host families. My host family was so amazing! I couldn’t have imagined a better one! We went to South Lake, a peach farm, KTV, swimming, and fishing. We also went out to eat a lot, and I got to meet a lot of my host family’s extended family. My host sister and I would usually hang out with some of her friends from school, many of whom were also hosting American students. I always looked forward to spending time on the weekends hanging out with my host family and just doing whatever they were doing. I learned so much from them about everyday life in China. It was truly a great experience in China and hopefully I’ll go to China another time in the future! China is traditional, yet modern. It was not was what I expected- it was so much better!

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