So far, quite a humbling experience

So far, quite a humbling experience

Sarah Halter When I arrived in China, my goal was to have at least some understanding to what it means to be Chinese in the sense of modern culture by the time I returned home.

Having spent one week in China, I’m able to say I’m certainly on my way to having a better understanding of the country’s people and culture. I made some wonderful new friends, and they’ve helped us navigate SDUT and Zibo City quite a bit.

I found out the people here have a lot similarities to Americans. They all unfortunately have their prejudices against certain ethnic groups, but they want to be happy and are willing to make sacrifices to be happy like any living human.

The trips to the Qufu temples and Mount Tai-Shan were also eye-opening to the traditional Chinese culture, and the upcoming trips will continue to open my eyes to additional elements of the ancient civilization.

So far, talking to the English-speaking Chinese whether at the university, English Corner or any other public place has been my favorite part of this experience. Wherever we are, the English speaking public makes an effort to say, “Hello” to us.

It gives me great solace in trying to help those who want to practice speaking my own native language. Their smiles when they speak correctly gladden my heart. I also feel humbled being here … I appreciate I’m able to experience being imbued with a culture and country different from my own.

I also am embracing the morning more. Henry David Thoreau believed the morning was the most treasured part of the day, because the day is in innocence. At the sight of the first rays there are endless opportunities in store for the day.

Each day we must awaken early to be prepared for class or the a.m. activity, and I never before enjoyed the quiet morning solitudes and reflection time as I do now. I want to take this habit back home with me, as well as a more natural, healthier diet I’m enjoying in China.

    — Sarah Halter, a senior English major