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A Night To Remember

By Lillian Nguyen

The photo you see on the top was taken during the very beginning of our tenure at TBC. Everyone from our group came from different backgrounds, upbringings, and lifestyles. I am happy to say that I have established at least some sort of relationship with every single person. That brings me to the photo on the bottom. It was taken  at Lina’s birthday party, one of my closest friends, here in China and back in Chicago. It is crazy to think of all of the memories we created from the first to our present pictures here in China.

There has been so much shared between everyone in these photos; laughter, struggles, and so much delivery food. Study abroad friendship is so much more than just your average one. Yes, it is temporary and everyone goes home eventually, but what you take away from that limited time will be with you for the rest of your life.

I feel like TBC is unique in a way because China is not just any place to study abroad. It is CHINA. It is a completely different lifestyle, outlook, and perspective than what we know and are comfortable with. Taking on China, with our very diverse group makes the bonds between us all so much stronger. Learning, exploring, and adventuring with each other has brought everyone so close together.

Lina’s birthday particularly was a memorable night for me. Lina is an international student who is studying at LUC. Her and her sister are from a tiny island close to Madagascar called Mauritius. I met her my freshman year and have since been trying to do as many “firsts” for her as possible! This night was her first surprise party. Our party planning group consisted of fellow babies Members: Moni, Yessi, Tessie baby, baby Jo, and Isabel. This was Lina’s 21st so we wanted to do something super special for her. We planned rushingly within a week to get all of the decorations, the venue, and the cake ready for her party. The best part about the entire night was that so many people came out to help us celebrate this night for Lina.

The night of, the babies and I were running around in panic getting last minute things ready. The TBC students and Chinese roommates gathered at the restaurant early with us and waited for Lina’s arrival. We screamed her name, popped confetti, and surprised her so much that she had tears in her eyes by the time she understood what was happening. It is great that you can get such a huge group together to spend a fun night celebrating our happy times in China.

I could not have asked for a more fun group to study abroad with other than TBC 2016.