Preparing for Beijing
By Tyler L., Le Moyne College, TBC Fall 2017 Student
Preparing for Beijing
Have you ever thought about traveling abroad, or even studying abroad? The chance of a lifetime at your doorstep and all you have to do is open the door. In the fall of 2017, I will be opening the door, grabbing my suitcase, and hopping on a 13 hour flight to Beijing, China.
The process began in the study abroad office of my school, Le Moyne College, based out of Syracuse, New York. The application process was an easy task compared to the usual hassles of traveling. Passport applications, visa, flight itineraries, class schedules…it’s all a headache. However, my excitement to embark on this journey of a lifetime prompts me to complete these tedious tasks. Whether you’re traveling for a summer program, semester, of full academic year, the motive behind this grueling preparation process is to keep you safe. Therefore, if and when you decide to study abroad, make sure to be proactive about applying for important documents such as your passport or visa.
After I was accepted into my home institution program, applying for The Beijing Center was a simple process. TBC’s staff were immensely helpful, accommodating, and showed a genuine interest in my needs when coming to China. The staff was instrumental in my decision because it is important to know you’re going to be in good hands when you’re leaving the country.
Once I was accepted into the program I was flooded with emotions, and my immediate thought process was, “Holy sh*t, holy sh*t, this is happening right now!” (Excuse the language, but how could one not be over the moon when they are going to study abroad in Beijing.)
The Beijing Center sent me to step by step processes for me to complete as the spring semester progressed. This allowed for me to stay on top of tasks to prepare myself. First, came my intent to enroll into the program. I don’t think I have ever filled out a form so quickly in my whole life. Then, came the roommate survey and decision of whether I would live with another abroad student or a Chinese roommate.
It was a difficult decision, but I choose a Chinese roommate for a multitude of reasons. Despite the cultural barrier, a Chinese roommate will help me better assimilate, communicate with other Chinese students, and ease my way around Beijing. Having a Chinese roommate will create more opportunities while I spend my time abroad, and I intend to have the most authentic experience possible.
My next challenge was choosing my course schedule. It was concerned if my credits would transfer back once I return to Le Moyne. As a marketing major, I thought it would be appropriate to study business courses while abroad in hopes to give myself an advantage once I return to Le Moyne. Giving me a step ahead of many colleagues who weren’t able to experience the Chinese market and learn new ways to branch out to a Chinese target market.
It doesn’t end there, just a few more pieces to this puzzle and I will be on my way to China in no time. It winds down with a couple of doctors visits to make sure you’re healthy enough to travel abroad, not to mention if you need a few of vaccinations to prevent yourself from getting extremely ill while away.
At this point, I am sure you’re wondering where this all ends before you can get on the plane and be on your merry way, but don’t worry- this whole process is nearly over. So let’s check on what you’ve done: you’ve been accepted into your home institutions abroad program, you’ve been accepted into The Beijing Center, obtained a passport, a visa, and your course schedule is completed. Finally, is your flight over to China. Although the distance of the trip may be intimidating, let it excite you!
Studying abroad is about pushing your boundaries and challenging yourself to experience things beyond your comfort zone. It is the experience to discover yourself as a world traveler, student, and person. Open your eyes and expand your mind because you’re about to have the journey of a lifetime
Now that everything is done and dusted, purchasing the right plane ticket should be a piece of cake. Okay, so you’ve bought your ticket, but what do you pack? Probably one of the biggest questions to ask yourself, but don’t fret on this detail because once you’re into the swing of things while abroad your luggage will continue to grow, so pack light! You’ll want to bring back plenty of souvenirs for when you return! Fast forward to the time frame you’re studying abroad, filled with nerves, excitement, and a slight bit of anxiety but there is no stopping you now because your flight takes off in 3… 2… 1… time to make some long-lasting memories!