Today the 40 of us spent the day at the American Councils office for our orientation. We had speakers from the State Department (including an intern who was a NSLI-Y alumna!) and the Chinese embassy. Of course, we also had our program director reminding us about rules and expectations, telling us mostly stuff we already knew and a little bit we didn’t. In short, it was boring, but I suppose it was necessary. We also took a short excursion to the White House for a group picture. We didn’t go inside, but it was interesting.

I’m wondering what the next few days will bring. We get to China at 2pm local time on Thursday (2am EST) and meet our host families that day. The next day we have a welcoming ceremony and class placement tests. We’ll have the weekend off, and then our classes will start Monday. It seems really intensive, but that’s the point of the program! We’ll have tests and homework and even a project, but I feel like I’m going to learn so much! I’m really excited and kinda nervous, but I can’t wait to tell you all about it, either through my blog or when I get home. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog, but I’ll do what I can without interrupting my learning and breaking my host family’s computer rules (whatever those may be).

Bye-bye, America! See you in August!