I’m going to China… again! I will be embarking on a second NSLI-Y journey, but this time, I will be serving as a chaperon* rather than participating as a student. This is a very exciting opportunity for me as an alumna – I’ve never really had the means to be an alumni representative or give many presentations about my NSLI-Y experience, so I’m glad to have this chance to remain involved in the NSLI-Y program and community.

In just a few short weeks, my group and I will be on our way to Xiamen (厦门), a port city in China’s southern Fujian Province, just across the strait from Taiwan. This will be my first time ever visiting Xiamen, and although I love all the other places I’ve visited, I’m excited to experience a new city this time! (Being in Xiamen specifically will be especially great because I’m applying to spend the next academic year there! Unfortunately, there’s still no official word on that, but I’m hoping to know pretty soon.) After five weeks living at Xiamen University, we will also spend one week travelling in Beijing and Shanghai. I’m looking forward to this, as well, since I haven’t been to Beijing since 2011, and since I absolutely love Shanghai.

In preparation for the program, I have been making an effort to study some Chinese and keep my level up. I’ve also begun trying to get a head start on learning the names of all the students in the group – I’m pretty bad at names, so I figure getting familiar with them now will help me match them with faces more quickly at pre-departure orientation (PDO), which begins on June 29. I’m really excited to actually meet all of these students and go on this adventure together!

*Please note that my having this position does not mean that I had/have any hand in reading applications, making acceptance decisions, implementer/city/class placement, or anything else super-official. In fact, I haven’t been involved in a whole lot of anything so far; most of what’s in my job description begins at PDO. Additionally, because this is a personal and public blog, I won’t be posting too much detailed “behind the scenes” information, and I also won’t be answering any official-type, non-alumni-oriented questions on here. I love keeping this blog and want to maintain it to share my experiences, but I also understand that it is important for me to uphold some level of professionalism. So, if you have a question that is not one that you would ask of an alum, please do not ask it here. When in doubt, please contact your/your student’s implementing organization directly (if you are a NSLI-Y participant or parent), or head on over to the NSLI-Y website for more information about who you can contact. Thank you!