Hi everyone! My name is Alyssa Brown and I’ve recently completed my first week here in Chengdu, China. I’m studying the history of China before and after 1911, while also teaching/tutoring English full time!
I’m originally from Olean, NY, and this trip is my third time out of the US. I’ve always had a passion for learning languages and studying other cultures. As a current humanities major I plan to utilize my credits and someday become a teacher abroad. I came across this internship at an Honors meeting with Jessica Kubiak, and couldn’t be any more excited about what’ll happen! The internship itself is through our local YMCA and the Chengdu YWCA. Everyone here has been very sweet and hospitable. They also make the BEST lunches.
The process towards getting here was a mess! I have never had to apply for a visa before, so I didn’t expect all the phone calls and paper work I had to complete! I suggest ANYONE get their visa at least a month prior to their trip. The plane trips weren’t bad, although my luggage had been left at JFK where I switched airlines. Going two days without my luggage in Chengdu was a bit stressful, but it wasn’t enough to bring me down. I had managed to get a really bad cold from my flight from JFK to Beijing, but I’m much better now. Airborne will definitely be a lifesaver the next time I fly overseas!
Chengdu is an extremely colorful city. People here aren’t used to seeing tall, white blonde girls like me, so I get stared at a lot. Actually…a lot would be an understatement. I live comfortably on the 21st floor of an apartment flat that the YWCA has generously provided, and once I figure this site out I’ll make sure to upload a picture of the day/night views I get from my balcony.
Entering my first week and a half of my 16 week journey here things have definitely turned out to be the exact opposite of what I had thought, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I can’t wait to show you all what the Y looks like here. It’s nothing like our YMCA. The Chengdu YWCA is very artistically focused, and teaches dance classes, has art lessons, and is where I’ll be conducting English-speaking sessions with my friend and roommate, Barbara Simon.
The Mandarin language is definitely beyond a challenge to learn, but I look forward to sharing my experiences and lessons with everyone.
xièxiè hé wǎn ān!