Author Archives: MariaAbroad

50 Great Study Abroad & Living Abroad Tweeps

Since there are a lot of awesome Study Abroad Folks on Twitter, sharing great information on Study Abroad, Study Abroad Programs and International Education and more, I decided to share my personal Top 50 Study Abroad Tweeps here with you. If you are not on this list and tweet about Study Abroad, please feel free to add your Twitter account in the comment section!

1. jkinneyscott James K. Scott, PhD
Director of the International Center – University of Missouri (USA)
2.GlobalChronicle GlobalChronicle
The Global Edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education

3. GoOverseas GO! Overseas

GoOverseas.com is the leading resource for meaningful travel abroad. Discover your next adventure teaching, studying, or volunteering abroad!

4. GlobalCampus GlobalCampus is a global online community & personal marketing tool for students worldwide. Giving students direct & free access to univ. staff & ed opportunities globally!

5. karinfischer Karin Fischer
I write about the internationalization of American higher education, global competitiveness, and colleges and the economy.

6. srah srah

I like tea and sleeping, but not at the same time.

7. goinglobal Going Global

Expert advice for finding jobs at home and abroad.

8. thenewdorothy Brooke Roberts

A sassy gal from small town Kansas who chased her dreams over the rainbow, around the world, and back again.

9. diwyy DoItWhileYou’reYoung

20somethings who’ve been to all 7 continents & 60+ countries. Leading site for work, study & volunteering abroad. @jerrigirl @KristinaWeg @ewegsche tweeting

10. APIstudyabroad APIstudyabroad

Academic Programs International (API) offers study abroad programs in 13 countries across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

11. pdxnicolle Nicolle Merrill

Wanderlust enabler and international communicator: immersed in global ed, study abroad & digital ethnography

12. planetecole Sabrina Faber

International education, training and development professional, enjoys learning, languages, travel, culture, the outdoors

13. studyabroadjobs Study Abroad Jobs

The ultimate global source for study abroad & intl ed jobs

14. AbroadView Abroad View

Online and print magazine for students and post-grads looking to study or travel abroad!

15. InStudyAbroad Inside Study Abroad

A study abroad enthusiast sharing the inside scoop on all things study abroad.

16. DavidComp David Comp

Publish IHEC Blog. Research focus on int’l ed. & mutual understanding; methodology and data collection on student mobility

17. PassAdvisors Pass Advisors

Education company bridging the divide between the Chinese students who want to study abroad and the schools who want them. by @perrywhitecage

18. GoAbroad GoAbroad

Our worldwide staff brings you THE Resource for Meaningful Travel with additional social media/networking tools at http://GoAbroad.net.

19. CEAstudyabroad CEA Study Abroad

Study Abroad programs for US and Canadian Students

20. CEAstudyabroad CEA Study Abroad

Study Abroad programs for US and Canadian Students

21. ISOgermany ISOgermany

ISOgermany: Beratung zum Auslandsstudium in Australien, Kanada, UK und USA kostenlos.

22. rausvonzuhaus eurodesk Deutschland

Eurodesk Deutschland informiert kostenlos, trägerübergreifend und neutral zu Auslandsaufenthalten und Europathemen

23. StudyAbroad101 ✈Abroad101✈

From insider reviews to interactive forums, we provide you with a crash course in study abroad. Welcome Abroad!

24. NAFSA NAFSA

The world’s largest professional association dedicated to international education.

25. PennySchouten PennySchouten

Working @ British Consulate, Study Abroad Marketing Diva, Region X Com Manager, Tech SIG Co-Chair, Vampire obsessed

26. aljamiat Wassan Humadi

International student marketing & HigherEd recruitment aimed at Middle East/North Africa & Eurasia… card carrying metalhead + wife

27.  SANEtraveler SANEtraveler

Steph at SANE Traveler. Helping students living abroad live, eat, and travel like a local.

28. OUEduAbroad OU Education AbroadThe Office of Education Abroad at Ohio University is dedicated to helping students study, intern, volunteer and work abroad. Stop in Lindley 185 for more info.

29. PSUaaAbroad PSU Altoona Abroad
Receive the latest news and updates on study abroad from the Penn State Altoona Office of Education Abroad http://www.altoona.psu.edu/studyabroad
30. ttmharrison Tiffany Harrison
A PR-trained college grad, wannabe time traveler, w/a passion for social media, intercultural comm & all things study abroad. Read & learn more @ my new blog http://www.wwjanedo.com

31. diversityntwk Diversity Network

Diversity Network is the leading professional network dedicated to diversity and equity in global education

32. jeramyutgw Jeramy Johnson

Father. Husband. Runner. Traveler. Study Abroad Champion.

33. StudyingAbroad StudyingAbroad

http://www.StudyAbroad.com helps everyone study abroad! We are the Internet’s leading source of information on the topic. Ask us a question.

34. thirdyearabroad Lizzie Fane

Web startup almost-entrepreneur, passionate modern linguist and study abroad advice-giver…

35. IIEglobal IIEglobal

IIE is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education organizations, committed to serving participants, sponsors and donors since 1919.

36. IDPDRIE IDP Database

Database of international education research from publishers in Australia and abroad: International students, study abroad, etc. Thanks for the Retweets!

37. ManitouHeights Ruth Marie Sylte

Consulting in strategic communications, PR, social media marketing and reputation management in diverse cross-cultural settings – from the Prairie to the World!
38. Frankie_James Frank J. Merendino
NAFSA Region VI State Rep-Ohio, Sr. Admissions Officer for International Partnerships at University of Cincinnati, global citizen, travel lover

39. Ahjim Weidong Zhang

ESL&International Student Advising,Counselor,Academic Advisor,International Program Coordinator.

40. jwstauff Jon

Director of Center for Global Engagement at The College of New Jersey – Education Abroad and Int’l Student Services

41. DAADnewyork DAAD North America

North American DAAD friends and alumni come here to connect, share stories and get important updates about study, internships and research in Germany.

42. AFSUSA AFSUSA

AFS-USA is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs to more than 40 countries around the world.

43. ISAabroad ISA Abroad

ISA (International Studies Abroad) offers study abroad programs in 18 countries across Europe, Latin America, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

44. GoAbroad_Study Study Abroad

The study abroad twitter for @GoAbroad. Sign up for your free study abroad blog at http://GoAbroad.net!

45. DegreesOverseas DegreesOverseas

An application center for top-rated degree programs abroad.

46. AspireAbroad AspireAbroad

Aspire offers comprehensive high school and gap year travel and study abroad programs in Europe and Latin America.
47. CIEEAdvisorNews CIEE Study Abroad
Study abroad through CIEE.
They don’t follow anyone back though :(
Empowering families in global transition across all sectors…
49. EdUSAtips Marty Bennett
EducationUSA — 400+ centers-170 countries, 14 million students/year
50. uintheusa U in the USA
Helping international students and foreign exchange visitors get settled in, acclimate to American culture and live their dreams is our absolute engagement.

ECUADORIAN CUSTOMS AND MANNERS

Are you thinking about moving to Ecuador for work or study abroad in this beautiful country?
Sara Mercedes Arevalo Lopez contributed this informational blog post about Ecuadorian Customs and Culture to Maria Abroad! Thank you very much!!!

ECUADORIAN CUSTOMS AND MANNERS

Every country has its specific costumes and manners. When you come to Ecuador, it is important to know what Ecuadorian people expect you to do and what they don’t expect you to do in order to make them and you feel comfortable. So if you want to enjoy your trip, pay attention to these recommendations.

1. Make yourself at home

When an Ecuadorian invites you to his/her house, it won’t be a surprise that the first thing you will hear from your host when you arrive at his/her home is “welcome” and “make yourself at home”. In contrast, in other countries, people never say welcome to their guests. The only thing they say is “how very nice to see you” and that’s it, but Ecuadorians will give you the most warming welcome.

2. Never go to an invitation with your hands empty

If you are invited to an Ecuadorian dinner, it is advisable to buy a small gift such as some candy or a bottle of wine. Doing that, will make your host think you really appreciate his/her invitation. But getting a gift is not a rule; so they won’t think you are not a nice person if you don’t give them a present. They think your presence is the most important thing.

3. Be ready to help

While the host is setting the table you can help him/her by putting the napkins or the forks. If you do that, for sure you are going to be invited another time and also you will get a good reputation. The same thing happens when you finish eating. If you help at least lifting your plate, they will think you like to help.

4. Don’t be so quiet!

Ecuadorians enjoy table conversation. So if you don’t talk and remain almost quiet, your host will feel offended. They will think you are weird and that you don’t like them or maybe that you feel uncomfortable. Sports and politics are good topics for conversation. Talking about the last soccer game will create a social environment. Also it is not bad to ask personal questions such as “Are you married?” or “What do you do?” But never ask too personal questions like “Why did you get divorced?” Although they will answer all your questions they won’t feel comfortable if you ask that kind of questions.

5. Finish all your meal

Ecuadorians don’t consider it polite to leave food on your plate after the meal. If you don’t finish your meal completely, they will think you didn’t like the meal or that it didn’t taste good. Usually hosts make a huge effort to prepare the most delicious meal for their guests and they want them to like the meal. So even if you are fed up you should finish your meal.

6. Don’t go immediately

After you finish eating don’t go immediately, usually after dinner Ecuadorians like to talk, to play the guitar or to play any card game. If you go like if you were in a hurry, they will think you don’t feel much comfortable or maybe that you have to do something more important than to be with them. However, you shouldn’t stay too long. But if the hosts are old people, the best idea is to stay a few minutes after the dinner.

7. Thank your hosts

When you leave, don’t forget to thank your hosts. It is advisable to say the dinner was delicious, even if you didn’t like it much, or that you really enjoyed their company. Ecuadorian people like to hear those things.
If you are the kind of people that like to enjoy a trip, you already know what to do if you come to Ecuador. Knowing about Ecuadorian customs and manners will help you to have a good time there.

Advantages of studying abroad

So, you are thinking about studying abroad, but you are still not quite sure, what the advantages of studying abroad are? As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages, but from my personal perspective, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Let me show them to you to kill the last spark of doubt.


Studying Abroad Advantages: College is the best time to go abroad

Your time in college is actually the best time to go abroad. First of all, there are hundreds of programs out there that can help you organizing your study abroad, intern abroad, volunteer abroad or cultural immersion programs. This makes the organizing part much easier than later in your life, when going abroad will be harder to organize, because most of the time, you have to do it all yourself. Also, you are less tied down than after college, when you have a job, may be a family and all those other responsibilities. And third, you can use this short experience abroad to find out, whether you are actually made for an international career and test it out, whether you like it or not. Usually the study abroad programs during college are not that long, so you can see, if this is it for you, or if you prefer to stay within your comfort zone. Once you are done with college and your company wants to send you overseas as an expat, you have to stick with your long-term assignment. So why not try it out, before the pressure is on?

Studying Abroad Advantages: Polish up your resume

Another great advantage of studying abroad is, that it gives your resume a competitive edge. Having study abroad experience will give you an advantage over your classmates that rather stayed at home. Through your experience abroad, you show flexibility, curiosity, adaptivity and pro-activity, and of course your additional language skills wont hurt you either. So why don’t you give your resume the extra plus to make up for some low grades or other small flaws to get that job you were dreaming of?

Studying Abroad Advantages: Experience the culture

Appreciate other cultures and learn about them is a great advantage of studying abroadLiving in a country is something completely different than going on vacation. I learned that the hard way ;-) I had traveled extensively all over the US when I was a child, but when I had moved here to go to High School, the country that I thought I knew so well from all these travels, was actually quite different. Luckily, I liked it! Phew! But what I mean to say with that: Living in a foreign culture and understanding it, is not only a great learning experience, but also an important personal experience. You have to adapt to other cultures, learn how to deal in a foreign environment and so much more. I know I said it before, but living abroad will make you grow!


Studying Abroad Advantages: Improve your language skills

No matter how many hours you sit in a classroom studying a language, or regurgitate the vocabulary or listen to hundreds of language tapes, unless you live in a country for several months, becoming fluent in a foreign language is almost impossible. Use the opportunity to improve your language skills and get some easy A’s once you return to boost your GPA! And speaking another language will also give your resume a big boost!

What was the biggest advantage of studying abroad for you?

Advantages of Studying Abroad

If you read through this article and got a bit overwhelmed with the dicision whether you should take the plunge and study abroad or not, check out this book: The Global Student is the perfect book to show you that that living abroad is a great way to spark your career and see how many advantages living and studying abroad really has.

Adapting to a New Culture

Adapting to a new culture is not easy. When you move abroad, especially when the culture is very different from your own, you will be frustrated. The best thing about living abroad and adapting to a new culture is what you make of it! It can be the best experience of your lifetime, or it can be unbearable and all you want to do  is go home. Living abroad and experiencing a different culture is an adventure and a challenge, and most likely the most exiting time of your life. You have to become independent and adjust to this new culture and all this without the support and help of your friends and family. This is quite a big change.

Do not assume anything and jump to conclusions!

When you move abroad, whether it is for an internship abroad, study abroad or because you found a great job abroad, it will be a big change in your life, and you should be prepared for this change and accept it. When I moved to China, I thought: Well, I have a lot of experience living abroad, living in China will be a piece of cake! I can tell you that: It wasn’t like that.


Every country and culture is different and just because you lived abroad before and liked it, does not guarantee that you will like it this time. You have to learn a lot of things from scratch, understand the culture and most importantly: stop making assumptions. This was my biggest mistake, when I moved to China. I just assumed, things would work out, because similar things had worked out in Germany and the US. But people have a different perspective and do things differently in other cultures.

The biggest lesson I learned while I lived in China was: There is not better way of doing things, it is just a different way.

Of course I was frustrated, when I tried to travel in China, but then, a few days before my departure, I found out that I could not buy a return ticket right away, but had to hope that there would be return tickets available at my destination. But to be honest, who am I to judge the efficiency of this? I only lived in China for 6 months, I barely scratched the top of understanding their culture. So I am definitely  not in a position to criticize their way of doing things, because I simply might not know the whole background of why they are doing it that way. Are you?

Adapting to a new culture is not always easy!Adapting to a new culture requires a new level of open mindedness

Yes, of course you are open minded, otherwise you would hardly consider living abroad, right? But living abroad requires a whole new level of open mindedness. Especially, when you move to a country that has a very different culture, it will be hard to get the idea out of your head: “How can they be so stupid? If we do it my way, it just makes so much more sense and is easier, quicker and more efficient.” To overcome these thoughts, you have to be more open minded than ever before. I struggled with this quite a lot, when I lived in China. It is also very normal and I do not believe any person that has lived abroad and says he or she has not had that thought in their heads. The only way you can overcome this, is to remind yourself constantly. When you have a frustrating experience, like I had with my train tickets, calm down and remind yourself, that you should be open to other ways of doing things. After all, you are a guest and, you are the foreigner.


How would you like it, if somebody walks into your home, and tells you that everything you do just doesn’t make sense and is stupid?

Learn to work with the culture not against it!

Instead of working against the culture, you are much better off, when you try to find its strengths and how to get the best results, even if the method of achieving these results are different. Try out different ways of asking your colleagues or friends and see, which approach brings you your desired results. When you know, that your friends will always be at least 45 minutes late, tell them to be there half an hour before you get there. The same is true for working abroad and dealing with your colleagues. If you have a deadline, give them a deadline that is 3 days before, so you have enough buffer time, in case something goes wrong. Instead of just criticizing the way people do things, try to find solutions, how you can get them to achieve the results that you want.

When you are adapting to a new culture, always keep in mind that you can also learn a thing or two from the other cultures. Every culture does something better than your own, so who not use this to your advantage and learn from it?

Have you lived in another country and experienced different cultures? Share your experience here. Or if you have any questions or problems adapting, let me know, and I will be happy to give you more advice!

MariaAbroad new Study Abroad Blogger for Einstieg.com

Hey everybody,

I have some great news to share with you all, but especially with my German readers:

MariaAbroad is now blogging for Einstieg.com!

Einstieg is a German career magazine and website that is targeted to High School students as well as university students, giving them career advice and information about the different options for the life after school. A couple of months ago, they asked me, if they could do an interview with me for their magazine, as they were planning a study abroad special. Of course, I accepted this great opportunity! If you speak German, you can check out my interview in the current edition of the Einstieg magazine here, starting on page 27!

Well, and I guess because they liked my interview, they also asked me to blog regularly in German for their website. So if you are from Germany, or want to practice your German, check out the Einstieg blog and find my MariaAbroad blog posts in German!

How to make the most of your internship abroad

Doing an internship abroad is a great way to experience the culture of a foreign country. I believe that doing an internship lets you experience the culture and the “real” life in a foreign country much better. Let’s be honest, when you go study abroad, most of the time its just a big party and you are probably going to be there with a lot of people from your home country, may be even some of your best friends. But when you do an internship, you also take on responsibility and see how the everyday life in a country. I have done both, internships in China, the US and Germany, and I also studied and now live abroad in the US. When I look back to my experiences, I definitely can say that my internships and work experience in China gave me the best insights into the country I lived in. So here is some advice on how to make the most of your internship abroad:

Internship AbroadDon’t start with the internship, do a language course first!

I believe that you can make the most of your internship abroad, when you know the language. If you do your internship abroad in a country where you do not speak the language, you should consider taking a language course first, preferably in the country. This will give you two main advantages: First, the better you speak the language, the easier it will be to connect with locals, who then can help you out when you have questions and also teach you about the culture and traditions of your host country! Second, you will be given more advanced tasks at work, which will not only look good on your resume, but also you will gain more experience in the field you want to work.

Do a good job and show initiative

Whether you do an internship in your home country or an internship abroad: Always give your best and show initiative. First of all, it will show your employer that you are reliable and hard working and you might get to do more meaningful tasks after you have proven yourself and second, the very company that you did your internship with, might offer you a job after you finished your degree.  Always keep this door open, even if it does not seem like an option right now.

Learn about the business culture and work habits

Your internship abroad will most likely be an eye catcher on your resume, so some companies might want to utilize your “special knowledge” about a country. Whether you might be the main contact for clients from this country, you are sent there to find new prospects or establish relationships or figure out a campaign to sell your company’s products there, they will expect from you that you know more than the average bear about this country. Do you know the seating order of a formal Chinese dinner party, or how to accept and hand out business cards in China? You have lived there after all, right? So make the most of your internship abroad and learn as much as you can about the way business is done in this country, how to avoid the biggest culture clashes, and how to work with this country’s culture and not against it.

How to make the most of your internship abroad? Connect with people!Build a strong network

Use your internship time abroad and build a network of useful contacts in the industry you would like to work in. This can be a huge competitive advantage when you apply for jobs later, whether you want to apply in your home country or in the country you did your internship in. Companies have realized how important the networks of their employees are to them. This could be a big bonus for you, when you mention that in your job interview! However, watch out who you network with! Don’t just focus on other expats, as most likely they will be gone after their assignment ends, but also with locals and long term expats.

Learn about the culture of your host country

While you do your internship abroad, try to soak up as much knowledge about the culture of your host country as possible. The more you know about the culture, the easier it will be to work efficiently with the people and get the results you need. Don’t think that your way is the only right way. You have to understand that you are a guest in their country and they have done pretty well, even before you arrived. Accept their way and different approach and understand that there is no “better” but only a “different” way of doing things. What you need to learn is to work with the people in this culture without offending them and their culture, but also to get the results you need!

As I already said, an internship abroad is a great way to get to know a foreign country from a much deeper perspective. Enjoy your time abroad and make the most of your internship abroad. You will never forget it!

20 Ways to Study Abroad and Save

20 Ways to Study Abroad and Save

This guest post was contributed by Rose Jensen, who writes about the online college courses. She welcomes your feedback at Rose.Jensen28@yahoo.com.

1.    Decide where you want to go and why you want to go there. Certain cities like London are pricey because they are study abroad hotspots. Lesser traveled cities can be inexpensive, and offer the same characteristics that you crave from the more popular destination.

2.    Apply for scholarships. There are plenty of scholarships available for students who want to study abroad. Search for these through your school and the internet.

3.    Work over the summer. Remember that you’ll be spending an entire semester on a semi-vacation when you go abroad, and sacrificing your lazy summer days for a busy money-earning job won’t seem too bad.

4.    Do odd jobs for extra funds. Sell your old clothes or collect soda cans for scrap metal recycling and you’ll earn some more cash.

5.    Look at flight rates cSave up some money before you go abroad!onstantly. Shop around for cheaper tickets, and though you’ll probably have to endure a few connecting flights, it’ll be worth it in the end.

6.    Get an International Student Identity Card. The ISIC card can get you discounts on bus fares, phone plans, and a multitude of other things while you’re abroad.

7.    Go abroad with a friend. Having someone to travel with means you don’t need to pack or buy as many things on your own. If you plan to get an apartment there, having several roommates to share the rent helps also.

8.    Split meals with a friend. You can easily share big lunches and dinners with a friend, avoiding draining your wallet and expanding your waistline.

9.    Bring outlet adapters. You can avoid buying appliances with a funny plug you won’t be able to use at home by bringing appliances you already own along with outlet adapters.

10.    Don’t exchange money at the airport. Exchange rates at the airport are notoriously bad, and there is usually a surcharge. Hunt around different banks for the best exchange rate so you can get the most out of your dollars.

11.    Do exchange money at your destination. It is often cheaper to change dollars to Euros when you’re in Europe than to do the transaction in the United States.

12.    Enjoy free tours of your city. There are plenty of free ways to explore your new city, whether it’s scoping out the museums or going on a long walk.

13.    Avoid the tourist traps. There are always certain bars and restaurants in popular destinations that cater to out-of-towners, and because of this, are overpriced. Avoid them.

14.    Eat what the locals eat. The local people are the best resource for cheap and delicious eats. See where they’re chowing down and do the same.Pack light, extra weight will cost you big time!

15.    Do what the locals do. They have inside information on the best and most affordable places to be and things to do, so make a few local friends.

16.    Cook instead of dining out. You can save a hefty load of cash by buying groceries and cooking your own meals instead of dining out every day.

17.    When traveling out of the city, consider staying at a hostel. You will want to explore the surrounding places outside of your abroad city, and hostels are a cheap, student-friendly alternative to pricey hotel rooms.

18.    Make local friends and visit often. Local friends can not only bring you to the best places to eat and have fun, but they can also host free dinners and functions at their homes.

19.    Avoid cabs. Unless you’re in a tight situation where a taxi is needed, travel by foot or board a bus.

20.    Get a part time job. Some countries will allow students without a work visa to earn some cash.

Goodbye China – My China Experience 31

After Lisa had left, I only had about one week left in China myself. I cannot believe how fast my time in China had come to and end. I am writing this blog post from San Diego, but let me tell you about my last week in China, which actually was quite nice and eventful.

Goodbye BeijingFirst of all, I had to do some packing and shipping of course. I packed all my stuff that I would not need right away into one of my suitcases and went to the airport to send it to the US as cargo. Several of my German friends in San Diego had done that, when it was their time to move back to Germany, as it was one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get some of the heavy and bulky items back home. Well, as usual, in China things are always a little more complicated! I took a cab to the airport and asked at the information desk for the cargo check in. Well, unfortunately, the Chinese lady that was helping me, did not speak English very well. She kept on asking me for my ticket, which of course I did not have, as I was not planning on flying anywhere yet. I tried to explain to her, that I wanted to send my suitcase as cargo, while I will fly out next week. She kept on repeating that I could not check in more than 2 hours before departure! And when I repeated cargo, all I got was a blank stare. Well, my only option to get my suitcase back home to San Diego was by shipping it by regular mail. Even though it was much more expensive than I had hoped, it was still a lot cheaper than paying for extra weight.

Then, I also had to say goodbye to my dear colleagues and my boss, Mr. Fu! They had organized a wonderful Goodbye lunch for me and even gave me a present! Even though I had some problems adjusting to the Chinese working culture and I experienced some true culture clashes with them, they were always trying to help me and supported me! When things went a little bit different from what I had planned, it was definitely my fault, because I assumed, thought and anticipated it from a completely different cultural perspective! I am very grateful for their help and support that they have given me over the course of these 6 months and they made so many things possible for me, that I could not have done without their help! A big thank you to you all!

My last day in Beijing was rather gloomy!During my last week, I also finally had the chance to meet up with Philipp! Philipp was introduced to me by a dear friend of mine from my university. He had studied at CIBU in San Diego as well and now lives in Beijing. Philipp and I had made plans to meet up several times, but somehow it never happened! We met up several times during my last week in China and we had a lot of fun together! However, the most memorable trip was on my very last day in Beijing. Philipp took me to the park overlooking the Forbidden City and we had an amazing view. But the best thing about it: I had brought some delicious wine from Germany and we celebrated my last day, enjoying the amazing view, drinking a Franconian Bocksbeutel and chatting away. This park is not as frequented by foreigners, so we drew quite some attention among the mainly Chinese crowed. As Philipp’s Chinese was pretty good, we were constantly chatted up by Chinese tourists that asked us about the funny shaped bottle and what we were doing here. We really had a blast!

I left China with very mixed feelings! On the one hand, I was looking forward to the “easy life” in the US, where I could communicate, find my way around without having to rely on other people’s help and seeing my friends of course. But on the other hand, I knew that one of the biggest adventures of my life had ended. I asked myself whether I had made the most of my stay in China and to be honest, I am not sure I did! I experienced a lot of great things, but could I have done/seen/learned/experienced more? I certainly could have! Often, I felt overwhelmed by the strangeness of this country, so I hid in my own little world of more familiar things, whether it was watching movies, writing blog posts, chatting with my friends or eating at Western restaurants. It was hard for me, to understand the Chinese culture, as I am quite the opposite of what you would consider “typical Chinese”. I like to plan things, be independent and do things on my own. My time in China was a great adventure and experience. I learned a lot about myself, who I am, what I want and how to get through tough times. It also taught me to accept help from others yet be more independent than ever.

Thank you China!!!

Want to read what happened next?

My China Experience 1

My China Experience 2-11

My China Experience 12-21

My China Experience 21-31