Melissa

Overall Experience
5/5

Major
JD

Hobbies
Hiking, Yoga

Hometown
Connecticut

Where did you study?
Peking University

Name of program
China Summer Law Study

Why did you choose to study there?
An interest in China and an introduction to international law.

What courses did you choose to enroll in?
The course is set and is an overview of Chinese law with many comparisons with American law.

How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
All loans :(

Did you use some sort of financial aid, scholarship or fellowship?
Yes

What was your living situation?
We stayed at a hotel in the "Global Village" of Peking University. The village is "westernized" for the University's international visitors. It's a westernized hotel and pleasant. I shared the room with 1 roommate and the toilets were western which is key. We had our own bathroom and internet access. No complaints really. Tea soaked hard-boiled eggs with pickled stuff and a cup of coffee was my standard breakfast for the 3 weeks.

What did you do for fun?
Went sightseeing mostly. The program has a bunch of trips incorporated into it that hits a lot of the major points. The allocated times given can be awful short though so we'd stay at the place and let the bus go without us to fully explore. My favorite visit was to Beihai Park for sure and the trip to Xi'an was an experience :)

Favorite aspect of your trip?
Being introduced to Chinese culture and its history. I really didn't know much before I went on the trip. I am glad my first time to Asia was in a class room experience where I learned about some of the history involved. It made the experience for me even if some of the material was dry.

Challenges you faced?
The *constant* everything. There is always a ton of people and noise around ALL the time. It's hard to feel at peace.

Advice or helpful tips for future students?
Don't pack jeans - it's too hot. Pack fabrics that flow. Again, it's hot so pack lots of shorts, skirts, and sandals, but the classroom is insanely COLD. Get a suit made - I didn't but wish I had now. It seemed like too much of a time commitment then. Get your gifts as you see them, getting back to a particular place is time consuming & can cut into other excursions. By pearls with Nancy : ) Go to the Symphony or Opera. Plan your free weekend asap & bring a Chinese law student along! Make some time to study for the exam; it's harder than everyone says it is. Be ready for some HUGE jet-lag on the return. It was painful. I started my summer internship 2 days after returning home; I don't recommend doing that.

What is one thing (if anything) that you would change about your experience if you could do it over?
I wouldn't have missed my out-going flight :) DRAMA

Funny or memorable story?
The train to Xi'an was quite memorable. Running around in the train station with huge packs was an adventure. Taxi's didn't want to pick up a bunch of Americans with packs that weren't going to the airport so we were a tad rushed. The toilet is nasty and the compartments for sleeping are tiny - it's like being on a plane were everybody moves around, plays cards, and smokes. I strongly suggest buying the deluxe sleepers if possible. The extra 4ft can make a nice difference. They're rare so just be sure to book a sleeper; sitting or standing for 12hrs is your other option. It's a quick weekend. 12hrs there, 12hrs back and about 1.5days to see the terra cotta soldiers.

Something interesting you learned about the town you lived in?
I learned EVERYTHING about China's history not just Beijing. I wish I could have gone out into the countryside a bit, but there was no time. Watch the "Last Emperor" if you want some insight into Chinese history, especially Beijing before you go...

Email: mthaisz@lclark.edu