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Student Profiles

Caroline takes a field trip to the Summer Palace, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site.

Overseas Study Program

Beijing,  China

Spend as much time enjoying Beijing as you can and try everything!”

Caroline Luu

Caroline’s major: International Business, Legal Studies, and Spanish

Term abroad: Summer 2010

Reason you chose this program: I wanted to learn more about China, especially with its increasing importance in the global economy. The timing of the program was also very convenient.

Favorite classes: My favorite class at Peking University was Chinese history. It was fascinating to review five thousand years of development.

Describe the Housing Situation: My classmates and I lived in a hotel a few kilometers away from the school. I had a roommate from IU and all of the undergraduate program participants lived in the same hotel.

Best memory: The best part of going to China was scaling the Great Wall despite my acrophobia.

Greatest challenge: The greatest challenge was adapting to the hygiene practices in China. Americans are extraordinarily sanitary in comparison.

Biggest surprise: The biggest surprise in China was how inexpensive everything was. I was used to the reverse phenomenon in Europe, so it was a pleasant shock to find that traveling overseas could be very inexpensive.

Complete this sentence: If I could do it over, I would...If I could do it over, I would…explore the city via metro for a few days. I wish that I got to experience more of Beijing.

What you know now that you didn't know about going abroad:  I had no idea about several aspects of Chinese society, including their burgeoning entrepreneurship and the economic-political structure.

Experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock: When I went there, I had to get used to drinking green tea with every meal. When I came back, I only wanted to eat Chinese food. American food tasted very strange.

Going abroad versus staying on campus, discuss: I was very glad to go abroad and stay in China before returning to the US. You don’t know until you’re there how absolutely phenomenal and educational the experience will be. I got to learn a lot about China from Chinese professors, who had a very different perspective than any American professor teaching the same topics.

Advice to future study abroad participants: Spend as much time enjoying Beijing as you can and try everything! I tried duck heart while I was in Beijing. Don’t be afraid to experience new things.

Fact about Hong Kong that most people would be surprised to learn:  China will soon be the country with the most English speakers.