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February 11, 2007


This past May, I interned in Beijing and Tianjin, China in order to explore the health and sports management field and the impact of the 2008 Summer Olympics that are coming to Beijing. It was through the UM program, GIEU.
On May 6, I had to catch my flight early in the morning, and I really didn't know the other students that I was flying with. I flew with three other students, along with my site leader, Dr. Yen. We had a 6 or 7-hour layover in Newark, and then spent 15 hours on a plane to Beijing. When we arrived in China, we were greeted by a little Chinese man, who was very cheerful and because of that, we affectionately named him Mr. Charisma. We had to take the elevator down to the parking lot, where there was alittle van waiting for us. Everyone in my group was able to fit into the elevator, except for Mr. Charisma and I. In China, when people fit into any space, it means that they are literally on top of the person next to them. There is no room to move at all. This was a common trend throughout the entire trip.

The language barrier was pretty intimidating at first. In the elevator Mr. Charisma kept trying to ask me simple questions, like how my flight was, and if I was excited to be in China, and I kept answering his questions. Although he could ask me questions, I don't think he understood much because he just kept looking, smiling, and nodding at me with a blank face. The ride to Beijing Sport University was about 45 minutes in a tiny van. We saw lots of bikes and tiny cars. We also passed a huge count down sign to the 2008 Olympics, which was exciting.

We finally arrived at the University, and were greeted by a giant statue of Mao at the front of the University.

We then settled into the dorms, which were very nice. Since there was a 12 hour time difference, we all went to sleep right after we got in our dorms.

Posted by cdesimon at February 11, 2007 03:38 PM