Student Blogs

We made it! –Graduation

February 2nd, 2014 shjin15
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Last Monday was the last day of our Janterm program! I may have mentioned this earlier, but just to clarify things again, my semester abroad is separated into two programs: Janterm, and Spring term. Janterm is a 4-week intensive Chinese language program, where they really drill us mostly in speaking and listening skills (of course reading and writing is also involved, but there’s more of an emphasis on speaking/listening). After Janterm, we have a 2-week break during the Spring Festival aka Chinese New Year. When the break ends, our Spring semester officially begins!So Monday was the date of our last big exam. We took a 2-3 hour exam with reading, writing, and an oral test. Everyone was preparing for it like crazy during the weekend! After the exam, we all got dolled up for our Graduation Banquet! It’s a little weird how we just go from a stressful exam to a celebration, but I was definitely glad that we finished our program. It’s been a really tough 4 weeks, and I was ready for a break. The only sad part is that some of the students are moving on to other programs. I’ve made some great friends during this trip, and it’s unfortunate that we all have to separate. Only 7 students are staying in the Beijing program, and 5 of them are Holy Cross students (including myself). Alyssa, my closest friend here at CET, is going to study at the CET Harbin Intensive Language program next semester. Harbin is up at the very northern part of China, so it’s going to be COLD. We’ve become great friends… I really hope I can find someone just as close next semester.
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During our Graduation ceremony, I was actually asked to represent our class along with one of the other students, Dani, with a short speech. We prepared some words to make the crowd laugh a little, and expressed our thanks to our teachers and the CET office staff. It was really an honor to be able to speak for our level B class, although I was extremely nervous as soon as we hit the stage. I’ve always been really shy as a kid, but I feel like every year i’m given more and more opportunities to talk in front of large crowds. I feel that i’ve gotten over my stage freight, and i’m perfectly calm before giving speeches. But as soon as I stand in front of an audience, I feel a thousand butterflies in my stomach and my legs turn to jello. Thankfully, our speech went really well – I had a great partner to speak with! We ended with a toast to all of our friends 🙂
My lovely teachers

My lovely teachers

Another cool thing that happened during our Graduation ceremony besides getting our Janterm Diploma was the fact that I won an award! Our school asked us to send in photos for a photo contest, and I got second place. The prize was $50 = 300RMB, which is a good sum of money in China. $50 can buy me over 10 dinners!
It’s been super busy here in China, but I promise I have more updates to fill everyone in on. 3 days after our Graduation was Chinese New Year, and i’m going to try really hard to get a video up on my blog. Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days, so there’s been A LOT of fireworks going on. Let’s hope my internet connection will cooperate. I’m going to the Yunnan province tomorrow to vacation for a week, so there probably won’t be any blog updates until I return. Yunnan is the province of “eternal spring all year round,” and we have a lot of exploring planned, so i’m very excited to share my experience when I return.
Cheers,
Sophia
金羽庭 (Jin YuTing)

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