Hiram College

As the Spring 12-Week came to an end, many students began packing their suitcases to go overseas for three weeks. Hannah Petcovic ’13, is traveling to China — she’ll be blogging about everything from the new dishes she tries to the conversations she attempts — as she spends her Spring 3-Week studying abroad.

Previous Post: Photos from China

We left the amazing city of Beijing on April 26th via an overnight train ride. I was expecting the rooms on the train to look a certain way, probably because I grew up watching Harry Potter, but the ones we had were much cozier. There were four students to a room, and a room consisted of two bunk beds and a table. I had never been on an overnight train before, and the sounds of the track quickly put me to sleep. I woke up early the next morning and sat in the narrow hallway outside the rooms to enjoy the informal tour of the countryside.

The train led us to the city of Xi’an. We stopped at McDonald’s for a quick lunch. While I truly value eating foods unique to the country I am visiting, sometimes an familiar meal hits the spot. The McDonald’s in China is similar to restaurants in the USA, except in China it seems the menu is mostly chicken, and the general atmosphere is different. After McDonald’s we took a quick trip to our hotel to shower and change, and then we were off again to the city.

Xi’an is an ancient capital of China, and it is one of the few cities that still has a massive wall surrounding it. While in the past it was used for protection, today it is often used to give tourists nine miles of different views of the city. While some enjoy the views through walking, we took on the wall by bike. The business was low on single bikes, so my boyfriend and I opted for a tandem. Besides the occasional stress of pedaling in coordination and avoiding bumps, this bike ride was totally fulfilling. I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to leisurely pedal along this piece of China’s history.

After this day we were about half way through the trip. I felt as if our group of students and professors were really getting to know one another. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this learning community. Also, this amount of time provided many learning experiences about traveling in China. For example, prepare yourself for the bathrooms — ask one of us and we’ll give you some tips!. Also, practice your chopsticks, and know that the staring and picture taking never seems to end.

Now, we did see more than just walls in China, and after Xi’an we took a plane to the city of Hangzhou on April 29th. I’ll be staying with a local student for the next couple nights.

Hannah Petcovic is blogging during her Spring 3-Week trip to China. Read more about Hannah and her trip overseas.