At the HNC, our semester break typically starts in mid January. This year, we had a 5-week break, which allowed for a lot of rest and adventure. The end of the semester was filled with writing papers, studying for exams, preparing for presentations and making travel plans. Some planned group and solo trips to Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and Europe. Others planned to go back home to America, the U.K. and South Korea. Some students chose to stay in the Mainland to celebrate Chinese New Year with friends and family. A few students were lucky to land internships in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
I also searched for post-graduate opportunities and found think tank internships, service programs and foreign affairs related jobs. Throughout my stay in the England, I took part in interviews via Skype and email for a few positions. While exploring London and Manchester, I couldn’t help but compare and contrast the Chinese and American cultural influence on the country. It showed me that the world is connected more than I think and taking opportunities to see it is worth the time and savings.
Classes have recently started and I have yet to hear everyone’s amazing adventures! Some students are still dealing with jet lag, while others have adjusted quickly. The transition back to life at the HNC has been enjoyable as we’ve been happy to see those we met and bonded with last semester. We’re all slipping back into our Chinese/English target language, trying out new courses, preparing for summer opportunities and thinking about what the new semester holds.