Editors Note: Danielle Held, a 20-year-old junior, has spent the semester studying at Loyola’s Beijing Center in Beijing, China. The International Studies and Communication double major shares several photos and facts from her time abroad.
Being in China means witnessing a motley blend of the old and the new. In the capital of China, Beijing Center students can take the subway or bus and arrive at Sanlitun’s bar street in 30 minutes: On a two-week excursion to Yunnan Province, we hiked along rice terraces that were carved into the hills thousands of years ago. There is a palpable sense that China, especially Beijing, is adopting western customs, yet there is still a deep sense of culture and what it means to be “Chinese.” With over 5,000 years of history and tradition, China is a hard topic to broach in only four months and I have yet to truly understand the country. The language, the politics and the use of chop sticks all have their quirks, and I feel honored that I could spend 18 weeks trying to figure it all out. Along the way I took a few — well, a few thousand — photos to try to explain what China is like to those back home, and this is just a tiny glimpse of what such a huge nation has to offer.