A 7,144 Mile Step Out of My Confort Zone

Growth: 9
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10

I’d never been outside of North America, therefore entering China was a 7,144 mile step out of my comfort zone. Through the organisation CIEE, I was able to embark on this eye opening journey across the globe. It had been a feature of my bucket list to volunteer abroad, but it seemed like a goal I’d fulfill when I was past thirty! Fortunately, a poster in front of my classroom convinced me that perhaps it wasn’t that far off. As soon as I noticed the Global Navigators Scholarship, I realized it was possible; it elicited the turmoil of dread and excitement I have experienced far too little in my lifetime. The trip itself was incredible and seemingly impossible to describe, as is with most life changing events. Overall, China is incredible, but it became more so with the support of CIEE staff and my wonderful peers; there’s nothing like traveling with purpose, especially to a country as enriching as China! During this trip, I experienced an epiphany that I still remember to this day: countries that have ancient roots are very similar to each other, no matter their location. As someone who visits family in Mexico City often, my visit to Beijing produced a peculiar sense of familiarity I’d believed to be impossible due to the massive cultural differences. The structure of cities, some customs, the ratio of rural to urban areas, etc. were all reminiscent of a shared past. It was a life changing revelation for me to realize that humans are not as different as one might think. Not to mention the food is great in both places; If you’re attending this trip, please try some tofu! I’m a vegetarian, and the tofu in China is a blessing from the Veggie Gods— you can’t get anything like it in the United States. Food recommendations aside, enjoy your time there, for not many get the opportunity to immerse themselves in a beautiful culture such as China.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed