China is all about new: new businesses, new shopping malls, new construction, new subway lines, new ideals (in certain respects), and new technology.
My Chinese experience has been all about new. Beyond the obvious “new things,” like food, language, culture, toilets, smells, etc., my overall situation here has changed dramatically. First, I enrolled as a full-time intern originally with this program. I have since discovered that Hyland’s Law will not be able to keep me busy enough to work 4 or 5 days every week. This is due to both my lack of Chinese language experience as well as the collective lack of work as the economic crisis spreads throughout the world. I am now a part-time intern and have taken on a language class that meets a total of 9 hours per week. This is turning out to be a fabulous switch. I feel great now knowing that I will come away from my time abroad with real language experience (the full-time internship was not going to allow me to take a language class). I feel that my time is much more valuable if I come away with both international working experience and language experience.
To add to that already big change, I have moved rooms. My roommate, Winston, decided that he wanted to move off-campus to live among native speakers. He is enrolled as a full-time intern and, just like me, cannot take a language class as a full-time intern. His internship is with a fashion magazine who is keeping him very busy. He’s happy, but just needs to be more immersed so that he can learn the language. His situation calls for that more than a class. Thus, with him moving out, Spike and me were asked to move out to different rooms to consolidate. After plenty of asking around and working out all other possibilities, it was settled that we needed to move much to our dismay.
I am happy though. I moved next door and now am rooming with Damien and Richie. Both guys are friendly and seem easy to live with. While I was really enjoying living with Winston and Spike, new possibilities have opened up of course–more friends and more opportunities to get to know different people.