Meagan Trayers '15 is an economics major from Hastings, MN. Meagan will be studying in Beijing with The Education Abroad Network.
What do you hope to experience/accomplish while you’re abroad?
I hope to get involved in student clubs or intramural sports outside of just my study abroad group while at Tsing Hua University; right now I’m looking into taking an art class or volunteering locally. I’m excited to immerse myself in a different culture and work on my language skills without the safety net of a friend or teacher to interpret for me. One of the advantages of going to a university of 40,000 students means there are undoubtedly plenty of activities and clubs to choose from in finding something that is a good fit for my interests.
Fresh fruits and vegetables! The water quality in Beijing is very poor, and so it is only safe to eat vegetables and fruit that has either been cooked or peeled. As much as I’m looking forward to trying enjoying authentic Chinese food, I know I’ll miss weekly c-shop visits with my friends and Tammy’s omelets on Saturday mornings!
What obstacles do you think you might encounter abroad?
Not packing too much or accumulating too many things on my trip! As many other girls can probably relate, I tend to over pack when it comes to clothes and shoes, and so I’m going to need to practice plenty of self-restraint when going on weekend excursions around China/Southeast Asia.
What are you bringing with you that you absolutely can’t live without?
A smartphone! Some people purchase flip phones if they’re just going to be in China for a few months because they’re inexpensive and easy to find, but I made sure I at least got a phone that can utilize Google maps and Google translate. I have a hard enough time following directions in the Minneapolis, let alone the largest city in the world.
What experiences/classes/opportunities have prepared you to go abroad?
Over the summer I’ve been lucky enough to get to connect with a lot of friends and acquaintances who have either traveled or lived in China before, and getting their advice has been so helpful from knowing what to pack to preparing to transition to a new environment. Everyone I know who has either visited or lived in China just seems to light up when you ask them about their trip- they all speak fondly of the friends and mentors they met abroad and they always talk about how they can’t wait to go back again. Hearing such positive reviews definitely reassured me, and I hope one day I’ll be able to return the favor by encouraging other prospective students to consider China for study abroad!