Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 24: Graduation, Exams, and Exploring Nanjing

1 - My language partner (DanDan) taking photos of Andy and MiaoMiao while we said our goodbyes. 
2 - My letter and small gift to DanDan. 
3 - The incredible duo! 
4 - Alice and Jared taking a power nap between intense study sessions. (NOTE: Alice being so kind as to lending her hair to Jared to shield his eyes from the blinding light) 

We’re about four weeks into our Dialogue and time is continuing to fly by! I had my first oral exam today with 2 other students (Andy & Amy), and will finish the rest tomorrow morning. 

Our classes took place as usual except for the 20-minutes spent shuffling around trying to get a decent group photo - it’s hard when there are 18 huskies, several professors, and motorbikes driving between the cameraman and the group when the photo is being taken. 

At 12pm, I made my way up to the 2nd floor restaurant in the hotel complex and joined the rest of the group for our graduation lunch. But at 1pm, 3 of us had to rush back down to the classroom to take an exam. 

It didn’t take very long so Alice and I went to Skyways Bakery to pick up some macaroons for our language partners before 2pm. From 2pm-4pm, we revised for our upcoming exams and then said the inevitable farewells. Letters, gifts and hugs were exchanged, with a sure promise to keep in touch and someday meet again. 

There was a small group of students who left earlier at 3pm to visit a lab they will be working at next week. I, on the other hand, caught a cab straight to the Deji Plaza (DeJiGuangChang), a shopping area in the city center. After visiting the EU Chamber of Commerce (Nanjing Chapter) earlier this week to meet my advisor, I learnt that I would be attending a conference with her and needed to pick up some formal attire. H&M seemed like my safest, cheapest and quickest bet at such short notice. I finally feel relived to know I have this part taken care of. 

The past two days have been especially exciting for me because I spent some time really being off campus and exploring the city. Going out for lunch yesterday and walking around by myself today got me thinking about where I would like to live or work for co-op, and what would suit my lifestyle. Before coming to Nanjing, I blindly thought that Beijing and Shanghai would be the only viable options to consider for co-ops or living after graduation. However, after being in Nanjing and seeing some of Beijing, I have definitely fallen harder for Nanjing - much of it because it's not as crowded, and more open and friendlier than Beijing. 

I’ll continue to keep my mind open to other thoughts on Nanjing, Beijing and Shanghai, but as of now I need to get back to revising for my exams tomorrow. Best of luck to the other huskies on the trip!

- Sie R.

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