Ni hao! I am pleased to have the opportunity to share my journey with you! My flight to China takes off in less than a week and I am anxiously preparing: learning essential phrases to benefit my travels, collecting information about the area, and calming my families’ nerves!

This opportunity has come about fast and I have been and will continue to embrace all that it has to offer. With absolutely no experience with the Chinese language or culture this trip is guaranteed to be a learning experience! I am particularly curious to see how the Chinese education system compares to the US system I am familiar with. Visiting the schools will provide me with a unique opportunity to see first-hand some of the classroom procedures and curriculum. I hope to use the information I learn to help me become a better, more cultured teacher/citizen in the future.

I get to share my experience with a wonderful team of USI students and we have two very supportive faculty members graciously guiding our experience. We have been equipped during weekly meetings and reassured all along the way. I am confident that everything will work out and that this will be a successful trip thanks to the careful consideration and preparations made for us. I can’t wait to see how our friendships develop and grow not only with my team but with those I meet along the way!

I am eager to learn about the culture I will be surrounded by and I have been reflecting on my own culture and traditions recollecting memories and stories I want to share. I hope I can successfully communicate my life, heritage and background with those I encounter in the positive way it deserves. I am a little nervous about being in front of so many people yet I am curious to hear about their lives!

I imagine the excitement I feel now will only be multiplied in the weeks to come! I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday over sees, walk on the Great Wall, and partake in all this once in a lifetime venture has to offer (cultural and language classes, authentic food, language partners, classroom visits, historical landmarks, the list goes on). All of the site seeing and tourist attractions are eagerly awaiting me!

My exciting journey to China commences in a short week and I hope you will follow along as we travel over 6837 miles to China and back! 


Terri Branson
05/12/2013 5:50pm

Wishing you all the best and safe travels this week! I know you will represent the university and teacher education exceptionally! I look forward to reading your blogs and learning with you.

Emily Williams
05/16/2013 12:41am

I hope you have the BEST time, Shannon! I can't wait to hear all about it. :)

Brenda M.
05/16/2013 2:48am

Have fun and safe travels!!!!

Barb Goodwin
05/16/2013 3:12pm

Congrats you win the prize for the best post so far. Have a great time and keep your mind and heart open and you will have an amazing time.

Kathi Goen
05/20/2013 1:04pm

How's it going? Can't wait to hear updates on the trip. Hope all is well. Tell Mrs. Rietman hello.


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