Words by Sachelle Taylor, an undergrad at Chatham University in Pennsylvania who studied abroad for eight weeks in Beijing with CAPA International Education in summer 2011. Below, she shares her reflections on her experience and the impact it had on her.
Beijing is a city anyone would want to go to and I am happy I explored it with CAPA. Never was I once bored on my entire summer program there in China. I was occupied with my Mandarin class in which I learned so much vocabulary. Then when not occupied with classes, I had my internship to go to.
I even ended up having many personal free times, where I am almost certain I tried all the foods that are typical of Beijingers because I made the restaurants my second home.
The beauty of the trip is if you wish to get around on your own, you can. However, at the same time the 'field trips' to the amazing sites made me feel as if my week was well accomplished and most times I didn't feel the urge to go out and explore on my own.
Two years have passed since I went on my China trip with CAPA. Immediately after my trip, I ended up becoming a CAPA ambassador for an entire semester. And talking about the idea of studying abroad is second nature to me, simply because I am myself passionate about traveling.
The birth of my passion with traveling was when I traveled in my youth years with the Jamaica Water Polo national team. Where I went to: Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, Barbados, Curacao, Dominican Republic and Southern Florida for competitions. I was ever since been keen to visit more and more countries. Water Polo means a lot to me and the other girls and I look forward to the female team, with God's help, competing in the Brazil Olympics in Rio in 2016.
Photo: Sachelle with local friends
As long as we get sponsorship/funds, which we currently do not get any at all, and the support of other country friends, I do not see why we would not make it to compete in Olympics.
Photo: Sachelle with a friend not really ready to leave on last day in Beijing
My years of traveling with the national team, along with the good experience I had in Beijing,China with CAPA, made me want to continue to travel to anywhere I could. I have ended up going to Indonesia and Africa since. And my journey of traveling will continue, because that is the best investment anyone can make, going away to a far away land to explore and learn!