Aloha, A Hui Hou Kakou

I was having an easier time understanding people by this point, no matter how fast they were speaking, but still only in Mandarin Chinese. The regional dialects, on the other hand, are a different beast and, even in China, most people aren't able to understand the majority of them.

Around the second month, I started to get to know the places around me more, being able to navigate the different streets and alleys without a map. At that point, I started to look into the different lifestyles that people had here compared to lifestyles in the United States. Life here in Nanjing was getting comfortable as I started making friends with people such as my teachers and the shop owners around town. You feel that you have a new aura of confidence when you know how to get around easily and you start feeling like a local. It is a particularly good feeling when you have a conversation with a native Chinese person and when they mention a certain place in Nanjing, you know exactly where that place is. Nanjing now feels like a second home for me.

Studying abroad has made me a stronger individual because of the challenges that I may otherwise not have faced. I learned throughout my time here that not everything has to go perfectly for one to have a great study abroad experience. Learning to take problems in stride and finding different ways to tackle them gave me newfound confidence in myself. Sometimes when life gets hectic, you can always count on observing your surroundings and letting yourself be immersed in more of the culture. Under the hustle and bustle of Nanjing, there are certain aspects of it that leave a strong impression on anyone, including the history, lush greenery and technological advancements.