The First Online Study Abroad Q&A Session with Alumni
Hold by G-MEO Team on April 15th. 2020 at 3 PM
G-MEO launched its first online study abroad Q&A session on the Instagram study abroad group chat last Wednesday. A special thanks to our alumni, Christina Batista, and Kenia Alvarado Martinez, for joining this virtual interview and sharing their study abroad experiences in China. If you are curious about what their study abroad lives looked like and want to learn more about how to find amazing restaurants, fun places to visit, or the exciting activities to do while studying abroad in Chengdu, you definitely should not miss this Q&A session!
Read the Transcript of G-MEO Study Abroad Q&A Session with Alumni
Below is a lightly edited transcript of this online interview between G-MEO and Christina and Kenia. Don't miss out their stories:
G-MEO: Good afternoon everyone!! It's time to start our Q&A session with our alumni! Today, we will have Christina and Kenia share their experiences with us!! Let's start. Can you two just give a brief self-introduction?
Christina: Hi guys! My name is Christina, I'm a rising senior at FDU and I major in Marketing! I studied abroad in China in the spring semester of 2019 and I am currently the FDU Florham China program campus ambassador!
Kenia: Hello! It’s nice to talk to y’all today! My name is Kenia and I studied abroad in the spring semester of 2019. I’m currently a senior at FDU and major in animation.
Why Study Abroad in China
G-MEO: So, the first 2 questions are:
How did you decide to study abroad in China?
What is the most valuable experience you gained from studying/interning abroad with G-MEO?
Christina: Great question! I decided to study abroad in China because I was determined to make the absolute most of my college experience! (The G-MEO scholarships through the university were also a plus!) I've gained so many valuable experiences by studying and interning abroad. Not only do you grow as a person, but by saying I've interned abroad in China, I get an automatic leg up in the business sphere. Studying + interning abroad shows that you are capable of putting yourself out there and that you are up for the challenge!
Kenia: When I started college, I knew I wanted to study abroad. When it came to choosing China it was based on my love for East Asian culture and wanting to gain broader experience. In a sense, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. What I gained from studying with G-MEO is an appreciation for Chinese culture and how much there is to witness the world. I was able to do things like take the metro and go to Beijing with other students! I wouldn’t have done that if I stayed over here.
What to Eat in Chengdu
G-MEO: After sharing the reason why they decided to go abroad, everyone must be excited about what delicious food and places they have been to during their free time in Chengdu.
What is your favorite food in Chengdu?
Did you have a favorite restaurant while you are studying abroad in Chengdu?
You can also share some photos with us.
Kenia: I miss the food so much! Once you have Sichuan cuisine there’s no going back.
Christina: Oh YES, this is one of the best parts of being abroad! My favorite foods in Chengdu were definitely a tomato & egg dish, fried eggplant, and sweet wrapped chicken! Not to mention hotpot and Chinese barbecue.
Kenia: I loved the buckwheat tea I would have at restaurants and I would go to a chicken shop near the university! It always fills me up.
Christina: There is a location everyone calls "the strip" right outside of the university - it's literally a strip of restaurants! They have everything you can think of and it's all so affordable! There is also the option of going to the mall nearby, only a 10-15 minute walk from the school! Here they have other foreign food (like Japanese) and even some American franchises! (That was my first time actually having Subway!)
G-MEO: Kenia, can you tell us the name of the food you mentioned? I think they might want to order them when they get there.
Kenia: I don’t remember the name of the dish. I would usually point it out on the menu and the sweet auntie understood me. Just like Christina said, a lot of us would eat on the strip!
G-MEO: Christina, do you have any photos to share with us?
Christina: Just to give everyone an idea. The last photo is the tomato and egg dish I mentioned!
G-MEO: Did you learn how to make Chinese cuisine during your time in Chengdu?
Christina: Yes we did! I had the privilege to travel to a family's home during my time in Chengdu - here, they showed us their home and taught us how to make dumplings! (The folding part was difficult the master, but I think I got it!)
Kenia: Yes we did! When we went to visit some families, I got to make dumplings for lunch and played mahjong with them. I wish I’d learned how to make more recipes so that I could make hotpot.
Christina: This photo is from our visit!
G-MEO: Wow, those are amazing! The dumplings you made are perfectly shaped!
Christina: Thank you!!
Entertainments in Chengdu, China
G-MEO: Can you guys also share some activities you did in Chengdu? What do you do after class? What kind of entertainment is famous in Chengdu?
Kenia: I went biking with my roommate Rebecca once I learned how to use it! I always went to the bubble tea shops that were near one of Chengdu’s high schools. I also went to karaoke and found a cafe to study at!
Christina: Here's the thing about studying abroad - you have complete independence when it comes to what you want to do! My friends and I would regularly go to different restaurants together, visit People's Park, and go shopping at the mall. My favorite activities were visiting Jinli Ancient Street and The Wide and Narrow Alley! (These are places where you can regularly dress in ancient Hanfu clothing and take photos!)
Kenia: When it comes to entertainment I would say the opera shows give people a chance to see some amazing performances from talented people in Chengdu
Christina: There is also the classic Sichuan Opera, which you will visit with the program! It is nothing like the typical operas you see in New York - there is so much going on. Mask changing, fore spitting, and shadow puppets were among my favorite acts! This is a photo of fire-spitting
G-MEO: What would you put on your top recommended list, say:
What are the top 3 best things to do in Chengdu?
What are the top 3 best things to do in Chengdu?
Why those places are so special? Can you describe more in detail?
Christina: The top best things to do and places to go in Chengdu are definitely dressing up and visiting Jinli Ancient Street (photoshoot anyone?), go shopping (and eating!) at the wide and narrow alleys (especially beautiful at night!) and have hotpot with friends. Hotpot is a MUST in Chengdu - right next to visiting the pandas!
Kenia: For me, it would be: biking, tea houses, and visiting the pandas! One of the first things we did was go to the panda center and I’m glad I got to see them. I recommend going to Tianlala for cheap and delicious fruit tea, Mann cafe for your waffle cravings, and any of the shopping alleys!
Christina: These were all such special experiences to me because I was able to experience a culture entirely different from my own with brand new friends! It's something I'll never forget. You go as a foreigner and leave with a family.
Kenia: I found things that became a part of my life that I still miss a lot over here! But to me, it means I have to go back and visit.
Christina: I almost forgot to mention - karaoke is also so much fun! Even if you feel like you can't sing, it is an all-around fun time and a no-judgment zone. You order your own private room with TVs and microphones! You can even order food and drink! And finally, make friends with your Chinese buddies! You will be introduced to them on your first day and they really want to get to know you! Put yourself out there and make a friend - they can show you such marvelous things you wouldn't even think about. I have made friends for life across the world and we still keep in touch!
G-MEO: Our session is almost over, do you have any other things to share with others? Or any wonderful photos you took in Chengdu that you have not had a chance to share? Please share it with us!
Kenia: I have too many to choose from!
Christina: Me and my best friends, Jasmine and Judy!
G-MEO: Thank you, Christina and Kenia, for joining today's sharing session. We love hearing about all your experiences and seeing your lovely pictures. Thanks again for your precious time, and we may have a second Q&A session coming out soon. I hope to talk to you guys again next time!
Kenia: Thank you for having me and hopefully what I wrote helps!
Christina: Thanks for having me! I'm happy I could help! Best of luck to everyone!