Hello everyone! I am finally here in Harbin! I have been here in Harbin for two weeks as of today and I am just about fully acclimated. It has just been over a week and a half since I have started my Chinese language pledge. Yes, you heard me correctly, a language pledge, where I am not allowed to speak any English to anyone and that also applies to talking to the other American college students in my program. The whole idea of this language pledge is to help American college students (like me) get better at speaking Mandarin. I will not be able to “converse” with other people here in English until mid August which is when my summer program ends. The only exception to that is talking to friends and family from home.
Switching topics, where am I living? I am currently living in an International Student dorm here at the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) which also houses South Korean and Russian International students. I do not really interact with them much, I mostly interact with other CET Harbin students, classmates, and my roommates. Speaking of roommates, I am currently living in a four person suite which has two bedrooms, a small common room, and a bathroom. Thus, I share a bedroom with one other person and share a bathroom with three other people. It was kind of difficult for the first few days transitioning from my RA suite to sharing a suite with three other people, but I am used to it now. In addition, I have access to a dorm kitchen and two study rooms which are exclusive to only students of the CET program (including the Chinese roommates). Back to roommates, my roommate (who I share a bedroom with) is native Chinese and is a college student here at HIT studying materials engineering. I personally like him a lot. He’s helped me quite a bit with adjusting to the Chinese college lifestyle here in Harbin, how to get around here, occasionally helping me with my homework, and helping me speak better Chinese. Basically, he is my Chinese on demand study buddy. My other two roommates (suitemates), one of them is another American college student and the other is another native Chinese. Further, the CET Harbin program is setup so for every bedroom in the program, each bedroom is assigned with one American college student and one native Chinese college student studying at HIT. This is another aspect of the CET Harbin program to aid people like me studying abroad here in China to elevate their Mandarin proficiency.
Well, that’s pretty much my dorm life in a nutshell and that’s all I got for now. I will be posting again in the next week or so and I am still taking everything in from Harbin so I will be posting on wide variety of topics in the coming posts. Thanks for reading!