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Sydney Farmer

Bound for Beijing

by Sydney Farmer Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My name is Sydney Farmer and I am a junior here at UW-Madison. I love travelling to China, and have been there four times, embarking on my first trip during my freshman year of high school. I recently decided I would love to not only travel to Beijing, but live and study there for a semester, hopefully this time as a slightly less awkward version of myself.

14 year old me at the Great Wall

After applying and being accepted to the UW Madison Tsinghua University program, I am already preparing for my new life in China. I am excited to blog about my adventures in China and the academic and social life at Tsinghua. I’m packing lots of warm clothes, face masks, and Nutella (just in case they don’t have it there). I am not only uncertain about these small matters, but also about large parts of my life, such as where I will live, what classes I will be able to take, and when my semester will finish. As a self-proclaimed control freak, dealing with this ambiguity has not been easy. The aspect I am most nervous about is making friends. Speaking Chinese is difficult for me, and I am nowhere near fluent. I am afraid my language skills will be a difficult barrier to overcome. However, every time I am feeling stressed, I just picture myself chowing down on my favorite spicy squid, and can taste the freedom and excitement of being in China once again.

Taken in Xi’an, 2014