September 6, 2016 | Josh McGinty
This summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad with the College of Business Administration for 30 days in Beijing. Prior to this trip, I had never left Huntsville for more than two weeks, let alone the country. I was nervous but full of excitement leading up to the trip.
We were able to take classes (thankfully in English) with Chinese students at the host university. Some of our class days consisted of field trips--whether to companies native to the area or to cultural and tourist sites. On Wednesday of our second week there, I was able to walk on the Great Wall of China. It was breathtaking to see such an historic piece of architecture standing today. To be able to walk along the Wall for some time was marvelous. The ride to the Great Wall took us about an hour by bus but the views were incredible. Along the way, I heard one of our Chinese host telling another student that she had never visited the Great Wall of China. I was shocked! How could someone live so close to an amazing wonder like this and have never even attempted to see it? It just didn’t make sense.
On the way home, I pondered on this while heading back to our hotel. I’ve lived in Huntsville my entire life and there are sights, such as the Sam Houston Statue, that I take for granted. Sure, it’s not the Great Wall of China, but it gave me some perspective. I had become so acclimated to my surroundings that the exciting wonders around me became everyday displays. While in college and beyond, be sure to “stop and smell the roses.” There is so much beauty around us and you don’t want to miss a second of it. Also, take advantage of all that this University offers you, whether studying abroad in a foreign country, interning in your hometown or something possibly even greater! Enjoy your college experience and remember to “Eat ‘em up Kats”!