• Daniela Wildi

Why am I spending my exchange year in China?

YFU exchange students with YFU volunteers - from all around the world to China

Goodbyes are hard for me and leaving my family and friends on another continent for one whole year broke a little bit my heart. But between tears and hugs there is something waiting for me - something incredibly interesting and exciting. It's the beginning of my exchange year in China and I decided to take you guys with on my biggest journey I will go so far.

Zurich International Airport - with friends & family

After my 10 hours flight I arrived in Beijing. I stayed there at the YFU (student exchange program) arrival camp with students from all around the world who will also spend their year in China for three days. The food there was so delicious, even though you have to get used to the breakfast first as it's very different from Western countries (rice, noodles, salad, soup, vegetables)

lunch in Beijing - We didn't dare to try this chicken head

It doesn't only look great but is also tastes really good. Be careful, there might be a chicken head in the plate. In China eating is more of a communal activity. In contrast to the West, where everyone orders their own meal, which arrives on a plate and is eaten individually, food is shared by all present at the table.

countryside of Beijing - YFU arrival camp

train station in Beijing - observing the people and guessing how many TVs there are

After my short stay I finally took the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai, which finishes the 1'318 km's distance between the two cities in 5 hours. The air in Beijing is very polluted and I noticed this right after the arrival as the visibility was very bad. I took this picture when I was in the train and it gives you a little impression of the bad air quality, eventhough there were still more polluted places. It actually looks like fog but it's polluted air, also called smog.