Six Weeks in Southern California

Sunshine and summertime and studying (besides today’s RAIN!) This pretty much has summed up the last three weeks. I’m just over halfway done with the six week summer intensive program before heading to Shanghai to continue online courses, research, and teach. Phew! Has the past few weeks been a whirlwind, or what?!! Here’s my top ten about life right now:

1. I found yoga…$50 unlimited. This has provided essential me time and relaxation in between class and studying. I am able to rent a bike from the University, so I bike the 2.5 miles up and (down) hills to the studio. The studio is surrounded by eateries, a juice bar, a coffee shop, and Trader Joe’s. A lucky find indeed!

2. My roommate/suitemates are fabulous. My roommate is from Chicago and is in the International Development track, one of my suite mates just arrived back from teaching in Shanghai and is doing International Education like me, and the other suite mate is from California and is doing International Business. We all get along really well and have a lot of fun!

3. Class schedule thus far: Culture and Society, A; Research Methods, A; and so far in Mandarin- 105 on my midterm. Phew! Studying has definitely paid off. On the weekends I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to study for a few hours before yoga at 8 or 9, then back to studying for the afternoon. Sundays are saved for beach time and group work and organization for the upcoming week. My concentration (Education) course starts this week…for the last two weeks. I also had a conversation with one of the final thesis evaluators about my topic, I am leaning towards something with study abroad…so if anyone has any ideas let me know! 🙂

4. California sunsets are stunning. So are their sunrises. Pinks, purples, yellows, oranges…

5. French Hill on Campus is a super steep climb, but the view of the valley is incredible- especially at sunset and the seductive lighting or at dark with the twinkling lights of all the surrounding cities and the Fourth of July fireworks shows.

6. THE BEACH. The shuttle drops us off at Corona Del Mar for a few hours. There’s a good wine bar, Mexican restaurant, and frozen yogurt place…and good beach walking. You all know how much I love the waves.

7.  Mandarin. On Sundays, I get private one hour Mandarin tutoring sessions thanks to the TA. I am taking full advantage. It’s really fun and cool to see how much I’ve remembered from my Taiwan tutoring sessions. I’m getting better… ha! I really enjoy the sessions and class. My professor is very nice and so funny…she loves her jokes! We will perform this song and dance at our final banquet (we are attempting to learn the chorus…(This is the second dance I’ve learned for a class or work this year).

8.  Concordia University. This campus is beautiful. It’s small, but nestled off the main roads so we can see the valley below and mountains surrounding. It’s quiet, the roads are wide and have lanes for bikes. There is a Farm Direct (a Korean supermarket- which is super fun because I can read some of the signs and they have my favorite “fish ice-cream” sandwiches!), a coffee shop, a Vietnamese restaurant, and a Korean BBQ place all within a 15 minute walk.

9. My classmates. They are the best. And I don’t know what I would do without them. Through group work and studying for final exams after learning semester long material in a matter of hours. Their motivation and encouragement get me through the tough days. And bless them for putting up with their hot mess of a culture shocked friend. I am still battling with rough days of being back. It’s so refreshing to hear their stories, challenges, dreams, and inspirational talks. I really could have asked to be in a better Cohort. Even though I may not talk to everyone on a daily basis, everyone is supportive of one other’s goals. Being a TA for TESOL is also very rewarding, because I get to help my classmates prepare for their first teaching experience! I truly enjoy sharing my own personal experience and giving them advice for their projects and classroom lessons.

10. Professors. The professors at this University are awesome! They make the time to speak one on one about projects. They are supportive and want us all to succeed. Three of them will be with us in China which I hope will be a great asset. The professors here are enthusiastic about the subjects they teach and live up to the Christian principles the University holds.



So grateful for this girl! We got through Research Methods together!



Happy 4th of July!


perfect chill spot.


Dr. Schuler


Professor Yu




view from Campus!


Welcome dinner



First Day of Class




New friends!




my favorite place!


study session at a cafe…


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