On the morning that we prepared to leave for China, the scenery couldn’t have been any better. It was a stunningly beautiful Saturday morning and the City of Baltimore was in full swing. It was a great day for our group of eight Morgan students to depart and meet the rest of the HBCU-China Exchange participants in Washington, D.C.
Prior to departing, 10 students from Bowie State University and six students from Philander Smith College joined up with us to complete our cohort for the 2016 HBCU–China Scholarship Network in Beijing, China. You could feel the excitement as we prepared to leave from the MSU Montebello complex, spending our last remaining time on campus with families and friends. Even President David Wilson, with his demanding schedule, joined the MSU China delegation for a Royal Morgan send-off, imparting us with words of motivation and encouragement. Off we then went to Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C.
After a 14-hour plane ride the group arrived in Beijing, China roughly around 3:00 p.m. (3 a.m. Maryland time) and were presented to our student peer mentors from the Beijing Foreign Studies University, and the student ambassadors of the US – China Exchange Foundation, who are responsible for guiding our group on all excursions throughout our time in China. As we exited the bustling airport filled with so many people of Asian descent, we boarded our bus and made our way through the busy, heavy trafficked streets of Beijing City en route to our hotel. As we rode through the city we begin to notice the many similarities and differences there were between the United States and China. Although, Beijing is the world’s third largest city, there is virtually no trash on the streets and it is extremely clean. After exploring the hotel and eating dinner together as a group, we were all jet lagged and wanted to get a good nights rest before our first full day in our temporary home, China.