Written by Carina, High School/Pre-College Student Correspondent for International Career Pathways: Beijing, China, Summer 2018
Before coming to Beijing, I had been to China twice before with my dad. I had been to Shanghai in 2009 and Hong Kong in 2010, so I felt pretty prepared to live in China again. There was only one problem: the only times I had been to China were in the fall and winter. If you know China’s summer, then you know it is an entirely different beast. I had no idea what to expect, so I prepared for everything. It turned out that was actually very helpful because Beijing summer weather can literally be ANYTHING. The first two days after we arrived, it was a blistering 104 degrees and very dry. A week later it was 75 degrees and rained a total of 7 inches in one day. Unfortunately that day was the day we went to the Great Wall.
So you, dear reader, what should you bring to prepare for the weather?
First, bring airy and breathable clothing for the really hot days. You will be walking around for hours in terribly hot and muggy weather, so bring clothing that allows some air into your body. Also, make sure you bring shirts that are either sweat resistant or that you are ok with getting sweat stains on.
Second, bring a really light raincoat (one that says WATERPROOF not WATER RESISTANT) and an umbrella. Same with the heat, you will be walking around for hours when it may be pouring rain, so you will need a good raincoat and umbrella. If you don’t have a good umbrella, don’t worry. Many shops sell umbrellas at a very low cost.
Finally, the best piece of advice I can give you is to expect the unexpected and deal with it. It may be tempting to sit inside all day when it is really hot or pouring rain, but the best experiences come when you go out and explore. You may be miserable in the moment, but I promise you won’t regret it later. And you will have some great stories to tell!