Photos by Fiachra MacFadden, (Colorado College) Student Correspondent CET Beijing: Intensive Language, Summer 2018 This is located in Tiananmen Square, also known as the Garden of Heavenly Peace, where there are a lot of other fascinating historical sites and museums. I was lucky with the weather on the day I went to Tiananmen, and as a history major, I was particularly excited to see the Garden of Heavenly Peace and explore the inside grounds. This is the only entrance to Tiananmen, which holds a large portrait of Mao Zedong right in the center of Tiananmen Gate. Tiananmen was constructed in 1420 under the Ming dynasty. It has been through a lot of fascinating Chinese history. At one point, it held the portrait of Nationalist Leader Sun Yat-sen. In 1945, it held the portrait of Chiang Kai-shek (who later fled to Taiwan). When the Communist Party came to power in 1949, Mao Zedong’s portrait was put up. Every year, the portrait is replaced with a new portrait of Mao. There was only one day since 1949 that Tiananmen Gate held a portrait of someone other than Mao. This was on March 9th, 1953, when a portrait of Joseph Stalin was put up due to his death. Tiananmen is open every single day of the week, but is predictably extremely busy. Due to the beautiful sights and fascinating history, expect big crowds and the occasional push and shove! CET puts together many different excursions throughout the course. One was to Tiananmen, but another was, of course, to the Great Wall. I had a few friends in Beijing who offered to take me on a separate day, so I decided to go with them instead of with CET. The day CET went was on an unbearably hot day! However, it turned out that the day I went, the weather was just the opposite. It was raining almost non-stop and was a little chilly. But that didn’t mean the views weren’t spectacular. I don’t think any kind of weather can ruin the beauty that the Great Wall provides. The Beijing air is a lot less polluted than it used to be. Most of the week is pretty clear, but there are typically one or two days that are extremely hazy. So, it’s wise to buy a few masks for those days! This is an obligatory selfie I took sporting one of these masks. Despite Beijing’s rapid urbanization, it is still very common to see old men (and women, though not in this particular picture), playing cards and checkers or just chatting in the evenings. These men are sporting the (in)famous “Beijing Belly!” Beijing is really a massive city. I will be here throughout the whole summer, and will also be doing a fall semester internship program with CET. I have been exploring the city as much as I can on weekends, but I’ve also been trying to find different study spots in Beijing on weekdays. This is a photo at one of my favorite café/bookstores in Beijing, where I was working on my homework! There are a variety of places to eat at in and around campus for pretty affordable prices (though the food is perhaps not so healthy). This is a photo of what my classmates and I had for lunch after class last week! On this particular day, the cafeteria had closed earlier than we had expected due to new summer hours. Our teacher, however, was quick to inform us that we should get to know some of the Beijing food delivery apps. Beijing, like most cities in China, has a plethora of convenient apps for all kinds of deliveries. We decided to use an app whose name roughly translates to “Are You Hungry?” Within 25 minutes, we had two fresh pepperoni pizzas! Last week we had a kind of conference, where all the CET students sat down with a large group of Capital Normal University students to talk about the differences between American and Chinese student life. Of course, the language pledge still applied to this, so the entire two-hour long dialogue was in Mandarin. Since I am at a lower level of Mandarin, there was plenty that I did not understand, but it was pretty inspiring to see people at levels just a little bit above me having fairly in-depth conversations with Chinese students.