I feel much more knowledgeable about the country after taking the class "China in World Politics" this past semester. This last time I was there three years ago, I did not understand much about the economic, political, and social aspects of China. This time I will be able to observe and study environmental problems and solutions, attitudes towards foreigners and Americans, urbanization, migration, the education system, spread of western culture, government-controlled media, attitudes towards the government, the one-child policy, and much more. I definitely will take lots of photos and notes.
My goals include improving my Chinese language skills and understanding the country from the new perspectives gained in my class. Also, I am going to try to not forget my Spanish! Therefore I am going to bring a Spanish novel to read in my free time.
Now I better get to finishing my packing. I have a whole suitcase just full of gifts for relatives such as vitamins, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and candy. I'm trying to be practical and minimal with packing my own clothes but it is really hard. I'm sure I'll be able to stuff everything in at the end.