Wow! It is hard to comprehend that there is only one month left of my student exchange left!
During the past three months that I have spent at JUFE I have been fortunate to establish friendships with fellow exchange students that I know will last a lifetime and we now consider each other as family which is a comforting concept leading into the holiday season.
Although China, the city of Nanchang and the JUFE campus are now considered home to all exchange students, there are still moments during which each of us has felt a little homesick for the customs, traditions and familiarity of our home countries. These moments have enable us to strengthen the bonds of our friendship as we band together to help lift each other’s spirits and have also provided me with the opportunity to enjoy many cultural traditions of countries that I am yet to visit.
To date I have joined in the celebration of 3 birthdays, Canadian thanksgiving, Halloween and American thanksgiving and each of these events has helped to overcome the feeling of nostalgia associated with being away from family and loved ones during our most important times of the year. We also have discovered a very nice restaurant nearby the campus which we have termed “our family restaurant “at which we all gather once a week to enjoy a “family” meal together, similar to that of the “Sunday roast” I am accustomed to in Australia.
Being surround by such wonder people who genuinely care about each other will proved to most important during the coming weeks, for as the Christmas and New Year periods are fast approaching in Australia, and indeed most countries the world over, for the exchange students at JUFE these week signal course work revision and examination preparation weeks for our examination period begins on 24 December and finished on 31 December which is sure to have even the emotionally strongest person feeling a little homesick! However, with this in mind, my JUFE family are presently undergoing preparation to ensure that we all feel at home as much as possible during this time. We are arranging to have a Christmas tree set up on our floor or the international student building, have begun to set up Christmas decorations in our rooms and have identified the person for which will be purchasing a “ Secret Santa” gift for.
I know that when it comes time for me to leave China and return to Australia that I will miss my JUFE family as much as I missed my own family and friends during the initial weeks of my student exchange.