Sunday, January 10, 2016

Day 7- January 7th

We awoke from our second night train experience this morning, and for many of us it was hopefully our last. With the train reeking of cigarette smoke, and many of us still very tired from an underwhelming sleep, we were excited to finally be rid of the dreaded night train. Upon arrival at the Wuchong station in Wuhan, we went right to our hotel. Not all of our rooms were ready, however, so we took our tired, smelly selves to lunch. Some of us got to experience a Chinese KFC, while others went to a local Cantonese fast food restaurant. Everyone was sufficiently satisfied.

After lunch we went back to our hotel, and were able to shower, and get ready for our trip to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST). The university was only a couple minutes walk from the hotel, and we were immediately greeted by a whole host of HUST students, with two of them designated photographers. They took an incredible amount of pictures, and we all felt like celebrities. Our tour of the campus lasted 2-3 hours, and the photos were nonstop. The campus was huge (~100,000 students), and it is the proud home of the Most Trees on a College Campus. The facilities available to the students were amazing, and the students seemed to take full advantage of these. The students attending HUST are the cream of the crop, and it became evident why when we got to meet them in the evening.

After our tour, we ate dinner at one of the over 30 cafeterias (or canteens as the students call them) on campus, and then returned to a classroom for a mixer with about 25+ more HUST students. The mixer was great fun, and started off with a talent show. Oliver and Ryan starred for Whitworth, with Oliver juggling oranges and Ryan beatboxing with a HUST student. They did us proud. After this, some HUST students gave presentations on internships and Chinese culture, Andrew presented on his internships, and Lily and Rose presented on their home lives and educational interests. We had an hour or so after the presentations to chat with the students, and we all had a great time learning about their interests and experiences in Chinese culture. Many of them hoped to someday come to graduate school in the US, and many also had favorite things that were American, from music, to movies, and even sports teams. This capped off a long day, and we went back to the hotel to rest for our early departure to Hong Kong!

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