Loyola University Chicago

Office for International Programs

November 2016

Ailin

Home Town: Beijing, China

Major: English Literature

Why did you choose to come to Loyola?

Well, it is Chicago! This city has a certain charisma, which is completely different from coastal cities. One can enjoy himself/herself without doing anything but wandering along the lake shore. Walking east for a few minutes from downtown, the noise will be left behind and Lake Michigan is there to calm you down. Besides, our fellow students who came to LUC last year spoke very highly of Loyola. With Jason’s great presentation, I definitely had to come to see for myself.

What have you enjoyed so far about living in the International House?

Convenience! Location, transportation, in-house infrastructure… you can literally borrow anything you need from downstairs, thanks to the donation of former I-House residences and the staff.

I’m not quite a cooking person, but I’d like to “take a tour” in the common lounge and kitchen after I come back from class, which is kind of fun since I turn this cooking thing into a spectacle event, and also get to talk to other people. The dinning room can be a fascinating place, sometimes you go downstairs for a five-minute job like printing, instead you go upstairs after an hour of chatting. Interesting events are held here as well, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Halloween special.

Where do you go in Chicago for fun?

I go for an improvising walk around the city from time to time; no specific destination or schedule. My favorite route is to walk along the lake shore from CTA Roosevelt station all the way up to our campus. It passes through Chicago River, Navy Pier, Gold Coast, Water Tower Campus, and dozens of theaters, fountain parks and museums. It would be even better if it rains a little bit. If you just slow down and take a look, you might actually come across a lot of interesting stuff: a film festival, a sports game, a concert, or, a just some birds on the beach. Or, simply take a 15-minute walk to the New 400 theater near LSC to watch a film.

Have you traveled anywhere else in the US? Where was your favorite?

We’ve been to Los Angeles and Washington DC with Chicago Center during the semester. Los Angeles is too stunning a city for me. It’s more like a place for a short entertainment rather than for living. The theaters are great though, and also the film, which is kind of the soul of LA.

I really like the trip to Washington DC. So many museums! Quiet and clean, leaving one plenty private space to learn and think. Even the Fairfax Hotel we stayed in was a historical building. Highly recommend the Newseum! The U.S. Capitol tour reminded me much of Beijing, the urban plan and city functions are quite similar in some ways.

I took an art history class this semester, and lucky for me, the Getty Museum in LA, Art Institute of Chicago and National Galleries of Art in DC that we had visited during the trip are all top five galleries in the world for their famous Impressionism collection. Hilary had made such wonderful plans for our trips!

What will you miss most about the International House/Loyola/Chicago?

Moments. Details that may trigger the good memories. The warmth when one gets inside from outdoors; standing between the two doors to see the new posters and decorations; looking into the corridor, hearing some cheerful laughters; looking down at the streets from the window of our dorm; lake view from Information Common; $4 film ticket; student discount…OK I’m off the track. What I mean is…I will send you guys postcards!