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Discovering Catalonia’s Barcelona

La Fira is crowded with hot, sweaty Catalan bodies, dancing effortlessly to the Spanish music. He takes my hand in his, presses his other hand on my back, and pulls me closer. I didn’t know his name, but he was attractive and Catalan and he could dance, and for now,...

Rethinking Chinese and American Education

Over the seven months I spent in China, one of the most frequent questions people asked me was this: What’s the educational system like in the US? Often, the unspoken assumption behind this question was that whatever it was like, it must be better than China’s. This attitude seemed to...

Listening to Hong Kong

BY SIMONE KURIAL Since September 22nd, pro-democracy groups, mostly composed of students, have been protesting a decision by the Chinese government not to allow free elections of Hong Kong’s Chief Executive as is proposed in the Basic Law. Instead, Beijing’s interpretation of the Law entails a pre-selection of possible candidates...

Harbin, China: A Fresh Start

The well-known Saint Sophia Cathedral on a smoggy day. BY BAILEY HU “You’re going to study in Harbin?” My aunt asked in me in Chinese, her expression a mixture of amusement and alarm. “You know it’s negative 30 degrees Celsius there right now!” She paused for effect, perhaps expecting me...

Paradise Island: From Pieces to Peace

BY NITYA AMALEAN It was midnight on March 28th, 2007. The entire city of Colombo was alive with vigor and exuberance. The nation was awake and watching the Cricket World Cup final which was taking place in the West Indies. Sri Lanka versus Australia. Daytime in the Caribbean meant an...

Found in Translation

BY ELIZABETH STANFIELD  My initial gut reaction was this is cheating. I sat at a desk in the depths of the Sciences Library, my sprawl of books and pensive facial expression indicative of a pretty serious homework grind. Yet all I was doing was moving from wordreference.com to a document...