My last days in Shanghai are spent on a graduation trip with my study abroad program, on a trip to Tianzifang with Yan and Jess, and one last karaoke night with my intern friends, before finally making it home!
Hi, everyone! I am officially back in the United States, and I already miss China! Here’s a look at my past three weeks: my final days in Shanghai, my homecoming, and some culture shock upon arriving home. I’m in the process of writing two additional posts, one with final reflections and the other with thoughts on adoptees studying abroad in their birth country.
Thank you all for sticking with me throughout this journey! Please just hang in there a little longer while I wrap up this blog and say goodbye to this long, crazy adventure.
Thursday, May 14th – Friday, May 15th
On Thursday after our Chinese finals, everyone from the Alliance program piled into buses to take a graduation trip to Anji (famous for its bamboo forests). Three and a half hours later, we arrived and ate dinner. Then we all packed back into the bus and came to the hotel. Continue reading Welcome Home
I’m back from my blogging hiatus! I’ve been studying like crazy these past few weeks, but I also had time to go to a club activity on campus and to go bowling with my internship friends! The end to my year abroad is near!
Hi, everyone! I’m really sorry for taking such a long, impromptu hiatus from blogging. The end of the semester has really had me running all over the city tying up loose ends and completing all my projects at the last minute. (How did I let myself procrastinate? Didn’t I learn from last semester?)
My favorite final was my Architecture and Urban Design project. I wrote a capstone paper on integrating sustainability into urban designs here in China. I tracked down five professionals who were willing to sit down for one-hour-long interviews with me, and I ran around the city to speak with them. That led to some interesting mishaps and adventures as I got lost trying to find the right office buildings in a sea of skyscrapers. Continue reading The Beginning of the End
In my last two field trips of the semester, I visit an old-style lilong neighborhood for architecture class, and I head back to Chongming Island with my food class!
Friday, April 17th, 5:43pm
This afternoon, Non took us on our last field trip! The class met up at the West Nanjing Road subway station, and I could see the JUCCCE office nearby! When everyone was ready, Non led us to his old lilong neighborhood, Jing’an Villa. A lilong is a type of old-style alleyway house. Many of these neighborhoods are located in a prime location downtown and have been torn down to make way for newer skyscrapers.
My overall impression of the area was that the houses looked a bit worn, but they really stood the test of time well. The alleyways gave the area a feeling of community (so many people sat around outside at tables chatting with friends), and the renovations to the interiors of some of the lilongs made the buildings feel downright modern. Continue reading Field Trip Report: 5
During this week’s field trips, I eat hot pot and visit the Shanghai Film Park (built to look like Shanghai in the 1930s). I also explore Thames Town, a satellite town in Shanghai that’s a reproduction of England.
Friday, April 10th, 11:32pm
Today, Non invited everyone in the urban planning class to his penthouse apartment for a hot pot dinner and movie night! The hot pot was incredibly spicy (though Non insists that it was lacking 30% of its normal spiciness), and my tongue felt like it was burning the entire meal. Afterwords, I had to cool down with lots of ice cream.
After dinner, we all watched a movie called Shanghai Grand. It was shot at the Shanghai Film Park, which is where we’re going on a field trip tomorrow. The movie itself was bizarre, and it had just as much blood and gore as a Tarantino movie. It was entertaining, but very strange. Continue reading Field Trip Report: 4
On my twenty-first birthday, I get a surprise at work, visit the Shanghai World Financial Center to see the city lights, and toast (with alcohol!) to a new year!
Thursday, April 9th, 11:58pm
Happy birthday to me!
Today I turned twenty-one, which was definitely not as big a deal in Shanghai as it would have been in the States. I’m not really one for wild nights out (especially during the middle of the week), so I didn’t have a crazy party to celebrate. But it’s the little things that really count, and overall my first birthday in China was lovely!
I had a pretty normal morning filled with classes and my typical commute. I don’t really like to advertise my birthday, so I hadn’t planned on telling anyone at work that I’d turned twenty-one. The office found out anyway, and I got lots of birthday wishes! Continue reading Happy Birthday to Me