Hello everyone! I am currently in the Philippines on vacation and visiting relatives, but I figured that I would post just one last time, for old time’s sake, lol. So, my semester abroad in Shanghai, China has sadly come to an end. As I have said time and time again, I still cannot believe the crazy, amazing things that I have done and gone through that I never thought would happen. By the time I go back home to New Jersey, I would have ridden more planes, trains, ferries, taxis, buses, boats, metros, and probably any other form of public transportation you can think of in this semester alone than in my entire life! I have made friends with people who I probably would have never met had I not studied abroad with this program. I hope to continue these friendships even back to the states. And my eyes have definitely been opened to so many new things being in China. Seriously though, if you’re considering studying abroad in any country, not only China, DO IT! You won’t regret it!
It’s also crazy how far I’ve come, language-wise. I came to Shanghai knowing honestly little to no Chinese; numbers, a few key phrases, a fair amount of words and written characters… I had 1 semester of Chinese beforehand, but it absolutely was not enough to prepare me, to say the least! Seeing that the Chinese language is comprised of over 80,000 characters… I think I can say that I have made tremendous progress throughout these past 4 months seeing that I came here not knowing much, lol. Let’s be real, I am FAR from fluent still, but am definitely more confident in the language. I can order food, bargain, ask for directions, and get by in other basic conversational Chinese situations like that and am hoping not to lose what I have learned this semester and to just grow even more from here. They say the best way to learn a language is to actually be in the country and speak with its people and have those daily interactions that force you to speak it. And I couldn’t agree more. Thank goodness my mom is fluent in the language, hopefully I can practice with her at home!
I will miss so many things. I couldn’t possibly list them them all, but here are a few:
But… I will also NOT miss a few things:
It’s hard to believe how fast these past 4 months have gone. I hope to come back to this amazing city at some point in my life. I don’t exactly know when, maybe for work, maybe for vacation, maybe in a year, maybe in 10 years… but I do hope to come back… one day. The only thing that I wish I had gotten to do was to go to Beijing and see the Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc. I just couldn’t find the time to fit it in with school, internship, other trips to places, and everything else going on throughout the semester. Hoping to do that some time in the future, but for now, I can say that I am happy to finish this chapter in my life and move on to what is in stored for me next. Til next time, zaijian!
This past Saturday, we visited Totole Company, a subsidiary of Nestle and China’s largest producing company for flavoring products (seasonings, sauces, etc.). Their biggest and most popular product is their granulated chicken bullion. We were able to tour their production factory and also got a private cooking lesson from one of their head chefs! We cooked 4 dishes using their different products. My group cooked curry chicken with potatoes and apples. The food was absolutely delicious!
Pictures from volunteering for Stepping Stones this week
I went to the fabric market earlier this week to get some custom tailored things made, 2 qipaos and 2 suits. I wanted to get a long, traditional qipao (red, of course, lol) and a shorter funkier one. I picked up the 2 qipaos today (won’t be able to pick up my suits until next Wednesday) and luckily they fit perfectly and didn’t need any alterations! I thought they came out pretty good. What do you all think???
pandas pandas and more pandas
video coming soon
Some more pictures from spring break stolen from Nolan and Christine!
sketchy hostel in jiuzhaigou