This experience has been nothing short of amazing. I have learned so much, made some lifelong friendships, and memories I will never forget. I am sad to leave China and this experience behind, but I will always carry it with me. This program was incredible and helped me grow and develop as an individual. To everyone that made this program possible, I can’t even put into words how grateful I am to have had this amazing opportunity. This was my second time traveling to China and not my last time either! I felt a strong connection to this place when I first came here four years ago. I fell in love with the culture, the history, the sites, the food, and most importantly the people. Life is a learning experience and I took on this opportunity because I knew I would come back with a new mindset and a better understanding of this world.
After the program a few of us traveled to Shanghai for a few days! We got to see some amazing sites of this beautiful modern city. We took a 2 1/2 hour speed train ride! In the pictures below are photos of the 2nd tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower. I got to go to the observation deck. It was absolutely breathtaking.
I compared the experience of being in China for a second time like reading a book once and then reading it over again. When you read a book a second time, you get a better understanding of it and gain some insight of some things you might have missed or maybe didn’t understand before. The culture shock wasn’t as shocking for me as it was for students that were coming here for the first time. I learned more about the Chinese culture and the business aspect of it. I’m happy I got to learn so much about India as well. The Indian students taught me about their culture and told me so much about their lives. Although we all come from different parts of the world, different cultures, different lives, we all created such a strong connection with one another. That was the most beautiful thing about this whole experience. Connecting and making friendships with people from all over the world.
Last day of program! Cake on everyone’s face!
Picture with my awesome professors, Professor Mehta and Professor Crooker!
My team! Team 1!
I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to see the world and what it has to offer. I am confident that all students can benefit from this program. We learned about a business plan, innovation, and entrepreneurship in class, and we learned so much more from each other. I even learned a little bit about engineering from some of the Indian students! This opportunity allowed me to take a huge step out of my comfort zone and become completely immersed in a culture so rich. I don’t think I got homesick once! Thank you to all that made this program possible! See you later, China.
Five days flew by very quickly! We had our orientation for the program Sunday evening where we got to meet the Chinese and Indian students. Little did I know that I would make amazing friendships during this time. I was a little bummed I didn’t have any UML students on my team, but I was very happy when I met my team mates! I had Indian students Shreya and Sannath and Chinese students Leo and Hannah. We got to introduce ourselves and became good friends by the end of the program!
The days in class were long but flew by very quickly! It is crazy how much we all learned in just a few short weeks. I really enjoyed the group exercises we did. It is amazing what you can come up with when everyone puts their heads together to try to find a solution. It was great to see what all the other groups came up with! My favorite activity was constructing a durable ambulance out of small Lego blocks. Even though we had a short amount of time to do it, my team did a pretty good job!
One of my favorite things about this trip was going out at night in Nanjing. One night all the Indian students and UML students went out accompanied by the Chinese student volunteers. We just went to a mall, shopping, the market but it was so fun. It was a great way to see the city and get to know my classmates better. The volunteers did such a great job taking us around Nanjing and making sure we were safe. A few times we took Didi, which is the Chinese version of Uber and it made it so much easier to get around!
Nanjing at night!
We visited a temple in Nanjing and there was so many people! There were so many steps to get to the top, but the view was so worth it. One of the Chinese volunteers, Max became one of my good friends very quickly. One thing we had in common is we were always seen wearing a camera around our necks. I brought my camera to take as many pictures as I could in China, he had the school’s camera to take pictures of everything we did in class and outside class. I loved going on the tours because we got to see so many beautiful sites and learned a lot about China.
View from top! So many stairs! Halfway up!
Max the photographer!
First few days in China
May 30, 2018
I have been looking forward to this experience for months now! Finally, it’s time to get on this plane and fly to China! This flight will be long but will be so worth it! I am so excited to travel to China for the second time in my life. When I first traveled to China a few years ago, I came back with a completely new and different perspective of the world and how it works. I can honestly say I found a part of myself in China and cannot wait to return and learn more about this fascinating country.
I know some people might be hesitant about the long flight, but it really is such a small part of the trip. It’s not so bad either! And you get to fly over the top of the world which was pretty cool. I got some awesome pictures before we landed in Hong Kong early morning and when we took off in Hong Kong.
Although I have been to China before and knew exactly what I was in for, it was fun to see my fellow classmate’s reactions to the culture shock. The first time I came to China I was completely taken back by how different it is here than at home. I also forgot how many people there are in China and sometimes it can be overwhelming. The craziest thing is watching all of the people drive cars, mopeds, riding bikes during rush hour traffic. It looks chaotic but as I watched everyone driving I noticed something. There is this crazy, chaotic, but smooth rhythm in the way they drive. There is a lot of beeping, but not aggressive beeping like here at home. The drivers beep a lot to alert people that they are coming or if they are letting someone go. You can see right away how the massive population plays a huge part in the way the people here drive.
Another part of the culture shock has to be the food. When I think of Chinese food at home I think of crab ragoon, egg rolls, general tsaos chicken etc. Chinese food in China is completely different than what you would expect. Also, the Chinese food in China is different every where you go in the country; each city is known for their own specialty dish as well. One thing about the food that I appreciate is they don’t waste any part of the animal. Fish is brought to you some bones still in the meat and a lot of the soups have some parts of the animal that you usually wouldn’t eat in America. I tried a few things I normally wouldn’t eat and I still loved the experience! I enjoyed a majority of the food we had at the restaurants. The food is one of my favorite things about China and all the different flavors in the dishes. Last time I went to China I didn’t try any of the street food even though it smelt so good. I was a little nervous to try the street food but this time I did and it was delicious!
The first few days in China our UML group traveled to a few different places before the GE2 program started on June 4. This was a great way for students to experience China and the culture before we had to do some school work! We traveled to Changzhou and went YanCheng ChunQin Land. This was a beautiful scenic park that touched upon Chinese culture and history. We learned a lot about Confucianism Yin and Yang. There was a tree full of gold leaves and red ribbons and we got to write a wish on a ribbon and hang it on the tree!
We also traveled to Yangzhou where we saw some beautiful Chinese scenery!
Beautiful view from our hotel in Nanjing! I woke up to this every morning while I drank my coffee. 🙂