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Week 2: Shanghai

Two weeks have flown by and I can’t believe that the trip has already hit its halfway mark! Daily routines have started to form which just makes Shanghai feel much more like home.

On a typical day, I would wake up to the smell of steamed buns and have a big breakfast with my host family that consisted of fried egg, porridge, fresh fruit, and steamed buns. After my big breakfast, my roommate and I would grab some OFO city bikes and head to our Chinese classes.

Following our Chinese class, we would all do an “into the community” activity where we would put what we learned that day and go out into the community to interview some of the locals. This provides an opportunity for us to put our language speaking skills to the test.

After that, we are free for lunch until 1:30 where we would do our cultural activity. Lunch for us is typically either at the cafeteria or at Global Harbor, one the biggest shopping malls in Asia. The first thing we always go to first is the boba milk tea. So far I don’t think any of us has gone more than two days without having a cup of boba tea.

Following our cultural activity we would then be free for the rest of the day where we could hang with friends, go home, or just do whatever you feel. My host home is a pretty average home for Shanghai, a 3 bedroom apartment just 15 minutes away from the university located in the Changning District. It’s definitely a change from my home in America but it’s a new experience that I really enjoy.

In Shanghai, dock less city bikes are one of the most convenient ways to get around. Currently about 500,000 city bikes roam the streets of Shanghai. All you do is scan the barcode via your smartphone and then the bike is unlocked and is all yours to use. After you arrive at your destination, just park it outside and lock it and you’re done, no docking station required. That’s something that I’m definitely going to miss back in the states because they’re so much fun and convenient that having a car just seems silly. With the mass of bikes, I know that having this back home would be physically impossible but it’s something that I’ll always wish we had back home.

I actually can’t believe that week two has already come to a close and I can already tell that the next two weeks are going to be even better.

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-Benjamin L.

'Global Navigator Voices' is a collection of blog articles and pictures by our very own high school study abroad participants. Follow their adventures before, during, and after their experiences abroad!

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