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53 posts categorized "Shanghai Language"

Week 4: Shanghai

After four great unforgettable weeks, I’m on the plane back to the Bay Area. I can’t believe how fast these past four weeks have gone and I wasn’t ready for it to end at all. Compared to the start of the program I feel that my language skills have definitely improved, especially in speaking and reading.

Looking back, this trip exceeded my expectations. I did not expect to create such close bonds with such amazing people and to have this much fun. Studying Mandarin in China compared to the US is so different because with being in China, it allows you to actually use the language and use it in real world situations while back in the US, you would only use it in the classroom. Back in the US we would mainly just do worksheets and practice activities but being immersed forces you to speak to the locals which can really improve one’s speaking ability. One of the activities that I thought helped was the “into the community” activities. This activity mainly consisted of interviewing the locals which can really help ones speaking skills because this forces you to talk with people in mandarin, which can be super nerve-racking at times. We would have to approach a local, ask them if it was ok if we interviewed them, then interviewed them on topics that were based on what we learned earlier that day. It really surprised me on how many people were ok and agreed to be interviewed because back in the US, a lot of people would be spectacle about it and not feel comfortable being interviewed by a stranger.

One of my favorite CIEE exercises was doing the culture activities because they were super fun and relaxed while at the same time being super learn-full. Some of our cultural activities were cooking classes, visiting museums, playing games, and dancing. It was a nice change from sitting in a classroom all morning. This unforgettable month-long journey has definitely been a journey that’ll last forever.

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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!

August 3rd!

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As one of the last precious days we have left in Shanghai, today couldn't have been much better. Staggered from 9am-1pm we each individually took our exit STAMP test and although the test taking itself wasn't particularly pleasant, worse was the realization that taking our exit test really meant we are creeping up on the last few moments of this amazing month. Most people spent the free time around the test either catching up on sleep or catching up on shopping (I personally squeezed in both) with another trip to the fake goods bargain market in the AP Plaza or some browsing in the Miniso of Global. 5:30 found us all riding in on our Ofos to the Mao statue for a group picture and then a bus ride to the Bund (外滩) for a neon lit cruise down the river! After coasting up and down the length of the Bund, giving us the chance to capture some spectacular views, some people hopped back on the bus and headed home for dinner with their host families or around campus. A group of us decided to really embrace the few more meals we have left in the culturally rich Shanghai and headed for some authentic Chinese cuisine; by that I mean we all went to Taco Bell. (There's only one Taco Bell in all of China and it happens to be in Shanghai so there is an argument to be made that it is a Shanghainese specialty.) A few tacos, quesadillas, and nachos later we were all full and satisfied so we took the metro back home where we all started in on our IPA final presentations due tomorrow that I'm almost certain every single one of us procrastinated on. But I mean when the time we have left in Shanghai starts to be counted in hours instead of days or weeks who wants to waste even a minute doing homework? A second to last day well spent, but for all of us tomorrow's excitement at finally going home is overshadowed by the dread of way too many goodbyes we're not ready for.

-Roxane Martin

WEEK 3: SHANGHAI

I can’t believe that week three has finally ended and in a week all of us will be departing home or to our next destination. In these past three weeks, we’ve done a lot together, but my favorite by far would have to be going to Disneyland.

Although this was an optional excursion, I’m so glad I went. Disneyland is known to be “The Happiest Place on Earth”, and that’s just what it was. It was so much fun to experience Disney in a whole new language and see how different Disney is compared to back in the states.  Although we had to wait in hour long wait times in 103 degree F weather, that didn’t stop us from having fun and getting to know each other better.

Shanghai Disney is not your average Disney in America; they have different rides, different food, and definitely a different spirit. One of their well-known rides, Tron would have to have been my favorite.  Its super high speed and it’s just such a good ride. It takes you from like 0 to 70 in seconds and it’s just such a good ride that words can’t even describe. Although I won’t be returning to Shanghai Disney for a while, I’m so glad I got to experience it with such amazing funny people.

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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!

Tea Never Tasted This Good

Halla to all!!! As our four week excursion of this language and culture program comes to an end :( , there are still many things happening this week to end it with a BANG! The day started off very chill, most of us woke up around 7-7:30 to grab a quick breakfast and zoom on our Ofo's to head to our classes early. Today unlike most days class ended a tad bit early because our cultural activity was going to be done at the TEA MARKET!! (tell me that was not exciting, I know I was) As we chowed down our fried rice and noodles for lunch it was finally 1:30 and we were already on our way to the market.

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When we arrived the first thing that hit me unlike the smell of stinky tofu was the odoriferous fragrant of all types of tea. At the tea market, we were split into our levels ( I being level 1) to make this flow faster and more organized. Each group got an assigned shop where we would sit down for a tea tasting. We learned about the fermentation of tea and how to properly prepare it, this also helped us come to the conclusion that out of all the teas that we tasted the best one was Lychee Black Tea due to the amount of fermentation it had. To wrap this up like a burrito ( omg how much I miss Spanish food), today was a productive day and I look forward to the four day's left. As much as I enjoyed meeting new people and learning a new culture and language, I miss my family and city so much and am excited to head back but I know that I will miss Shanghai with a heavy heart.

Good night to all and to all a goodnight! - Nayeli Valdez

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Tea Never Tasted This Good

Halla to all!!! As our four week excursion of this language and culture program comes to an end :( , there are still many things happening this week to end it with a BANG! The day started off very chill, most of us woke up around 7-7:30 to grab a quick breakfast and zoom on our Ofo's to head to our classes early. Today unlike most days class ended a tad bit early because our cultural activity was going to be done at the TEA MARKET!! (tell me that was not exciting, I know I was) As we chowed down our fried rice and noodles for lunch it was finally 1:30 and we were already on our way to the market.

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When we arrived the first thing that hit me unlike the smell of stinky tofu was the odoriferous fragrant of all types of tea. At the tea market, we were split into our levels ( I being level 1) to make this flow faster and more organized. Each group got an assigned shop where we would sit down for a tea tasting. We learned about the fermentation of tea and how to properly prepare it, this also helped us come to the conclusion that out of all the teas that we tasted the best one was Lychee Black Tea due to the amount of fermentation it had. To wrap this up like a burrito ( omg how much I miss Spanish food), today was a productive day and I look forward to the four day's left. As much as I enjoyed meeting new people and learning a new culture and language, I miss my family and city so much and am excited to head back but I know that I will miss Shanghai with a heavy heart.

Good night to all and to all a goodnight! - Nayeli Valdez

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南京 (Nanjing) Excursion Part Two!


Hello all! I apologize for the delay, but I hope this finds you well. While Maia very eloquently recounted the first part of our day in Nanjing, it was far from over. After catching our breaths that were stolen from us as a result of, not only the strenuous activity, but also the view(see what I did there?), we returned to the foot of the mountain and were quickly on our way to visit 明孝陵 or, The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum. This tomb belongs to the founder of the Ming Dynasty, and took nearly fifty years to complete. (Typepad hates me so please tilt your phone, handheld device, or face, sideways to reference my incorrectly aligned photos.)
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Next on the agenda was 大子庙, otherwise known as the Confucius Temple. It was there that we were allotted free time for dinner and exploring. The lively streets and stunning scenery made for a lovely conclusion to our trip to Nanjing.  IMG_2956
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Finally, after quite the day, we took a train from the Nanjing South Railway Station and returned, eventually, to our respective homes here in Shanghai.  I hope this post and others thus far have helped you live somewhat vicariously through us as we embark on this journey of a lifetime!

-Trinity Hansen

 

 

Nanjing Excursion! (pt 1)

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Today was our last trip outside of Shanghai, to a city a little over an hour away, Nanjing! After taking the early morning bullet train there, we first went to the Presidential Palace, which was for the President of the Republic of China (before the president's office was moved to Taiwan).IMAG0247

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After wandering around the palace and its gardens, we headed to the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. 392 steps later, we reached the vault at the top of the staircase. The stairs, according to our tour guide, symbolized Sun Yat-sen's respect for all others. That despite being on a higher level, he regarded others as if they had as much to offer as he did. The way the stairs are designed, in fact, prevents you from actually being able to see the stairs from where you stand at the peak, showing Sun Yat-sen's ability to disregard these differences. It was exhaustingly hot, but from that peak you could see all across Nanjing, which made it well worth it.

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(picture credits for the last photo go to Meilyn, one of our program leaders!)

We later went to explore more of the nearby sights, but my good friend, Trinity, is going to narrate the second half of our trip in her blog post. So go read that too once it's posted!

 

-Maia Brydon

Shanghai Square Dancin'

Today in Shanghai we bought colored contacts and learned about Chinese square dancing. People square dance for exercise in large groups and it is VERY difficult. IMG_2815[1]

The teachers were very patient with us, they must have been paid well. I had a blast, but I looked like a disoriented giraffe. The program leaders helped translate the instructions and even danced and taught us! After we learned the basics of the moves, we split up into 2 teams to compete against each other. IMG_2823[1]
 We danced for like 1 and a half hours and by the end everyone was slightly better than they were before. Also notice the little girl who had to watch us dance, no one knows who she is.

I liked that the way the teachers said "cha cha" also, I wasn't embarrassed by dancing with my friends because they also had to dance.

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Before we started learning how to dance, a small group went to Global Harbor, we bought colored contacts. There was a buy one get one sale so I got two pairs. Lots of people got 2 pairs and just split the cost of one.

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After I rushed on OFO (the local shared bike service) to the CIEE dorm, where the square dancing was taught. If you're late to anything, you have to sing a song/ dance. So I got really sweaty in this 100 degree F weather before we even started dancing.

The people on this study abroad are some of the best people I've ever met. This study abroad is a great experience and is a ton of fun. I'm sad that we only have 1 and a half weeks left. The friendships I've made on this trip are some that will last for life. GO TEAM LAX!!! 

    -Kobe Yahnson

Scavenger Hunt at the Shanghai Natural History Museum

你们好!Hello everyone! Today, our Chinese 2 class was delivered some bad news. 金老师不在!她生病了!Our teacher was sick today so 明珠老师 substituted for us! Some of us have also been getting a little sick and have been feeling under the weather lately. This is a good time to remind everyone that especially in the hot weather here in Shanghai, it's important to keep your body healthy and stay hydrated. It's been extremely hot lately and we have been going in and out of air conditioned rooms, so be careful!  20170726_094412[1]
During class, we learned new material that covered geographical terms, and also terms regarding names of major bodies of land and water. The most exciting part of class was *drumroll please* .....learning how to count. The terms that we learned in class were really useful for our trip to the Shanghai Natural History Museum. When we arrived at our destination, I was blown away by how beautiful the scenery was. 风景很优美!Inside the museum was also a beautiful sight to witness. 

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At the museum, the Program Leaders and the Teacher Assistants had planned out a scavenger game for us. They divided us into teams, and handed us our task sheets. We explored the museum, took pictures of the many exhibits, and also ran around like we're in a zombie apocalypse trying to find and complete the tasks to win a souvenir prize. Overall, my favorite part of the museum was being able to see the taxidermy of many different animals. The animals looked so realistic. The more I look at them, the more scared I get that one of them would blink back at me. It was so interesting to learn about the history and evolution of animals in the world. There were tons of cool interactive exhibits. One of my favorites was a 360° room, that played a documentary on the evolution of the world. The best part about it was that it was all in 3D. My group enjoyed watching the cool 3D experience, but as for someone like me that wears prescription glasses all day, everyday, 24/7, I didn't enjoy that as much as I wanted to. Most of us just walked around some more but as we were about to leave, we sang Happy Birthday to our birthday boy: Ben! Happy 16th birthday! 

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The Natural History Museum is another great memory and experience to add to our Shanghai excursion! The museum itself is already a beautiful sight to witness but the exhibits and displays add the extra spice to our experience here. I've learnt a lot about the geography and also biology of the world, and how much it has changed and evolved. Just like the animals in the exhibits, we have evolved and advanced as ambassadors of America through this Shanghai trip. 不但(Not only) did we evolve in our language abilities, 而且 (also) we have evolved as people who have a broader cultural understanding of another country. On this trip so far, I have gained so much insight on my own culture and ethnicity, and I'm glad that I'm able to have this opportunity to experience a whole new world, live outside of my comfort zone, challenging myself on a daily basis in order to grow as an individual so that I can evolve even further into a wholesome, culturally knowledgeable person.

 

-Kelsey Zhou 7/26/2017

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!