Student Interview: Jasleen Bains

Name: Jasleen Bains
Major/Minor: Political Science Major / Global Studies Minor
Year: Class of 2014
Hometown: Fremont, California

Why did you choose Shanghai Travel study?
I always wanted to learn Chinese, because I had heard China was very different. I love to understand the difference.

Favorite experience:
Definitely trying all the food. There was this place I was addicted to and the waiter always knew what I wanted. It was great.

Most surprising / memorable / funniest experience:
People would take photos of us everywhere. I remember walking into Bar Rouge with Kristen and seeing a flash behind us! Continue reading Student Interview: Jasleen Bains


A Footprint of China’s Rapid Urbanization

After each of our Friday field trips end at around noon, we are dismissed to explore the city or return back to the dorms – whichever we prefer. A large group of us decided to check the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum off of our Shanghai bucket list. The Urban Planning Exhibition Center is a 6-story building showcasing historical, current, and planned buildings. China’s incredibly rapid development and urbanization over the past few decades can be illustrated through this exhibit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASUPEC – Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA huge golden replica of the highly developed, architecturally unique Shanghai skyline to scale as soon as you enter the lobby.”Better City, Better Life” Continue reading A Footprint of China’s Rapid Urbanization

Excursion #1 – Redeveloped Shanghai Slaughterhouse

My roommate and I rose at 8am to the chugging and hissing sounds of the charter bus parked in front out of our building, waiting for us all to file in and explore the parts of Shanghai that have demonstrated urban development/industrialization in recent decades.  Today, the itinerary held plans to visit a former Shanghai slaughterhouse which has been redeveloped to hold office spaces, creative coffee shops, upscale furniture boutiques, photography studios to name a few. It was interesting to note Continue reading Excursion #1 – Redeveloped Shanghai Slaughterhouse

Tianzifang Today: An Enclave of arts, alternative cuisine, and blood bank?

A fun, cosmopolitan maze of neon lights, boutique shops, unconventional cuisine, and cobblestone,  Tianzifang is a tourist attraction for the senses: twinkling lights for the eyes, aromatic restaurants, bustlin’ sounds in the busy alleyways, cheers for the 2014 World Cup from neighboring bars, and fascinating foods for the palette.

Formerly a residential area in the French Concession, Tianzifang was redeveloped for businesses in 2006 and popularized by the media.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Continue reading Tianzifang Today: An Enclave of arts, alternative cuisine, and blood bank?

Typical Tuesday at ECNU

Here’s a quick snapshot of a school day:

8:20 am : Wake up, dress up, quick Chinese breakfast in the dining room directly downstairs from the dorm

9am – 12pm : Class with ten minute breaks after every hour

12-1:30pm : Break for lunch – I frequented the Korean dining hall on campus (Bulgogi beef, spicy ramen, Bibimbap), but many other students preferred to walk a bit off campus for Chinese restaurants (dumplings, noodles, rice dishes, xiao long bao – a favorite). Continue reading Typical Tuesday at ECNU

Freshman Orientation 101

Flashback to freshman orientation when you kindly introduce yourself to your peers, meeting your first friends for the first time – all not really knowing what lies ahead. How is the professor? Where is the gym? What are the library hours? Do I actually have to do the readings?  Why is there a stray child playing on the lawn? Does he even go here? Who’s dog is that? All equally important questions that cross your mind that first day on UCLA campus. Continue reading Freshman Orientation 101

En Route Shanghai. But first… let me take a night in Manila

Mabuhay (Mah-boo-hi): it means “long live” in Tagalog. It’s a saying used in greetings, celebrations, departures. “Mabuhay and thank you for flying Philippine Airlines”.

Manila is a popular layover destination to Shanghai especially among other UCLA students since Philippine Airlines is generally cheaper. I have family in Manila so I opted for an overnight layover to stay in a hotel with my cousin. If you choose a layover in Manila and decide to explore the city, Continue reading En Route Shanghai. But first… let me take a night in Manila