Au Revoir Los Angeles

Was it just one week ago when I pulled a Starbucks-double-shot-energy-drink-fueled all-nighter, poured over my accounting books and lecture notes, felt a pinch of despair as the sun rose while my hallmates got up to their morning shower and I haven’t even touched my duvet in over 28 hours? Yes, it was finals week.

Since then, I’ve managed to box all my belongings from my dorm on campus and haul it over to fill half the space in my parents’ guest bedroom. As soon as I unpack my suitcase, I repack it for Shanghai according to their summer weather: rainy, humid, hot. I also have personal travel plans to visit family in Manila, stay with a good friend in Singapore, and see Hong Kong just for kicks. So I checked the weather there too and packed accordingly.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week finishing finals, settling at my parents’ house and preparing for Shanghai while making time to catch up with friends that also just got back from another year at their respective universities. Once I finalized my travel itinerary, packed my luggage, set aside travel documents, printed and read Professor Yan’s syllabuses, the anxiety started melting away and excitement replaced it. Professor Yan and our two T.A.s provided us arrival instructions including a map of our university (East China Normal University) and directions translated into Simple Chinese for us to hand to our taxi driver.

Our courses include: Global Studies 110A & 110B – the former a course on Globalization in Context,  the latter a seminar-style course geared towards research and fieldwork in globalization. And on Fridays, we can look forward to our fields trips in different areas where we can observe the development of a global city. Disclaimer: I am that tourist that will get extremely camera-happy when taken to a truly fascinating place.

Sure, I am admittedly nervous about getting to ECNU (East China Normal University) after landing – especially since I am flying solo. (By the way, I would not recommend doing this if you can help it.) With little Chinese language background, I am well-equipped with Chinese translation, character-reading, Chinese maps, and currency conversion iPhone apps. The idea makes me a bit uncomfortable, but it will be an experience – certainly a learning one.


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