All posts by Kristen Catlina

Xie Xie, China, for an Incredible Experience: A Video

Shanghai is an incredibly fascinating, neon metropolis of contrasts. Old & new. Classic, historical temples & sleek, modern skyscrapers.  Strong tradition & hybridized pop culture. Communist rule & privatized economies.

For a short clip of my month in China, please enjoy the video below:

So why did I choose Shanghai? For many of the same reasons my peers mentioned in their interviews: a center of global attention for its rapid development, emerging Asian economy, its sinodependency with the rest of the world, China’s rich history and culture, and the opportunity to see a “Great Wonder of the World” to name a few. Continue reading Xie Xie, China, for an Incredible Experience: A Video


Chinese Cuisine Photo Tour

A photo collage of all the foods I have tried, loved, didn’t love, or was too afraid to try. Enjoy.

IMG_5795 Cooking our meat in the broth
Hai Di Loao, Shanghai – a popular hot pot restaurant

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Make your own sauce concoction
Hai Di Loao, Shanghai

Beef Brisket Presentation
Hai Di Loao, Shanghai Continue reading Chinese Cuisine Photo Tour

Student Interview: Victor L. Salazar-Madrigal

Name: Victor L. Salazar-Madrigal
Major/Minor: Global Studies/Philosophy
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Tijuana, Mexico

Why did you choose Shanghai Travel Study?
Asia, and more specifically China, are the regions in which our contemporary world is shifting. Asian economies are poised to be the main global engines of growth in the next decade, the geopolitical weight of such nations is also increasing, etc… Also, there is less knowledge and understanding of these cultures, which are among the most ancient that the world has to offer. All these factors made me think that the best Travel Study option for me at this moment would be Shanghai.

Favorite experience:
Be able to relate all the concepts that we were learning in class with my daily activities. It was very interesting and rewarding to be able to make sense of things that I saw in class with my experiences that I had on Chinese streets. I felt that I was able to understand many aspects of China much more quickly and fully by that way. Continue reading Student Interview: Victor L. Salazar-Madrigal

Beijing Day 3 – The Wall. Trust me, it’s great.

With a span of 5,500 miles designed to keep out an entire country, a cost of over 400,000 lives during construction which left bodies built into the wall itself (so it’s been said), and its panoramic view, it’s no wonder this popular tourist destination is considered one of the “Seven Great Wonders of the World”. There is simply nothing quite like it.

If you plan to visit the Great Wall, don’t forget to do your research on the best way to arrive there whether it be by bus, taxi, or minivan. Victor was able to book us a driver in a minivan so 11 of us piled into the vehicle for a round-trip cost of only 20 USD each.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough this hike takes only about 30 minutes (harmless right? no.), the hike is extremely steep so bring plenty of water and take rests! I was so winded after 10 minutes. Stair-master training at the Wooden Center did not prepare me for this. Continue reading Beijing Day 3 – The Wall. Trust me, it’s great.

Student Interview: Effie Chen

Effie is an incoming international student at UCLA from Shanghai. We met at the Chancellor Gene Block’s July 4th Reception at the Sheraton in Shanghai. I will be having the pleasure of hosting her at my apartment in LA in the weeks leading up to her move into the UCLA dorms.

Name: Effie (Pinru) Chen
Year: Class of 2017
Hometown: Shanghai, China

Must-see places in Shanghai:
The Bund in Puxi is totally a must-see in Shanghai. From the Bund not only can you see the past of Shanghai by the European-Chinese style buildings left by different colony countries from a century ago, but you also get to see the futuristic financial buildings across the Huangpu River.

Jiang’an Temple is another exotic destination. Since China has more Buddhists than Christians, temples are not only popular for foreigners but local people. Jing’an temple is located in Downtown Shanghai with a luxurious golden sharp top. Continue reading Student Interview: Effie Chen

Beijing Day 2 – Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven

From the Ming to the Qing dynasty, the Forbidden City served as the imperial palace to the emperor and his household, which included the advisors, concubines, and eunuchs. It wasn’t until 1925 when the Forbidden City became open to the public everyday.

The Forbidden City, according the other travelers we’ve met along the way and our travel guide books, is a must-see when in Beijing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStarting off the morning with breakfast and some friendly competition at the hostel


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASophistication Continue reading Beijing Day 2 – Forbidden City & Temple of Heaven

Beijing Day 1 – Tiananmen Square & Peking Duck

“That’s all for lecture today, and enjoy your four-day weekend-” the rest was cut off as the class bustled around the room to get their backpacks and supplies together. With our four day weekend, a large group of us had booked round-trip bullet train tickets to Beijing and a 3-night stay in a youth hostel. The top tourist-y spots we had planned to visit: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, The Great Wall of China (duh), and The Temple of Heaven. I am certain Beijing will not disappoint!

SH railway stationShanghai Railway Station about to board the bullet train

BJ bullet train exterior

BJ train interior
Settling into our assigned seats for the 5-hour journey

BJ train table
All ready! Continue reading Beijing Day 1 – Tiananmen Square & Peking Duck