Category Archives: Student Interviews

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


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

Student Interview: Marcos Rodriguez

Name: Marcos Rodriguez
Major/Minor: International Development Studies/ Global Studies Minor
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Tijuana, Mexico

Why did you choose Shanghai Travel Study?
I have always been interested in Asia, so I couldn’t miss the opportunity to study and visit China.

Favorite experience:
Discovering China with amazing students from UCLA made every day great. My favorite experience was touring the Great Wall, I always wanted it to see it. But watching it with new friends made it even better.

Most surprising / funniest / most memorable experience:
The second week of the program we decided to take a small trip to a Buddhist temple. It was supposed to rain, but being from California Continue reading Student Interview: Marcos Rodriguez

Student Interview: Amanda Ullman

Name: Amanda Ullman
Major/Minor: Communication Studies / Global Studies Minor
Hometown: Camarillo, CA

Why did you choose Shanghai Travel study?
Going to Shanghai was the perfect way to finish up my Global Studies minor, make use of my 3 quarters of studies in Mandarin Chinese, and end my college career. I love learning languages and exploring new cultures, so having my final college classes in China couldn’t have been a better opportunity.

Describe your favorite experience:
My fondest memories were actually in Beijing. I really loved Shanghai and being able to explore such a modern city, but being in Beijing really made the Chinese experience feel real. There is so much history in Beijing and the architecture is beautiful and exactly what you picture when you think of China. Seeing the wall also was really fantastic. It was so impressive it actually almost made me cry!

Most surprising / memorable / funniest experience:
My favorite memories come from my experiences in attempting to speak Chinese with the Shanghai locals. I still remember how difficult it was to try to piece together my limited vocabulary to try to describe what an umbrella was! What was so great though was that no matter what you said in Chinese, all of the locals would be amazed. Continue reading Student Interview: Amanda Ullman

Student Interview: Asher Landau

Name: Asher Landau
Major/Minor: Global Studies
Year: Class of 2015
Hometown: Glendale, California

Why did you choose Shanghai Travel Study?
I was interested in studying in China since it is one of the most exciting countries right now in terms of growth and political and social change. It is also a country drastically different from the United States and I thought it would be the best training ground for learning to work with other cultures.

Favorite experience:
My favorite experience was traveling to Yellow Mountain with no plans and just climbing the mountain. It was a whole different world from Shanghai and by going there with little expectations I opened myself up to exciting and unknown experiences. We just followed whatever path in the mountain looked most interesting to us and it always led to a beautiful sight. At the foot of the mountain, we found a hotsprings that had different “flavors” of hot spring: red wine, green tea, coconut, black tea, and many others. After climbing the mountain for a few hours, soaking in the hot springs was one of the most relaxing moments of my life. Continue reading Student Interview: Asher Landau

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