Tag Archives: China

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

Excursion #3 – Pudong NGO & Senior Center

On this trip to visit an NGO office in Pudong and their sponsored senior center, I particularly enjoyed a presentation by an American expat who, ironically, majored in Global Studies. He illustrated his fascination for working and living abroad in the public sector and the career path leading up to his current position in Shanghai.

Before coming to China, I have noticed that among my Asian friends – particularly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino – it was characteristic for the grandparents to live with their children and grandchildren. However, among my Caucasian friends and even the Caucasian side of my family, it is rare to find extended family living under the same roof. Often times, grandparents will live in a house of their own or a senior center. The visit to the senior center in Pudong is also indicative of this phenomenon as the center only operates during the daytime and senior citizens will go home to live with their children. In the Philippines, we must respect our elders by lowering our heads and placing the back of their hand on our foreheads. In China, toasting someone you respect is portrayed by toasting your glass below his or hers. From my experiences, I find that in many Asian cultures, there is significant importance placed on respect to the older generation – much more so than in the U.S. This respect to the older generations is not only observed through mannerisms like toasting or bowing heads, but also through living situations (as demonstrated through this trip), limited intimate displays of affection in front of the elders, and even spouse selection by parents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat really surprised me about Shanghai were the housing units. In a city with a population of over 14 million people (for scale, Los Angeles – the second most populated city in the U.S. – has a population of 3.8 million), there has to be an equally large-scale way to house everybody. These buildings are stacked very tall and compact. Just the sheer number of people in this city is incredible so naturally the housing must be as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHousing units just outside the office

Continue reading Excursion #3 – Pudong NGO & Senior Center