Day 9: Donghua University

Today we visited another college, Donghua University, which is in downtown Shanghai. Upon our arrival, we were ushered into a classroom in the university’s International Studies department, where we had another lecture about smartphones. This time the lecturer was an international professor, and we talked more about the phenomenon that is Chinese e-commerce and its rapid growth. In addition to discussing major Chinese internet retailers, such as and Tmall, we learned more about using Alipay or WeChat’s payment function.

After our fascinating lecture about smartphones, we were introduced to the Chinese university students that we would be spending the rest of the day with. Chloe and I were assigned to a first-year fashion design student named Lilly. We discussed living in Shanghai, studying fashion versus studying engineering, and our favorite parts of China before we were dismissed for lunch.

At lunch, we were to go eat in one of the campus’s many cafeterias with our student. The cafeterias at Donghua are similar to a mixture of Market and Market to Go at Pitt, where you can order premade food a la carte and pay with a version of “fake money” like you can at Market to Go and then sit in the dining hall and eat with your friends, like at Market. I got fried rice with a fried egg, a side of broccoli, and a delicious egg cake. The food was cheap (only about 20 RMB for the whole thing) and it was also delicious. Market could certainly learn some things from Donghua’s cafeteria!

After lunch, we took a brief walking tour of the campus. We saw some dorms, a sports field, and more classrooms. One thing I found interesting and different from Pitt and most American universities was that most students lived on campus, and their dorms were high rise apartment buildings, as opposed to the short and squat dorms on Pitt’s campus.

To close out our time at Donghua, we tried to tie a traditional Chinese lucky knot. The key word here is tried, because if one string is crossed over another instead of under, the whole knot is wrong. I had to remake my knot twice, and it’s still not finished, although I just need to make a few loops on the sides of the knot itself and it’ll be done.

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