Tour of The Central University of Finance and Economics and the Olympic Birds Nest

I had thought that once I got to Pitt, I would be all done with college tours and visits, but today we took a trip to The Central University of Finance and Economics or CUFE for short. The campus was beautiful and very modern and had every possible facility you could possible think a campus could have.

Our first event of the day was attending a lecture on big data analytics and marketing presented by Dr. Yao. In the lecture we learned about how sites like Google use cookies to track you movements on the internet and present adds on your screen that are relevant to you based off of your recent searches. Many sites and companies partner with Google so that Google will display their adds over another companies when they think it will be relevant to a given user. We also learned about the worlds largest online shopping day, singles day. Singles day, November eleventh, has been turned into the equivalent of Black Friday in the United States, but in China the sales are about three times larger than in the United States. Alibaba is a website that is similar to Amazon and they sell just about anything you could imagine. They capitalized on singles day by posting huge sales and it has been growing every year. Last year, there was over 800 million orders in one day which backed up. post offices and shipping companies for over two weeks.

After our lecture, we were given a tour of the campus by a few current students. We participated in a few team building activities and got to see their incredible sports facilities that included a track, tennis courts, basketball courts, an outdoor gym, and many other athletic fields.

The highlight of our tour, in my opinion, was when we visited their library. it was built in 2016 and was equipped with escalators, computers, over 1,000 seats, and over 2 million books. They said that students spend almost all of their free time in the library studying or just reading for pleasure and as we were walking around, we passed close to a dozen students asleep on their books which I think showed how hardworking many of the students in China are. I found it impressive that so many students would work to the point where they could fall asleep mid sentence out worksheet.

We returned to the hotel for about an hour then we were right back out so that we could travel to the Olympic arenas that were used for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In order to get there, we had to take the subway. Their subways were just as crowded as those I have seen in the states, but they were much cleaner. Everything was moving very fast and it seemed like the subway car barely stopped at each stop to let people off and on.

The olympic stadiums were much bigger than I had expected them to be. The designs of the buildings were abstract and a very interesting site for the eye. The streets around the stadiums were not very busy other than a few tourists taking pictures. There was a surprising amount of skaters causing up and down the street.

Our last stop of the night was an outdoor mall than ran along both sides of a street. They had all different types of foods and shops for everything that one could wish for. My favorite store was one that sold knock-off American brands because some of the items seemed like close replicas while other things hardly even resembled the brand that they were trying to imitate.

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