We had one big event planned for today, which was traveling to the East China University of Science & Technology. It was a very hot day today, and it was not all that comfortable having to be in a long sleeve dress shirt and pants in 90+ degree weather. The building we went inside wasn’t much cooler either, unfortunately, but we received a lecture on Chinese history, leadership and a lot of basic information on the country.
After the lecture was over, we divided into 12 groups of two and each group was led by one of the few best English students within the whole university. I was brought on a campus tour by a girl named Elaina; she is a post-graduate student at ECUST. She was very capable of answering all of my questions about academics in China, social life, dorm life, and more. One thing in particular I learned from her was that for English majors like herself, almost all of the classes she took were in English, whether that be a mathematics course or an actual English linguistics course. It seems like it would be a very difficult task, but I understand that it is more conducive to learn and apply more English on a regular basis. Public schools in the U.S. really seem to not care as much in comparison to Chinese schools in terms of learning another language. I went through the public school system learning Spanish, and although I am quite good with my listening and writing skills, I still lack confidence in my speaking, which I believe is one of the most important parts of truly grasping a language.
After walking around the campus in the hot sun, we went to lunch in one of the dining halls. The setup reminded me almost of my high school cafeteria; there were people all in one big line getting everything they wanted to eat before they checked out at the register. I ended up getting some chicken, soft boiled eggs, vegetables, and rice, and I was surprised at how good it was. I had a preconceived notion that since we were at a university, the food wouldn’t be as good as an actual restaurant like how it is in the U.S., but the food really exceeded my expectations.
We got back to the hotel much earlier than usual, which meant a lot of free time! A few friends and I decided to take a subway to Shanghai’s Times Square area, where we explored a few malls. These malls had VERY expensive, legitimate merchandise compared to other places we had been to previously. One of the malls even had a butterfly preserve! After looking around for a while at clothes and other various luxury items, I ordered a cleansing juice from a juice bar. It had apple, kiwi, and celery in it and was supposed to be a mood enhancer. I enjoyed it quite a lot and I think it did brighten my mood a little bit! I had been very tired from walking around so much, but the juice really gave me a needed burst of energy to get back to the hotel.
I was glad that today went by relatively quickly and that we had a good amount of time to really go out and explore. Tomorrow, we’re off to Ocean East Logistics and the largest deep water port in the world!