Day 9: Susan, Soup Dumplings, & Somersaults in Shanghai

For today, all we had planned was a university visit. We went to East China University of Science and Technology for a lecture, a tour, and some other activities with the students. The campus at East China University of Science and Technology was very different from Central University of Finance and Economics since it was more in the city of Shanghai while CUFE was more outside of Beijing. When we got there, we were given a lecture by Dr. Regina Huang from the School of Business. She opened the room up to questions we might have about business in China, and she answered them all really well. Then she went through her lecture which was a lot about history in China and how that affects business.

After Dr. Huang’s lecture, we were paired with people in our group, and then each pair was matched with a student from the university. Most of the Chinese students were either graduates or graduate students that majored in English. I was paired with a guy named Nate, and we were led by a girl named Susan. Susan was really nice. She took us to lunch at the university’s dining hall. There were so many options at the dining hall; I was very jealous because it beat Market Central at Pitt by a long shot. I think that if I would have been able to eat dumplings every day, I would have gained the freshman 30 instead of freshman 15. Susan bought Nate and I twenty dumplings each! It was one yuan per dumpling, so we got twenty dumplings for basically $3.50; that’s crazy to me. The dumplings were so good, but I couldn’t finish all of them because there were so many.

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Over lunch, Nate and I sat with Susan and talked about university life in China and some of our other interests. After lunch, a large group of us led by Liliana went to get ice cream; Susan bought Nate and I ice cream which was really nice. It was so hot outside, and the ice cream was just what I needed.

Once everyone was done with lunch, we all went back to the classroom where we had our lecture, and did an activity with students. It was basically like hot potato. There was a figure that everyone passed around while someone at the front of the room played a song; once the person stopped the song, whoever had the figure had to do a small performance for everyone and then they were the next person to play the song. Then we started to incorporate multiple figures, so multiple people did a performance at once. I had to go up with this guy named Devin, and we sang “Jingle Bells”. I definitely preferred watching other peoples’ performances. After that game, we played a form of Never Have I Ever, but we managed to make it confusing, and we played as groups. Once we finished up with that, we said goodbye to all the students and went back to the hotel.

A large group of us were planning on going to a Chinese acrobatics show that we had signed up for before we went on the trip, so I was excited to see that. We had a decent amount of free time before we had to leave for that, so my group and I worked a little bit more on our business plan and presentation. Then I went out to dinner with some people in search of soup dumplings because Shanghai is known for its soup dumplings. We found a place walking distance away, and it did not disappoint. At this point, I had to be at least 1% dumpling after all of the dumplings from lunch and dinner. We got back just in time to leave for the acrobatics show.

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I loved every second of the acrobatics show. It’s so cool to see other people’s talents, and their strength and flexibility is amazing. There was a really funny segment where they asked for a volunteer from the audience, and this guy, Jared, from our group volunteered for this knife throwing act. I was so nervous! I’ve always hated watching risky things like that on America’s Got Talent. But the men in the show just ended up blindfolding him, and they didn’t actually throw the knives, them just placed them next to Jared, and it really fooled him.

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After the acrobatics show, a group of us wanted to check out the area around the show, so we didn’t take the bus back. We got subway directions back, but we just ended up walking back to the hotel. At this point, I’ve done so much walking that if there’s ever a group that choses walking, I’m always in it. By the end of the night, I had walked 25,910 steps for the day! I just really like exploring all of the cities.

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