We got to wake up a little later than usual today before heading to the East China University of Science and Technology so I made sure I got down to the hotel’s continental breakfast before we left. It was the best breakfast of all 3 hotels we’ve stayed in by far. After breakfast, we went outside to take the bus to the university. Walking outside, I immediately started to sweat as it was extremely humid in addition to being over 90 degrees. Thankfully, the bus had air conditioning. We arrived at the school and headed to one of their classrooms to receive a lecture from Dr. Regina Juang, a business and economics professor. Her lectured started with general facts about China and some history of the country. We learned that China has 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 2 special administrative regions, 50 regions (states and mengs), and 661 cities. Lastly, she explained business in China. I learned quite a few things from Dr. Huang such as the fact that China doesn’t allow any other currencies to be used, while countries like India and Taiwan allow US dollars. She went on to tell us about the finance market in China and said that it hasn’t been fully opened to the trade world. Additionally, we learned that the US has a huge impact on China when trading agricultural products with them, especially grain, as China needs lots of food for its large population. We then found out from Dr. Huang that most Chinese people believe that the trade war with the US isn’t a good thing as they believe we need each other and should be working together. Dr. Huang told us that the Chinese also feel as though they rely on Western technology a lot in their society. Following this, she elaborated on the Chinese finance market telling us that people in China consider finance to be banks and that when the word “finance” comes to mind they rarely think of the stock market, foundations, venture capitalists, etc. They also supposedly want to open their finance market to the world because they believe that doing so is good for globalization, but they don’t know how or when to do it and are unsure of how much to open to the world because they don’t want their market to crash.
Following the wonderful lecture from Dr. Huang, we got put into pairs and were sent to each lunch with a student from the university. We got to experience their school cafeteria, which was nothing like Market Central. The food was pretty good and seemed very healthy for cafeteria food. I got chicken, noodles, and celery. After lunch, we walked around for a bit and my student guide was kind enough to buy me and Jacob ice cream. We ate the ice cream and walked back to the classroom with her where we played two games as a group. We played never have I ever and this other game where you passed around a badminton birdie type of thing until the music stopped playing. If the music stopped and you had the toy you had to perform something in front of everyone. Luckily for me, and everyone else, I never got stuck with the toy when the music stopped. After our visit to the university, we headed back to the hotel and had free time for the rest of the day. I headed out to Shanghai Times Square with Ben, Nate, Kevin, Devin, and Colin. It was a very nice area with lots of upscale designer stores. Almost all of the things for sale were items that none of us could afford, but it was still cool to see. After our exploration of some more of the city, we headed back for an easy night in the hotel. Tomorrow we plan to visit Ocean East International Logistics and the Yang Shan Port.