Jetlag hit me even harder today than yesterday, waking me up at 4:30 am and rendering me unable to fall back asleep. It was okay with me though because the twelve-hour time difference meant all of my friends in the States were up, so I could talk to them for longer than a few minutes. Eventually, I left my bed and got ready for my day. Breakfast was once again delicious, although I’m still not quite used to eating fried noodles and fried rice before lunchtime.
After breakfast it was off to CUFE (Central University of Finance and Economics). I’ve been on plenty of college visits in my life, but never one on the other side of the world. When we arrived, we met Richard, our tour guide for the day. First it was off to a classroom where we had two lectures. The classroom itself seemed more worn out than the average Pitt classroom, but not all that different. Unfortunately, there was no air conditioning, which is something you notice pretty quickly when you’re dressed in business casual. The first lecture was about big data and its uses, which I found very interesting and at times eye-opening. Its crazy how much information can be gathered about us from everyday online activities, and how this information can be used strategically to sell more products and services. This lecture may have been the most interesting lecture I have sat through in my entire college career. Immediately after, we had another professor join us for a second lecture. This one was a little different- we were given a list of things and were asked how they were related to China. Some of them we guessed, but most we were stumped on. When the lecture resumed, we discovered that every item on the list likely wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for China. Personally, I agreed with every single item and its history except for one- skiing and snowboarding. Our lecturer connected it to an ancient Chinese form of skiing that involved horsehair, no turning, and was used predominantly for work. Other than this, I found it fascinating how different our lives would be without Chinese influence.
After the lectures, it was time for a quick group pic then it was off to lunch. When I heard we would be eating at the dining hall for lunch, I was skeptical about how good it would be. However, CUFE proved to have superior dining halls to Pitt (not that that’s an impressive feat) with their lunch. We were served a traditional Chinese Lunch in a separate room that rivaled any restaurant I had been to so far. This lunch made one question pop into my mind over and over- when will Pitt give its students decent options for dining?
After lunch it was game time. We walked over to CUFE’s recreational area, where a jump rope and some rings resembling hula-hoops were waiting for us. First, it was jump rope time. Everyone was sent through, even Dr Li and Chris! Next, we played a game where we teamed up and had to make a human ring that the hula hoop looking thing had to pass through without breaking the ring. A lot was on the line to win- the losers had to do a song and dance of the winners’ choice. My team won (of course!) and we decided the losers would have to dance and sing “Old Town Road.” Not everyone on the losing team was happy to participate but it was a funny sight to see nonetheless.
Today was a great day at CUFE! Tomorrow we have our first company visits- Huawei and VIPkid. I can’t wait!