Reflections on my time in China

Ethical Issues in Engineering: One of the things that comes with experiencing a different country is learning about their customs and practices. The subtle differences between China and the United States are actually very important in the context of doing business, or working on an engineering project. It’s easy to overlook the small things, like…

Day 5 in Shanghai: Yu Garden and Farewell to China

On our last day in Shanghai, we had a relaxing morning where we got to explore the Yu Garden, which was built during the Ming dynasty and features some beautiful rocks, sculptures, trees, and some terrifyingly huge Koi fish. After returning to the hotel, we had some free time to get lunch, and practice presenting…

Day 4 in Shanghai: TE Connectivity and DuPont

Our fourth day in Shanghai was spent visiting companies who had investments in the city. The first was a factory owned by TE connectivity, an electronic components manufacturer that is headquartered in Pennsylvania. Compared to the silicon-valley like setup we saw at Cheetah mobile, this company’s office had a much more traditional feel. The factory…

Day 3 in Shanghai: Yangshan Port and NYU Shanghai

We began our third day in Shanghai by visiting Yangshan Port. In order to get there, you have to take a bus along the world’s second longest bridge to an island that was formerly a fishing village, but is now the world’s largest cargo port. As with most things in China, the sheer scale is…

Day 2 in Shanghai: Donghua University

On our second day in Shanghai, we went to visit Donghua University, which specializes in business and fashion design. There we heard a lecture by a Professor who was originally from Togo, but who came to China to work with businesses there. It was interesting hearing about the experiences of expats in china; it’s very…

Shanghai Day 1: Museum of History and Huangpu River Cruise

Our day started early, with a 5 hour train ride from Xi’an to Shanghai—which isn’t bad considering the distance between the two cities is about the same as New York and Chicago. After arriving in Shanghai and settling into our hotel, we took a bus down to the Pudong district of the city, which was…

Day 3 in Xi’an: Terracotta Warriors and City Wall

We started our last day in Xi’an with a bus ride to the site of the Terracotta Warriors, which is just outside the city. The larger-than-life figures were originally constructed around 200 B.C., for the purpose of being entombed with the Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The emperor’s tomb was a massive undertaking that would have…

Day 2 in Xi’an: Children’s Village and Wild Goose Pagoda

We began our second day in Xi’an by taking a bus to the countryside outside the city to visit the Children’s Village—a center that provides a home for children who’s parents are in prison. During our tour of the facilities, we learned that the children live in dormitories that are meant to feel like a…

Day 1 in Xi’an: Drum Tower and Muslim Streets

Our day started early, with an 8:00 train ride from Beijing to the next city on our trip; Xi’an. Located to the west and in a more rural area, Xi’an had a reputation for feeling older and more traditional than the sprawling cities of Beijing and Shanghai. I was looking forward to passing through the…

Day 4 in Beijing: Forbidden City

On our last day in Beijing, we visited Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Tiananmen square felt a lot like the national mall in D.C., albeit with more stone and concrete. Although we didn’t get to go inside the various museums there, we had a good view of the Chinese legislative building and the various…

Day 3 in Beijing: Cheetah Mobile, Microsoft, and Tsinghua University

Our third day in Beijing was spent visiting several companies who had offices in the area. The first was Cheetah Mobile, a relatively new software company that focuses on developing apps aimed at smartphone users. After a brief bus ride through Beijing traffic, we arrived at the Cheetah Mobile campus. An expansive lawn, dotted with…

Day 2 in Beijing: Central University of Finance and Economics

     On our second day in Beijing, we took a visit to the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE for short), to attend a lecture on the rise of the smartphone industry and e-commerce in China. The first speaker was Professor Yao, who gave a talk on how the different conditions in China and…

Day 1 in Beijing: Great Wall

On our first full day in China, we visited perhaps the best-known site to foreigners: the Great Wall. After an hour bus ride, we entered the mountains north of the city, and from the visitor center took a shuttle up to the base of the ridge-line that the wall is built on. The top is…

Pre-Departure and Flight

One week after the semester ended, and the PTSD from finals had worn off, I found myself back at Pitt; however, this time I was preparing for something much more exciting than exams—I was getting ready to leave for China! After one last meal of American food—hamburgers and shakes at Stacked—me and the other students…

Pre-Departure Individual Report

1.) My international experience to date has consisted of trips to Canada and Sweden, and visiting relatives in Ireland. My father is from Dublin, so I have been over there a couple times to visit his side of the family. This trip to China will be my first one to Asia, which is something I’m…

Meet Plus3 China 2017!

Welcome to the China Plus3 Study Abroad Program! Each year, a group of freshman engineering and business students will conduct a 2-week field study in several cities China. The field study includes company visits, sightseeing, and lectures in China, and the students will learn about international dimensions of engineering, business, and culture. Each student will…