San Francisco to Shanghai: My undergrad rotation experience
One of the reasons I chose Hult International Business School was because of the Global Campus Rotation program. My home campus is San Francisco, and I chose to rotate to Shanghai over the summer because I’ve always been curious about Chinese culture.
I thought it would be great to get first-hand experience of this culture and speed up my degree at the same time.
Arriving in Shanghai: new friends and experiences
I was so excited, that I decided to go to Shanghai a week before classes started. I planned to stay at a local hostel that was 40 minutes away from the airport.
At this hostel, many Chinese students shared rooms. After living in San Francisco for over a year, I was used to the environment of shared rooms. I thought it would be pretty cool to have this experience in Shanghai, too.
I was the only foreigner in the room. So naturally, my roommates were curious to know more about me.
I didn’t know Mandarin, but thanks to technology we managed to communicate. We used WeChat, a Chinese app that offers translation services and also works as a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Paypal.
Some were staying at this hostel for a temporary period because they needed to process college applications in Shanghai, while others were working in the city. Since they didn’t have anything to do over the weekend, they offered to take me on a tour. And I happily accepted. They took me to famous tourist places in Shanghai, such as the Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower.
They showed me how to use the metro, and they recommended some traditional food that they personally love. I was not only thrilled about the food and the beauty of Shanghai but also about the friendliness of the people.
“I was not only thrilled about the food and the beauty of Shanghai but also about the friendliness of the people. “
Summer classes: business and culture
While I was in Shanghai, I studied Behavioral Economics and Chinese Culture. Behavioral Economics was taught by one of my favorite professors from San Francisco, Matt Johnson. The course structure was pretty much like the classes I had at my home campus.
On the other hand, Chinese Culture was taught by a native Shanghainese professor. This course was particularly relevant because it helped me understand how the culture that surrounded me worked. There were many fun activities as part of the course, too. One that I particularly enjoyed was when the professor assigned us a scavenger’s hunt, which took us all around key spots in the city.
Benefits of rotation: advice to future students
Although you will meet a lot of people from different parts of the world during your time at Hult, actually going to another continent and being exposed by a totally different culture 24/7 will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
And if you go to Shanghai, the one thing you need to try is Xiaolongbao. It is a traditional Shanghainese delicacy.
You might be able to find something similar in another part of the world, but there is nothing as good as the original ones. Even one of my closest Chinese friends told me that you will never find such a distinct flavor anywhere else but in Shanghai!
“Going to another continent and being exposed by a totally different culture 24/7 will be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.”
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