1. What surprised you the most about your host city and culture?
The whole process and experience of studying abroad is like no other. I believe the best part about studying abroad is the element of uncertainty. In a country whose culture, norms, language, and environment is different from what I am accustomed to, I was constantly anticipating what adventure was coming next. Everything was a learning adventure, whether it was going to the local markets, going to a different town, or even simply going to the university's cafeteria. From every interaction or activity, I gained new insights into the daily lifestyles of Shanghai people, and was slowly able to make exchanges in only Mandarin. Every day was a fun mystery, for everyday offered something new. From simply being in a foreign country, I was able to gain more experience, insights, and skills that a textbook could not offer me.
2. What was your favorite class abroad?
My favorite class had to be Cross-Cultural Communications with our professor. I thoroughly enjoyed this class because I gained a vast amount of knowledge and understanding and developed skills by communicating with people from all around the world. In addition to learning more about others, the class gave me insight into how and why I communicate, behave, and perceive the world differently than others. I believe since this class fosters understanding, it inevitably also led to closer connections with one another. From this class, I believe I gained a new understanding and appreciation for cultures and diversity.