I remember the first day I heard about the study abroad program. I was utterly fascinated and thought of it as an unattainable dream. I use to joke around with my friends and sister saying that I would definitely go one day but knew all too well that it was too difficult a task to accomplish, or so I thought. The program made it all too easy to take a trip across the globe; all I had to do was take the first step and so I did. It was one of the greatest achievements that I have ever accomplished and I will always look back at it and recommend it to others.
I distinctly remember the day we stepped out of that airplane and the exciting feelings I had. I knew that it was the start of an adventure and I could feel it underneath my skin. Even though we arrived at night, when most things were closed, I just wanted to explore. I wanted to see the people, the culture, the new scenery, and of course try the amazingly delicious food I have been hearing so much about. Shanghai became my new home those three weeks and I did not want to leave.
The people, the architecture, and the culture it all fascinated me. The trains were extremely crowded during rush hour, so much so that you would be cheek to cheek with someone for quite a few stops but even so, I loved it. Shanghai was extremely clean and sophisticated. I expected to see an overly populated China town but instead I entered a sophisticated and advanced metropolis. Watching people do tai chi in the morning and dance routines at night was definitely a sight worth seeing.
I’m back from China and it feels like it was only yesterday that we would grab a hot mango green tea between class breaks and travel to all different parts of Shanghai. The last week had us all feeling sad that it was almost time for us to go back and all we could say was that we would make the most of the final days that we had in Shanghai. We made sure not to waste a minute while we were there. The only regret I had was that I didn’t stay longer. Studying abroad in China was a worthwhile experience and taught me so much. It gave me a new perspective and helped guide me towards my future endeavors. I hope, and firmly recommend, that anyone who reads this has gained even a slight interest in studying abroad and all I have to say is that you will not regret it.
To read more about the adventures of Verrazano students, visit the Verrazano Voyager Web page.