#TBT – Juxtaposed Beauty: Shanghai, China

While modern Western society has sought to influence much of the world’s views of art, fashion, and culture, China has accepted these “standards” under certain conditions: employment for its citizens, exposure to different cultures, etc. As a result of its growth throughout history, China has given birth to many modern marvels, and its cultural influence and pride run deep throughout …

IES – Limitless: Reflections on a Life Enhancing Experience

It still hasn’t fully hit me that I was able to travel halfway across the globe and had the opportunity actually to live in China! *takes deep breath* WOW! Although I had two previous study abroad experiences, my time in Shanghai definitely brought about new discoveries and breakthroughs. Even after I considered not writing at all, I still chose to …

BBB – 5 Things You’ll Need a Whole Lot of to Make It in China

1 – Patience One of the first things you’ll realize upon arrival in China is that the people are not that nice. They will bump you to get unto the train or fight you for a seat, cars will not stop for you at crosswalks, and not everyone wants to help you find that new restaurant. These things may seem …

IES – Choosing The “RIGHT” Study Abroad Program – Part II

In Part One, I highlighted societal views, cost of living, language barriers, culture, and human rights as the fundamental components to examine when selecting a study abroad program. While these are all extremely important factors to consider, the factors I have listed below are those I erroneously failed to take into account when choosing my program, and now two-thirds complete …

IES – Choosing The “RIGHT” Study Abroad Program – Part I

Studying abroad is a life enhancing opportunity every student should experience, but choosing the right location/program is not as easy as it seems. When I first decided to study abroad, I considered several factors: climate, cultural/societal views, cost of living, cuisine, and potential language barrier. At that time, I knew that I wanted to study in a region I had …

IES – Two-Month Breakthrough

During our first week of orientation, each individual was asked to state their name, school, major, and reason for coming to China. Unlike my peers, who were more so looking to gain something tangible/external from the experience, ability to speak Chinese more fluently or expertise in Chinese economics, I was seeking to grow more intrinsically. Coming to China for me …

BBB – Documenting my travels: Getting it right never…

In trying to find the perfect thing to say or write, I am drawing blanks. I don’t necessarily have a think room here and this Starbucks is sort of packed, so… I’ll just type and hope something sticks. Before I started my abroad experience in Shanghai, I agreed to blog for two websites, Black Beyond Borders and IES Abroad, all …

BBB: In My Thoughts – I Travel Because?

With one-third of my program in Shanghai complete, I am now questioning my very reason for going abroad and traveling. When I first began this journey with you all, I expected to gain new life enhances/experiences and to grow culturally relative to the people of Shanghai. In many ways, I am being allotted these opportunities for growth: I am visiting …

BBB: Through The Looking Glass – Getting Over The Stare While Abroad

According to Dictionary.com, “to stare” means to gaze fixedly or intently; to be boldly or obtrusively conspicuous. Having been in China for only one week thus far, the looks I have received have been both bold and easily noticeable. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Shanghai, I became a mythical creature for onlookers to marvel at me.. …

BBB: The Why Behind it All

When you’re a kid, you dream of doing many things. From being an astronaut to a physician, you create a list of all the crazy and most amazing things you’d like to do. I too created this list and as cliché as it may sound, added to my very own bucket list traveling to and visiting each of the seven …