Looking back & Looking ahead...
Getting out of Shanghai was an adventure. I ended up getting stranded at the airport for a bit as a typhoon made landfall and grounded all flights for about a day and a half. I was a bit annoyed at first but then I just kinda laughed. I remember thinking to myself, "I guess Shanghai doesn't want me to leave yet", and although camping inside Pudong airport while I waited for my rescheduled flight seemed to take forever at first, overall I felt like my time in Shanghai went by so quickly. I definitely plan to return Shanghai sometime in the future, I think it's a great city. The city has an effect on me, I'm not sure how to describe it, but something about the big city lights motivates me keep grindin' towards my goals. I remember one of my professors from one of my business classes saying something along the lines of "I think everyone should try living in a foreign country for at least half a year at least once in their lives", and after my experience in Shanghai especially, I'd also encourage others to do the same. In Shanghai, it's not hard to see why this is true for many. There's people from all over the world looking to start a business or startup. There's tons of entrepreneurs from this country and that country, all exchanging ideas, and I think it's increasingly useful for people to learn how to exchange ideas with people from other cultures, to be able to do business in other countries. I met so many people who are fluent in both English and Mandarin, and I could only imagine how many opportunities are open to them.
Coming into Shanghai, or any other foreign country when it's your first time, I think it's crucial to come in with an open mind. There's nothing more cringe than seeing a fellow foreigner say ignorant or biased things while conversating with the locals, and I definitely saw it a few times, don't be that person! I know with our current political climate, it's easy to have biases and there's a lot of misinformation floating around, but that's one of the benefits of actually going to Shanghai and seeing the place for yourself! Eat the local food, hit a rooftop bar, try new things, get lost a bit, meet new people, and keep in touch with them even when the program is over, in my opinion this is the best way to maximize your experience abroad.
As I settle back into my regular routine in San Diego, I hope to keep the momentum going for these next few months. I'm planning to get back into ecommerce, finish my last remaining classes, get a good job, and keep moving forward. This internship was definitely a highlight of my college years, an awesome way to close off my last college months, and I'd recommend this or any similar program to any college student.
Big thanks to CIEE again for giving me this platform to share a bit of my experience with y'all, I sincerely enjoyed my time in Shanghai, hasta la vista(!) and with that, signing off~