Hello everyone! Or should I say, 大家好！
For those of you who don't know, my name is Sage Cheyenne McCormick and I am 18 years old. I am currently a GAP year student (which means I've taken a year off between the end of my senior year and the beginnin of my freshmen year of university). I come from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is a beautiful, cultural city, but can also be very cold for at least seven to eight months of the year.
So why did I choose China of all places in the world to go? Good question.
My mother is a practitioner of Chinese medicine, so my interaction with Chinese culture and language started then. When I got to high school, they offered Mandarin Chinese as one of the langues, and I certainly wasn't going to take Spanish or French (because everyone else was taking those)! So I studied the language for four years, my first years under a Taiwanese teacher, and the other under a Chinese teacher from Shanghai, which is where I'm currently located! Somewhere between those two teachers, I made up my mind that I wanted to travel. Europe was on e of the first places that came to mind, but I was learning a language that not many people without Chinese roots know, and I knew quite a bit about the culture, but had never actually lived in a culture so different from my own.
It took a bit of convincing, but eventually I got both my parents on board. I spent time applying to exchange programs instead of colleges, and here I am now.
I have officially been living in China for a week now, and have been working on getting video footage and photos of all the things I have seen. It's been a busy week of orientation and getting to know the city I live in and how to navigate it!
I will be sure to make a post in the next few days of everything I have captured by camera (having some technical difficulties in this new country).
But the most important things are, I love my host family. I truly got paired with the perfect family, and I can't wait to show and tell you all I can about them.
Stay tuned as I will be posting in the next few days and you can truly see all the wonders of Shanghai with me!