Thursday, January 3, 2013

Preparing for a Winter in Shanghai, China

Kimmy Yu, a Chemistry major with minors in Biochemistry and Chinese and a student in the Verrazano Class of 2014, will be spending the winter intersession in Shanghai, China.  Kimmy received a Verrazano Study Abroad Scholarship to help support his study abroad experience.  Read below for his introductory post.

Hi everyone!

My name is Kimmy Yu. I am looking forward to entering my upcoming year as a super senior. Because of this amazing study abroad program, I will be visiting Shanghai, China during the winter session. Shanghai, which is actually one of the most beautiful modern cities of China, resides on the east coast of China. Typically, it is slightly warmer than New York City, but not by that much. The program is about 3 weeks long and yet there are so many more opportunities to explore that won’t fit into that time.

I have taken the initiative to extend my graduation by one semester in order for me to clear my tight schedule and study abroad in Shanghai this winter. It was not an easy decision to postpone my graduation to make this trip happen, but I think it will be worth it.  The financial consideration of how to defray the program cost and airfare for this opportunity was also a huge factor that I had to take into consideration. However, being the recipient of the Verrazano Scholarship has made my life so much easier. And their funding helped defray the cost of the program, airfare, etc. and helped reduce the burden of my own personal expenses.

Also, another reason why I have chosen to study abroad in Shanghai is because, as a Taiwanese American, being able to travel to China for the very first time will be a huge milestone for me. This pursuit will also allow me to earn credits toward my degree while overseas as well as provide me with the opportunity to take a course that was not currently offered here at the College of Staten Island.  What makes the Shanghai University program truly exciting is the advantage of taking the Intensive Intermediate Mandarin course over the 3-week session.  This opportunity will not only allow me to enrich my Mandarin speaking and writing skills, but it will also help me be one step closer to completing my minor in Chinese in a much shorter period of time.

All of these factors tie together because I’ll have the opportunity to work directly and interact with individuals from different cultural backgrounds later in my future profession. Studying abroad in Shanghai is the best opportunity for me as I take the next step in my life to becoming a well rounded college graduate. I am hoping to attend medical school and to become a physician who not only tends to people’s illnesses but also educates others about their health. I am pretty excited by the challenge of forging a role for myself as not only a healer but also as an educator.  Having the opportunity to study abroad in China for the very first time will allow me to meet new people from all over the world and branch out of my comfort zone - the first step to becoming more independent.  
Upon arrival in Shanghai, I hope to visit the Shanghai Bund and the Jin Mao Tower -  a building 88 stories high and the fifth tallest in the world.  From my background research, these locations are considered the best places to view the scenery in Shanghai.  What I am a bit concerned about is that I just hope I won't be experiencing any digestive problems or culture shock or any chronic jet lag upon arrival in China.  I am almost certain that I won't have a problem adapting to the time-zone and should be able to adjust rather quickly due to all of the sleep pattern alterations from the sleepless nights of studying an cramming for midterms and finals.  Hopefully this will pay off and allow me to adjust my circadian rhythm much more quickly.  

I am only being practical about my anticipation.  Some other students may view it as not a big deal, but as a student who has never traveled to a foreign country before it is a huge transition for me.  There are many questions and other thoughts in my head waiting to be answered.  There will be positive aspects of it and negative aspects as well.  I am truly excited about going to Shanghai in the winter because it is slightly warmer than New York.  In contrast, the weather in the summer tends to be more humid, and I'm not a big fan of high temperatures.  There was a decent amount of paperwork that needed to be filled out and submitted, which I have found to be quite exhausting.  But after completing the required paperwork, everything was resolved and I'm all set to pack my bags and prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip to to Shanghai this upcoming winter.

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