Can’t believe it’s almost been a full month since arriving in China, and let me say, it really has been an experience so far. Unlike both South Carolina and Hong Kong, Shenzhen has definitely been the hardest place to adapt to. The first main difference is the use of WeChat. WeChat really is life on campus. You need it to pay for food, laundry, transportation – virtually everything.
Another significant different is the cultural differences that no number of mandarin classes can prepare you for. The first few weeks were the toughest as we had to rely heavily on the Chinese students of our cohort as most workers on campus didn’t speak English. This in a way limited the places we could go and see and overall independence so creative methods such as hand gestures, google translate and on-the-go Chinese lessons had to come into play.
Overall, it’s been a great few weeks so far. Since the summer programme in Hong Kong, I’ve already done a bit of travel to Vietnam, Korea and the Sichuan province in China to see the Panda research base and eat some famous Sichuan hotpot. However, it’s always nice to return to our new home!