After being in China for a week now, I have reflected upon what I was glad I brought and what would be helpful for future participants of this program to know while packing and preparing before coming to Shanghai. I formulated the following lists of ideas that will hopefully be helpful to others. Charlie, the Program Director, also sends out an important document outlining 7 things you MUST DO before coming to China and a list of FAQ's. This is the document he shared with us; future ones may be updated.
Things that I am glad that I brought:
These are the apps that I recommend downloading before or during the program:
IDEAS FOR FACULTY:
FACULTY MEETING: This morning started off with my first faculty meeting. Pepperdine hires local professors to teach some of our classes, like Chinese, Finance, and Art History. They are highly regarded instructors in this area. I enjoyed meeting them all and appreciated the orientation that Charlie and William prepared for us. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal at a beautiful restaurant.
AMAZING STAFF: I am so impressed by the staff here. Everyone is so hospitable, helpful, and friendly. Today I met Mona and Gigi who also work for Pepperdine. They wear many hats, including teaching Chinese, preparing all of our cultural trips, and our academic needs.
SIM CARD: Mona walked us to get SIM cards for our phones today. The program has been really good about getting us connected right away on Wifi and with hooking up our phones.
OUR ‘HOOD: Richard and I walked around our neighborhood today. We are about 5 minutes from the Jing’an Temple and many restaurants. Next to the temple is a 9-story shopping mall! The juxtaposition of the modern and ancient is astounding!
I have been amazed by all the Western chains here – Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks, etc.