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“As a Student in Shanghai…”
Written by Andrew Lee | Published. 2018.07.03 21:58 | Count : 696
Shanghai is unique. Nowhere else on the planet will you be able to find such combinations of different cultures, ideas, and people. If New York is the melting pot of different cultures, Shanghai would be its twin brother, located in China, one of the fastest-developing countries in the world. The very appeal of Shanghai stems from its fascinating juxtaposition of two completely contrasting concepts, whether it be tradition and technology, or Buddhism and Christians.
In Shanghai, you can see a Buddhist Monk speaking fluent English and French, or a Christian 7-year old talking to his friends in Chinese about the newest sky-scrapper built in the city. Traditional Chinese buildings sit elegantly on the edges of the towering modern-day skyscrapers in Nanjing Road. Just two blocks down, an art deco style building is squeezed in between two palace-like structures with their columns and fancy marbles. Walking down the streets, the smell of freshly made baozi (traditional Chinese dumpling), Chicken curry, and hot dogs tingle your nose.

Here, tradition is valued, yet people are open to change, where new technology blend in with the existing culture. Elders of the region can be found dancing and practicing Tai qi near the Science Museum of technology. Even in traditional dining areas, a convenient QR code can be found in the corner of every table for easy paying. The city continues to grow, with more and more people from around the world coming to this fascinating place to learn and grow. 

[Photo of a menu with QR Code, https://mashable.com/2012/03/08/qr-codes-restaurants/?europe=true#Vl4.3MG4G8q9 ] 

Attracted by the influx of people, the open mindset, and the vibrant local community, I wandered into Shanghai. Rather, to be honest, it was my mother who was fascinated about Shanghai and decided that I should attend a school that emphasizes both English and Chinese. She believed that an international city like Shanghai would elevate my high school experience, where I would truly become a global citizen who could speak more than three languages. But Shanghai proved to be so much more than a place to learn academically.

As I was moved into Shanghai, I realized one thing fast. Shanghai was mesmerizing, especially at night. The most magnificent moment lied in an area known as ‘the bund’, where the whole city would reflect its luminous silhouette on the Yangtze river. Like flies attracted to a brightly lit lightbulb, people would swarm by the thousands to the bund every night, just to get a piece of that beautiful moment. There, I realized why this place was crowded with millions of foreigners, and thousands came in and out every day. The whole city was full of constant kinetic energy, and it trapped me in its grasp, mesmerized and bewildered. If you study in Shanghai, your experiences are not confined academically. The city pushes you around and bashes you up, but it offers you so much more. It's not just about studying in Shanghai as an international student. Rather, it’s about experiencing the local community, where it's almost an obligation to sync with the constant call of the city. 
[Night Skyline with bright lights in Shanghai, China. https://pixabay.com/en/shanghai-huangpu-river-sunrise-2446326/]

My experiences here in Shanghai have barely begun, where it's my 3rd year living in the city. I wish to continue my stay in the city, staying as an active participant of the Eastern pearl, Shanghai.

Andrew Lee 
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Company (SMIC) Private School

Andrew Lee  student_reporter@dherald.com

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