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CEA Study Abroad in Shanghai, China
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CEA Study Abroad in Shanghai, China

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community

    9

A new family

I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Arizona, and have a flourishing interest in East Asian Studies, as it settles to be one of my many academic degree programs. I have a deep respect for cultures and languages, and it is my greatest interest to strive to understand them more. To know how diverse this world is and how beautiful all these differences and beliefs are, when blended together, makes learning about them as an observer so fascinating. This expedient desire to study abroad founded my participation in the University of Arizona ‘Arizona in Shanghai’ program. It provided my mind with an elation that made my soul flutter with clarity of who I want to be as an individual. For example, before going abroad I was very introverted yet afterword’s it provided tools to build my future’s framework on the social level. While there I needed to speak to people about where and how to buy things, how to get places, etc. to the point that talking to people was no longer a problem. Essentially, it transformed my perceptions and allowed me to expound on my views of the world, pass the artificial reality I had created for myself. As I met new people, and conversed about heritage, I thought of who I was as a person, what my culture meant, and the interest in the process to define myself ignited. Studying abroad added to my own cultivation because it allowed me to open my mind to new wonderous possibilities the world has to offer. Supplement to this, during my stay in WuJin, initiated an adventure and came upon a lily pond. It was quite breath taking: a place flourishing with the most vibrant green, dotted with the softest pinks. My luck to come upon it as the sun descended added to its humble, natural beauty; a nostalgic throwback to the simplicities that brought joy during childhood- nothing fancy, nothing missing. Later I found the temple for the God of Love. Cliché as it sounds, hearing the trees rustle with a respectful yet bustling wind all but added to the serenity of the place filled with tags from people wishing loved ones the best of health, luck, and, of course, love. It was such a fulfilling, and rich experience that really opened my eyes to the world around me. Before going abroad, I was being a fish about the future, wiggling about without aim or progress. I quite literally wanted to do it all, yet I was too shy and introverted to try anything and become any sort of individual I dreamed of being. Being abroad made me focus on my aims of life, and goals for the future, with invigoration I have never felt before. I especially felt this in my stay in Guizhou when I got to teach high school students English. The passion and effort glimmering in their eyes, only solidified my reasons for being there. Although I always wanted to be a neurosurgeon, seeing them light up at the prospects of learning a new language revitalized the respect I have towards language and culture. Language is one of the most powerful concepts within the world, and its circulation fascinates me, in its extent to unlock minds and connect hearts. I will never forget the friends I made there, and I will never forget my experiences in China either. All of these instances were the most amazing spaces within my life, and I would highly recommend studying abroad if you can. Not only do you get to try some awesome new foods (some I wasn’t sure as to what they were, but it is an adventure right?!), get to travel, have a change of scenery, and meet new people, but it forces you into a reality outside of the expectations and safeties you build for yourself; in so doing, it creates the opportunity for self-creation. For me, studying abroad became every possibility I wanted, and it made me refine my long-term goals; I can only imagine another experience, will provide twice the insight, and copious amounts of new amazement.

  • CEA responded to this review June 19, 2018 at 1:19 PM

    Olivia, thank you for taking us through your journey studying abroad. We’re so proud that you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone to envelop yourself in all aspects of Shanghai. Best of luck in your studies and cheers to your next adventure abroad! - CEA

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Academics

    9

Autumn in Shanghai, 2013

Delicious aromas, twinkling light shows, modern convenience, and an ancient history are the experiences of CEA in Shanghai. I had an amazing adventure living and studying in China. I felt safe and assured with CEA's staff. The program offered many classes which satisfied my minor in international business. My favorite part of CEA's program was the time for excursions. Students in other programs told me stories about not spending enough time enjoying sites while traveling; I felt the opposite was true with CEA's Shanghai program. I still miss the instructors and everyone I met while abroad and I hope to see them again soon, in China or otherwise.