So, my time in Shanghai has finally ended, and in doing so has kicked off my travels post-semester travels around Asia. As I type this, I have incredibly mixed emotions. On the one hand, jetting off out of the city I called home for the last 4 months was, obviously, kind of heartbreaking. Shanghai is a unique city, full of; bright lights, delicious food, and vibrant people. I can safely say that this exchange has been one of the best experiences of my life. I met so many life-long friends hailing from all across the globe, made some incredible memories in one of the world’s most exciting cities, and, last but not least, was able to utilise my language skills in a way I had never been able to before. I was even a little sad to part with my dorm, even though it’s been in desperate need of a renovation since the 80’s.
But of course, when one door closes, another opens. As I type this update, I’m sitting in Haneda airport in Tokyo, waiting for my family to arrive. It’s been 4 months since I’ve seen anyone from home, and as much of a godsend as Facetime and social media is, it’s not quite the same. So, naturally, I’m both incredibly excited to see them again, and looking forward to the two months of travel I still have ahead of me. Even when it does come time to return to Brisbane, there will certainly be many aspects of home that Shanghai lacked, and I have struggled without. These include; not having to use a VPN anytime I want to google something, not listening to people hack up phlegm and spit it out every 5 mins, people not pushing and shoving on the streets, and the constant, terrible air quality. I’d like to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling out of breath, please and thank you. So, what I’d like to say to anyone considering a semester or year abroad, please do yourself a favour a go for it! There is so much more to the world then what home can provide, and there will fast come a time in your life where it’s not so easy to go globe-trotting. Don’t miss your opportunity.
Lastly, if you’re considering heading to Shanghai Jiao Tong University and have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you out. Well, that’s me done – 再见!