“The summer school programme has been such an enriching experience…I would recommend it to anyone wishing to undertake it.“
Day One – Shanghai City Tour
The first day, after arrival from the airport, I was slightly jet-lagged, but managed to take in the scenes of Shanghai as the pick up car drove by. It felt like my first time in Shanghai (since the last time I was in Shanghai was when I was around 8 years old, and am not able to remember it). The Shanghai skyline is filled with skyscrapers, and the weather was pretty nice, but not as hot as I expected since I had heard it was 34 degrees Celsius before arriving.
Day Two – Shanghai World Financial Centre
The second day, we went to the Shanghai Financial Tower to see the view of Shanghai. You can see the Oriental Pearl Tower, and the Shanghai skyline. It was a memorable experience, where one could walk the skywalk (a view that advocated love, and which could be quite romantic for people).
Yu Yuan Garden
We also got to visit the Yu Yuan Garden. I was looking forward to it, as I have researched much about Shanghai before arriving, and the Yu Yuan Garden was one of the most recommended places to visit. It had beautiful ancient Chinese architecture, but at the same time modern shops, to create a mix between the new and the old. At the end of it, there was a nice serene garden as well. It is a great place to do shopping, especially unique items from China, and souvenirs to bring back home. I ended off buying the Dragon Beard Candy (龙须糖), to take back as a snack and to share.
Day Four – Walk along the bund
Before going onto the River Cruise, we stopped by the Bund where the River Cruise would be departing. It was a nice walk with the cool evening wind and the view of the Shanghai city centre landscape. The buildings even lit up and you can see words like ‘I love Shanghai’ appearing on the buildings. The view made me realise that Shanghai does have its modern side as well.
HuangPu River Cruise
On the cruise, I was able to take in the nice views of the Shanghai landscape. I met a Scottish friend as well, who is on the same course as me in East China University of Political Science and Law. He requested for me to translate most of the Mandarin words and speeches for him, while he told me more about Shanghai itself. Overall, it was a very nice way to end the day.
Day Five – Dinner and Friends
Tonight, we had dinner with Gavin, a friend from Edinburgh and on the course as well before he left back to Edinburgh the day after. The dinner was filled with good fun, and we managed to have a great time before he left.
Day Six – Not feeling well : (
This day I was not feeling too well, but thank God that’s what friends are for. I wanted to stay in bed, and do my work, but my friend David ‘dragged’ me to go sing Karaoke with the rest of the summer course mates who would be leaving the day after. It was so much fun, and it was relatively cheap, only US50 cent for 6 hours of singing. After that, we had sushi dinner which was great!
Day Seven – Time to say goodbye to good friends!
Today, the Korean girls with whom I have made friends are leaving. It was quite sad, and we would miss them dearly. However, we managed to exchange contacts and to continue contacting each other using Wechat (a Chinese app, similar to Whatsapp). We took a last group photo together, before they left.
Day Eight – Dumplings
Today, Echo (the Chinese volunteer), brought us nearby the university campus for lunch. We had dumplings and it was my first time trying dumplings since arriving in Shanghai. It served steamed dumplings with a mix of fish, pork, beef, mutton as filling inside. I am quite in to food and cooking, so I decided to check out the kitchen to see how they made this Chinese dish of steamed dumplings. She first rolled the dough into small circular pieces, then set it aside, and put the filling. Then, they would dump the dumplings into plain hot boiling water for about 5-7 minutes and that would be it.
We went to the Shanghai Museum after that.We took a bus there alighted and then walked for about 15 minutes to the museum. The only thing was that when we arrived that, the queue was very long, maybe because it was a weekend, so Ken decided to continue queuing, while I decided not to go, and perhaps go on a weekday instead, and headed to the malls nearby. There was a Capitaland Mall, Raffles City, a Singaporean company in Shanghai, and I was pleasantly surprised yet quite happy and decided to go in. The mall was very new and very similar to the one in Singapore in terms of architecture and design. There were many Singaporean stalls as well, like Pedro, BreadTalk, Awfully Chocolate and Jumbo Seafood, and I was quite happy and surprised to know that they even expanded to Shanghai. I walked around the mall, went to shops, and was quite tired so I went back after that.
Day 10 – Xu Jia Hui District
Today, Echo brought us to try some Shanghainese food, at the Xu Jia Hui district. The area felt like an electronic town, and had lots of high rise buildings. The restaurant was situated in a road filled with other noodle shops alongside it. The restaurant was famous for its beef noodle soup. Thankfully, Echo managed to let us watch how they made the noodles, and it was called ‘La Mian’ which means hand pulled noodles, hence the technique of pulling the noodles before boiling it. The noodles were pulled, then dumped in the soup to be boiled, then poured with their special soup and added with spring onions and chilli. It tasted quite good, yet slightly different from what you would normally eat, as the chilli had a ‘Ma-La’ taste, something unique to the Chinese culture, and often found prevalent in Sichuan Food. The chilli gives a spiciness to the tongue, that it different from other types of chilli. Overall, it was a satisfying experience, in which we had dessert at a Hong Kong Dessert place after that.
After dessert, we met Claire, the Korean friend who would be leaving back to Korea for drinks at a bar. It was a fun time and definitely a moment to cherish. Even though this summer school programme would be coming to an end in 3 days’ time, this was a great time to have a group photo with the group that has been meeting probably every night: Samantha, Claire, Vic and David.
The summer school programme has been such an enriching experience, not only in discovering more of the city of Shanghai, understanding the legal culture of Shanghai by visiting courts and law firms, attending lectures on Chinese Law to gain a better understanding of the law here.
Day 11 – Our last lunch
This was the last lunch we had together. We had it in the mall very near our university, and coincidentally was the restaurant that I ate at on the first day of the programme.
The past three week has been awesome, and not only has it been discovering the Shanghai city, seeing whats it is like to work in a Shanghai law firm, but the biggest takeaway must have been the friendships made during the programme. I have learnt so much over the past three weeks, and has been definitely the best summer school attended.
The summer programme is definitely an experience not to be missed, and would recommend it to anyone wishing to undertake it.
Stanley took part in the East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China Summer School with Queen Mary University of London. Find out more about our Summer Schools here.