Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Shanghai University

One of my most memorable days on our trip was visiting Shanghai University. We had learned in class of the different changes in the Chinese education system over time, and I have heard countless Americans tell me how superior Chinese education is to ours in this day and age. The University itself, especially the library, is quite impressive. So is the daily course load each student is required to complete. It makes me realize that even though I feel like I have so much work to do, it isn't much compared with my eastern counterparts. Speaking with them also gave me much insight into the younger generation in China. I have spoken with Chinese Americans, but never with a Chinese student. It was intersting to me how one student viewed the Great Wall as a means of isolation and thought it should be torn down like the Berlin wall. Also, one young girl in particular made me think quite a lot when she told me that she was in school to follow her passions, but that she would still depend on a man to support her. I also noticed a little tension between some of the Chinese students regarding if the government should change and westernize or not. To me it was a good thing to see this diversity. It shows that these students are just like us. Some of them like their government the way it is. Some do not. However, it marks to me a great accomplishment that these students can now speak their own opinions without fear. This is very important. I feel I learned a lot from these students and I wish I had more time with them. They were all so kind and honest with us. I feel like I have a much greater understanding of Chinese culture after meeting with them for a short period. Though I am only beginning to understand, they put me in the right direction.

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