School Daze: Abroad in China

School Daze is a series written by contributor Eileen Salazar, who discusses her 2-week trip to China.  Eileen is a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

In 2008, the 29th Olympic Games were held in Beijing, China. Thousands of viewers were enticed with visuals of the Chinese culture and at that moment I knew that one day I’d be going to China. Fast forward seven years later and amazingly, I have been given the opportunity to go to China for two weeks!

 Drummers from the Beijing Olympic games Opening Ceremony

Drummers from the Beijing Olympic games Opening Ceremony

I was given this opportunity through an organization that I am a part of at Howard University called Freshman Leadership Academy (FLA). Every year they plan a trip to China so that members can fully immerse themselves in a culture that is completely different than their own. This year will be the 5th year that FLA will be making this journey.

Beijing

Beijing, the capital and the second largest city in China, will be our first stop. Of course, we will be visiting popular tourist sites such as The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. But I’m most excited about having a traditional peking duck dinner with a local family.

Our group also wanted to add a community service project to our itinerary, so we will be visiting a local orphanage, Shepherd’s Field.  We’ll be spending time with the children and donating toys, clothes, and books.

 Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Shanghai

My next stop will be in Shanghai. I’ve been told that Shanghai is a lot more modern then Beijing since it’s changed drastically in the last 20 years.

Because it is known as the financial and business center of China, we will be visiting the World Financial Center and the Silk Market. If you’ve never heard of the Silk Market let me introduce you!  From what I have heard it is a bargain shoppers’ dream land.

You can get custom tailored suits for as low as $80 dollars (takes about three days to finish), you can find Beats headphones for $40-$50 dollars, and a surplus of other electronics for an extremely affordable price.

 Shanghai Skyline at night

Shanghai Skyline at night

All in all, I am super excited for this trip.  It is planned at the perfect time; right before I have to go back to school and hit the books. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Till next time!

Photo Credit: travelchinaguide.com