I am now back in Finland and I don`t know what to think about it. I have to admit that I am having a culture shock. Although I haven`t ever been really excited to meet foreign and strange people in Finland I see that I have changed my mind after this trip. I loved to live three months in a big strange place in where you never knew what is going to happen and who you will meet. Of course in a big city you will meet not so nice people but I met also really nice and interesting people who I never would have met if I have staid studying only in Finland. I will definitely encourage all to go on exchange and be opening their minds on their trips. I realized that we Finns are really (or too) wary on meeting new people. Of course you have to have common sense in a both Finland and foreign countries. But I learned about myself that I am sometimes too on alert when I meet new people.
Although Shanghai felt sometimes too big and crowded, I noticed that it wasn`t necessary bad thing. If something bad would have happen, there was always someone to help you. Two days after I came back to Finland I went to my hometown`s city center by car and it felted like only two cars would have driven in the streets. When I was crossing the street by walk, I noticed that I was checking where the all people are. So it is definitely strange to be now in city of 100 000 people than city of 20 million people. It is funny that the change is stranger in this scale than before I went to Shanghai.
My exchange period definitely helped to improve my English and international skills. I learned much about China`s culture which you cannot experience only from books. I realized how big China`s economy is and how good valuable my trip is for my future career as a business women. I liked a lot of Shanghai so I will encourage going on exchange there! I am already waiting for getting back to Shanghai.
Here are some tips for people who are thinking of going Shanghai:
- Dormitory is not the most fanciest accommodation, but you can survive with right motivation
- Although many Chinese don`t speak English and communication feels difficult, you noticed that you will manage there well! Remember to have address on Chinese language (or call English helpline which is very easy to use and helpful)!
- Chinese language is not difficult with right attitude! Pronunciation is only difficult but practice, practice, practice
- Travel in China! Shanghai is not the most Chinese place in China.
- Be open minded and meet lots of interesting people
- Visit many interesting restaurants and bars (there are thousands of them)