When thinking about what to do in the summer of 2019, I knew that I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and travel somewhere I had never been before. China appealed to me for several reasons. The Chinese culture is possibly as different to life at home as I could get, and of course 2 months of authentic Chinese food was appealing as well! I was particularly drawn to getting the chance to live in Shanghai, as the pictures of the city looked so incredible, and I had heard great things about the nightlife.
Before leaving for Shanghai, I wasn’t particularly worried about culture shock. I had been to Asia before, and was confident that I would settle in fine. However, I was concerned about the language barrier, and being able to communicate effectively to taxi drivers so that I didn’t end up in the wrong place! I was also slightly worried about making friends. To overcome the issue of the language barrier, I ensured I learnt as much basic Chinese as possible, and always tried to travel with a friend when getting taxis. When it came to making friends, I tried to be as out there as possible and be open to chatting to people from all different countries and cultures.
I had a fantastic 2 months in China, and am so grateful for getting this opportunity from the Go Abroad Fund. I learnt that sometimes the things you are most scared to do end up being the best life experiences and that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the best way to grow.