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Post written by TA, Wanghaixin Peng '16:
Despite all the good times they shared in Zhengzhou, the students had to say goodbye to the beautiful campus and the SIAS students. “Graduating” from SIAS did not mean that learning was over; learning while traveling is the main principle of our immersion program. Nanjing and Shanghai were waiting ahead of the students to be explored.

The group arrived at Nanjing in the late afternoon on Friday. Right after checking in, the students went to the Confucian Temple, a grandiose temple originally built for commemorating Confucius and later turned into a commercial district. 
Confucius Temple Commercial Street.

Confucius Temple Commercial Street.
Confucius Temple Commercial Street.

Confucius Temple Commercial Street.

At night, the students celebrated Martha Kenyon’s sixteenth birthday!

On Saturday, the students went to visit Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum. Because it was the day of Dragon Boat Festival, the place was crowded with people.
On Sunday morning, the students visited the Zijinshan Observatory.
The Zijinshan Observatory.
 After lunch they went to the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. The statues and the museum’s sobriety were shocking.
On Monday the students arrived Shanghai by train and at night they watched the most exciting acrobatics show at the Shanghai Circus World.

On Tuesday morning, the students went to the famous Pearl Tower and took a walk on the glass-made floor 243 meters above the floor. In the afternoon, they went to the Yu Garden built in Ming Dynasty. Afterwards, the students further practiced their bargaining skills on the Yu Garden commercial street, getting gifts for their families and friends at home. At night, they cruised along the Huangpu River, observing the glowing Shanghai in the mysterious darkness.
View from the top of the Pearl Tower.
On Wednesday, the students went to a silk factory and observed the silk-making process. On Thursday morning, the students will say goodbye to China and leave for home with precious memories.

Here are some more reflections by the students.

Thaddeus Niemiec: “I felt both enthusiastic and anxious, not sure of the challenges that I would face during this month long Chinese Immersion trip. I have traveled here twice before and I was excited to revisit the places that I had seen four years ago. Day by day, I can feel my Chinese improving as I establish connections within the community of Sias. I am very thankful for the great opportunity that has been given to me and I would like to thank Jing and Hank for making this language Immersion trip one of the best experiences in my life.”

Will Desautels: “My favorite part of this trip has been the free time. This is when my Chinese language and communication skills improve the most. I also feel that free time allows us to understand the modern Chinese cultures. I look forward to future free time in Shanghai as it has already been rewarding."

Mira Sachdeva: “Over the course of this trip, I have learned a lot. While we were at SIAS communicating with the college students, we shared our knowledge.”

Jaime Zalamea: “I feel so blessed to be a part of this China trip. The most memorable part of this trip so far was my visit to Jiyuan when I got to stay with a Chinese family for a day and to visit a Chinese high school. All the people were outgoing and generous during my visit."

Martha Kenyon: "Having so many chances to practice my Chines has been so helpful! For example, there have been some chances for us to bargain. We can understand the sales people when they ask us what price we want to pay. It definitely comes in handy. Overall this month spent in China has definitely made me feel way more confident in my speaking abilities."

Monifa Clarke: “When we went to the middle school, all kids were so excited to meet us. They welcomed us with great smiles and different performances of music and dance. We also went to their classes to experience school in China. When we met the students, we practiced our Chinese while the students practiced their English."

Sophia Webb: “This trip has helped me learn more about American values while simultaneously opening my eyes to Chines culture. I have so appreciated how much people go out of their way here to make us feel welcomed and loved; the students I have met here have challenged me to reconsider my own definition of a true friend. My biggest challenge has been pushing myself to communicate with adults in stores, because it is hard for me to understand their accents at times. I am looking forward to doing more sightseeing and particularly excited about visiting local schools this coming weekend. Overall, it has been fun and rewarding to use our Chinese as a way to form new relationships and explore such a fascinating culture."

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