My experience at NYU Shanghai has passed by so incredibly fast that I can hardly believe that there is only around a week left of classes and my first semester here is officially coming to an end. Additionally, it has also been hard coming to terms with this as the last week of my study away experience in my planner is filled with projects, presentation, assignments, and exams whose due dates are all crammed together, while I wish that I could spend this last week enjoying Shanghai. However, looking back on the three months that I have spent going to school and living in Shanghai, I cannot help but smile at the memories I have made and the experiences I have had.
Personally, I have found that studying away has overall been a lot more rewarding than I had initially thought. I have not only become accustomed to living in Shanghai, but I have also become hugely dependent on services such as same-day grocery delivery or the shared-bike system that is so readily available in China. I think that the most significant takeaway I have from studying in Shanghai is that I now feel comfortable staying here and I think that if I were to study away at another location, I would be able to adjust more quickly. Initially, during the first month, I had a bit of homesickness since I was so close to home but was still a plane away. However, as my time here grows closer and closer to an end, I can feel myself beginning to miss Shanghai almost as a second home.
Taking the ‘Art of Travel’ course while studying away allowed me to contemplate the study away experience on a level that I would not have otherwise. Each post gave me time to think about why I was studying away, and I think that the posts from this course are one of the things that I will remember from this experience years from now.
When I do return home, I think that I will spend quite a bit of time noticing things that Shanghai had that home does not have. Like I said before, I am not sure what I will do when I want groceries or food immediately. I will probably have to go out and get it myself (without the usage of an e-bike) which I will definitely find annoying. As for what NYU could do to improve the study away experience at NYU Shanghai is to have more activities for study away students to meet the NYU students throughout the semester as opposed to just the first week during orientation. Like I said before, I can’t believe that 15 weeks have already passed and it is almost time to say goodbye. I have loved all the ups and downs of being in Shanghai, and there is no doubt that I will be back to visit again soon.