Final Blog: End of a Journey

Ryan Beringer & Kyle Murphy

Work day! The grind begins. These past two weeks have all been exposition for the hard work to come. After arriving in Shanghai and doing some fieldwork, every group went all out in finishing their final projects, both the paper and the presentation. Synthesizing all the data we had gathered in each of the cities we went to was difficult work, especially considering the language barrier when actually translating our results. The one sentence thesis was probably the most difficult part of the project, considering the thesis had to fit all of the arguments, of which there were many, as well as reference the effect of Globalization on our projects. The work was difficult, blood, sweat and tears were shed, but we all completed our projects to perfection.

After presenting our final projects to Professor Sheehan, all 14 of us were free to explore Shanghai. The majority of us decided to go to the fake goods market, a sprawling mall full of ‘genuine’ luxury branded products. Bargaining was an incredibly useful skill here, so everyone was able to get goods at incredibly cheap prices. Beware for the search for the authentic.

Others of us went with Professor Sheehan to the French Concession, a beautiful piece of Europe in the center of Shanghai. Wide, tree-lined avenues, with relatively quiet streets. Biking through the French Concession was pretty amazing, when looking at all the boutiques and cafes, almost reminiscent of Paris itself. Several historic landmarks dotted this part of Shanghai, including the Garden Hotel, a former Expat clubhouse converted into a luxury hotel, as well as the many villas left by French nationals in Shanghai.

Ryan and Professor Sheehan in the Old French Concession

Ryan at the Art Deco Park Hotel – the tallest building in East Asia in the 1930s

After returning from our daytime activities, the entire program went together to a Global East Asia banquet with Professor Sheehan’s wife, YiYu, where we enjoyed traditional Shanghaiese food. We all individually toasted with Professor Sheehan for our experiences on this amazing program, as well as our TA, Hao, and Ron for their birthdays. The cake was delicious.

There and back again, now that the trip has ended, with all our fun experiences and hard work, we each go back to our normal lives, but with true bonds of friendship, not broship. Thanks Professor Sheehan for such an unforgettable experience in China, and we can’t wait for the reunion!