I anxiously read today’s date on my phone’s calendar, it’s only 1/20/2014. I still have four more weeks until I begin my semester at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学). What am I going to do for the next month while everyone else back at my home university is already back in school?
Let me give you a little introduction. My name is Natalie, I’m a sophomore at Villanova University in PA, USA. Because my mother is from Shanghai, I have always felt a strong connection to this radiant city of the future. Ever since my college search began as a sophomore in high school, I knew that I wanted to study abroad in Shanghai.
On Jan. 27th, my mother and grandparents will be accompanying me to Shanghai so that we may 过年 (celebrate Chinese New Year) with our relatives. I’m so excited to celebrate China’s most important traditional holiday with family I haven’t seen in a long while.
While all this excitement has gotten to me, I will be leaving the comforts of home for a new environment. I currently reside in Honolulu, Hawaii. So I’ll be exchanging the warm weather, beautiful blue skies and vibrant sunsets for the cold wintry city life.
While I’m reluctant to leave paradise, I’m so excited to begin a new adventure in Shanghai! With a week left at home, I’m not even close to opening up that suitcase. I’ll be sure to let you know what I recommend future IES Abroad kids to bring after I spend some time up there.
I’ll be trading my Villanova Wildcat pride (#gocatz) for an opportunity to study at SUFE. Their motto: Strive for Virtue and Knowledge, Assist in Economy and Governance. I’m not sure how this semester is going to turn out, but I’m optimistic that it’ll be one of the best semesters I’ll ever have. I’m sure there will be various unexpected situations, but bring it on! I’m ready for this adventure!
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Aloha! Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Natalie Lau currently attends Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She is a sophomore pursuing a double major in Finance and International Business and a minor in Chinese Studies. Natalie loves playing the cello, tap dancing, singing, photography, swimming, and (of course) hanging out at the beach. Studying abroad in Shanghai, China has been Natalie's long time goal and she is so excited for this wonderful opportunity to fully immerse herself in to Chinese culture. Her goals during this semester abroad is to attain a high level of fluency in Mandarin and grasp a better understanding of the Chinese business culture. She is extremely excited to experience a new learning environment and create new relationships!</span></p>