Tag Archives: Shanghai

Shanghai Orientation Video: The Beginning

I pushed hard the past few days and I finally have my first video up and running.  This edit covers some of the events that transpired in Shanghai including: orientation, our travels through Shanghai, experiencing our first KTV experience (Karaoke Television, my GoPro died right before we entered our room), and a peek at the Shanghai club scene.

Let me know what you think about the edit and feel free to leave comments.  I have little experience in creating videos and I the many future edits I will create here will develop my abilities.  Whether it is the music choice, audio and visual syncing, overall cinematography, or anything.  Really.  I always appreciate feedback.


Also, the Ameson Year in China released its video covering our arrival in Shanghai on a much deeper level.  It is well edited, well shot, and covers the reasons why many of us decided to embark on this educational adventure.  My interview did not make it into the edit, but Renee, Frankie, and William communicate the participants’ goals and motivations better than anyone else .  Make sure to check it out.  Credit to the AYC film crew consisting of Nathan Montgomery, Tony Ni, and William Yang.

Follow my blog and experience China with me.  I want you to WANT to read about my experiences.  Comments, feedback, and content requests are more than welcome as they will help me engage you, the reader, in a more effective manner.  Stay awesome.

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Enter the Foreigner

China.  What exactly comes to mind when you think of this vast country?

Hailing from the United States of America, I could only draw upon prior knowledge of this distant place.

However, upon my arrival, I quickly realized how little I actually knew.  Typical cultural stereotypes portrayed in American entertainment such as an affinity for noodles and rice, the martial arts, and diligent students came to mind. I knew nothing about the culture, the Mandarin language, its geography, its history, or the Chinese people.

Old town Shanghai
Old town Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai

What did I get myself into? How am I going to survive almost a year away from the country that I grew up in for 22 years? I’ve never taught English. How will I communicate with my students? I’m going to be living farther than 20 minutes away from the house I’ve lived in/near for the past ten years. How do I live by myself in a country that I’ve never even been to? What about my parents? My grandma? My aunts? My cousins? My friends? My fraternity brothers? I’m going to be away from everyone I have come to know and love growing up. What if I fail?

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Downtown Shanghai

These were only a few of the thoughts and challenges that raced through my mind on the way to the airport prior to my departure. I have never been more frightened or nervous in my life despite my parents trying to calm my mind on the way to the airport. To be honest, I felt like I was having a panic attack walking onto the plane.

Now that I am here, sure, I miss my family and friends. I miss being able to cook up a Jack’s pizza, sit down with my buddies, and watch football.  The disconnection I will feel when I miss the first and third weekend of deer hunting season in November will make me incredibly homesick. I miss going to happy hours with friends whom had their post-grad lives figured out before they graduated. I miss Minnesota and the familiarity that I grew accustomed to.  Hell, I miss college and I am not afraid to admit it. However, I take pride in the fact that I will not allow my former college lifestyle to conflict with me moving on with my life and continuing to grow.  You just have to accept that that chapter in your life is over, dwell upon what you learned, and move on.

Left to right: random woman who wanted a picture with us, me, Zach, and Patrick.  Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.
Left to right: random woman who wanted a picture with us, me, Zach, and Patrick. Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.

Orientation in Shanghai was a great time.  We stayed in an awesome hotel, visited some interesting food shops and hookah bars, and learned a lot about what we will experience in the Chinese classroom as a foreign teacher.  KTVs make for an interesting night, especially when a group of Chinese adults invite you into their room next door. You have a big group, two small stages with 50’s style microphones, and you put your karaoke talents to the test.   I will be posting my GoPro edit of my brief Shanghai experience a little later.  I just wanted to get this first blogpost out of the way.  

Up to this point, the greatest thing about this program is the incredible people that I have met.  The Ameson Year in China provides an almost surreal opportunity to meet people from all over the U.S. and the world.  Nothing compares to the rush I feel when I meet new people and foster new relationships into strong friendships.  The AYC participants consist of legitimate teachers, recent college grads like me, and those that just wanted to try something different.  Every single person participating in this program comes from a drastically different background than myself.

Now, orientation in Shanghai is over, we have all been shipped out to our host cities, and the real challenges begin now. It’s been a pleasure learning from my new friends and it will be an impactful year traveling and teaching in China.

About half of the AYCers enjoying our first KTV.
About half of the AYCers enjoying our first KTV.  Yes my slippers were comfortable.

Thanks for sticking with this word heavy post.  Everything after this will have less words, more specificity, and feature more pictures and videos.  Follow my blog and experience China with me.  I want you to WANT to read about my experience.  Comments, feedback, and content requests are more than welcome as they will help me engage you, the reader, in a more effective manner.  Stay awesome.

The AYCers along the Bund river in Shanghai.  Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.
The AYCers along the Bund river in Shanghai. Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.
The AYCers in Oldtown, Shanghai.  Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.
The AYCers in Oldtown, Shanghai. Photo courtesy of Nathan Montgomery.