Modernity blends with tradition in Songjiang

Over spring break, students and faculty chaperones traveled to Shanghai to visit Peddie's sister school, EFZ. Each student will enjoy a homestay experience with a fellow EFZ student, participate in a host of group activities and work on an independent project in conjunction with an EFZ student partner.

From Nick:

I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous when we first arrived in Shanghai-Pudong Airport, but once I met my partner and his family I instantly felt at home. My first night with my host family was definitely a new experience for me and was a perfect introduction to China and its culture.

After a long day of traveling my host family was incredibly gracious. My host father spoke very broken English and my host mother didn’t speak English at all, but my partner was able to help me communicate with them.

I had my first meal in China with them which consisted of a bunch of different dishes that I had never tried before. We talked about a whole bunch of different things, especially about how things work in China and the U.S. That first meal was very overwhelming, but it was amazing at the same

The Songjiang Mall on this corner is a very common style in
Songjiang - I probably saw over a dozen of them. 
The next day my host family took me on a tour around the Songjiang district, which is the district that my partner lives in. Songjiang is very much a city, but it also has a lot of greenery which is very cool. My favorite part of Songjiang are all the malls because of all the Chinese signage that could be seen. 

We also took a trip to a traditional Chinese Medicine shop and met with a doctor which was very interesting because Western Medicine does exist in China so we had a very interesting conversation as to why it works. It basically is rooted in the fact that humans and nature should live together in harmony and once that is achieved then the body is healthy. Chinese medicine consists of a lot of herbs and using those herbs in tea as cures. I found that incredibly interesting because traditional Chinese medicine is completely different from Western Medicine, but it has
This is the outside of the Chinese Medicine shop that we visited.
It looked very traditional compared to other buildings in Songjiang.
survived the test of time (almost 5,000 years) which shows that it was somewhat effective.

After our meeting we went to a Hot Pot restaurant to have lunch. Hot Pot is basically when you take raw meats, seafood, and vegetables and put them into boiling soup and then eat them. There are so many ingredients that you can use. My host family and I ate a lot of different things including: shrimp, ox tongue, beef, lettuce, fish and shrimp balls, and even frogs legs. I loved Hot Pot because you could try so many different things all at once.
This is our table with all of the hot pot items we ordered! It
was really cool to see all of the different things used for
the hot pot.

Once we finished our meal we headed back to EFZ where my partner and I would stay the night because he had school tomorrow. Having the experience of a home stay was really interesting and something that I will most definitely remember when I think about my trip in China.