My Favorite International Destination at USC Marshall
USC Marshall is unique in the fact that it provides freshman students with many opportunities to travel abroad. During spring break of my freshman year, I was lucky to be a part of the Global Leadership Program, a yearlong course that prepared a select group of incoming Marshall students for international business and leadership. In addition to taking the course, I also got the chance to travel to Shanghai, China, for ten days in the spring. Right when I got there, I realized there was a reason why my professors had chosen this destination – Shanghai is an absolutely gorgeous city, a cosmopolitan center that felt like the heartbeat of a magnificent country. Everything about Shanghai was grand and modern, from its soaring skyscrapers to its urban shopping centers to its dynamic nightlife. The streets were always flooded with people and cars, rushing from one destination to the next. Having come from a small town, it was exhilarating for me to experience life in a big city, especially one as international and important as Shanghai.
Unlike other cities, Shanghai has a balanced mix of modern, contemporary architecture and old, cultural remnants. One our first day of the trip, I visited one of Shanghai’s oldest and most renowned locations, a former temple that has since been converted into a large strip mall. While there, I tried the famous Xiaolongbao, little dumplings unique to Shanghai. Shanghainese cuisine, by the way, is absolutely top-notch. Both the city’s restaurants and street food were bursting with flavor; needless to say, it was impossible to count my calories throughout the trip.
Overall I had an absolutely amazing time in Shanghai and I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in traveling abroad to Asia. I came back with great memories, great gifts, and a deeper understanding of its rich culture. There are of course many other destinations that USC Marshall students can choose to travel to, but Shanghai is one that will forever be my favorite.