Connecting Global Cities: Billionaires and Les Miserables

Apr 20, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

“Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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Global cities (and the countries they are located in) appear in various surveys each year. I regularly refer to them here. Last month saw two updates released – the 2017 Hurun Global Rich List (and where the wealthiest people live) and the Bloomberg 2017 “economic misery” list, which it is not good to be at the top of.

Money is not the most important thing to value in life – good health is more important, so there are several surveys of the most liveable cities, which I last covered in September 2016.

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Photo: High End hotel in Beijing's Sanlitun by Colin Speakman 

However, there seems to be a fascination about where rich people live and in fact it appears that many choose to live in global cities where they can enjoy all the things that money can buy. I recall an old movie, “The VIPs” where a millionaire was able to write a friend a blank cheque. Nowadays being a millionaire does not get one far into the Rich List. Anyone living in London or New York with a good-sized home and the mortgage paid off is likely to have net assets worth over a million US Dollars. We have to talk about multi-millionaires at least, and for the top end of the Rich List we need US Dollar billionaires. There are 2,257 billionaires in the world, an increase of 69 in the last year, according to Hurun research.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities

Exploring Zhangjiajie: the Land of Avatar

Apr 18, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle takes us to Zhangjiajie, the city where the movie Avatar was filmed with scenic views.

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Ever heard of Zhangjiajie in China? Your answer is probably no, but what if I told you it is where the movie Avatar was filmed? Now images of the scenes will be flashing in your mind if you've seen the movie (not the cartoon Avatar, but the Avatar with the blue people). Once I realized that the movie was filmed in China, I wanted to go visit while I am here.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2017_From Danielle Thai Zhangjiajie 1.jpg

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Posted in: Travel, Shanghai, China

Finding the Perfect Brunch in China

Apr 11, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle finds the perfect brunch to satisfy her cravings abroad.

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Two words. Western breakfast. Or on Sundays – Western brunch. I have never missed a specific type of meal this much in my life. Usually cravings for something occur every other week but I think my breakfast craving happened every other day… so it almost felt like a need. The breakfast here in China consists of bread, congee, or corn. Do not get me wrong I like having congee or bread in the morning just not every single day. I even went to the grocery store to find granola bars for a substitute in the mornings. The granola bars I ended up purchasing were made of rice crisps and a few pieces of almonds. It was decent but it was not the quality that I am use to. I have recently found the same brand of granola bars that I eat back home in an imported section of the store. Imported foods are priced significantly higher than other domestic products. Once the prices are converted to US Dollars, the prices are the same as back home. Having these granola bars holds me over for a little while. Going back to that craving of Western breakfast – I was not the only one in my friend group who felt the same way. We did a little bit of research and found a top-rated restaurant that would fill our needs.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Food Abroad, Food in Shanghai

Being Captain for a Day in Century Park

Apr 4, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle takes us to Century Park, the largest park in Shanghai, where she captains a boat and enjoys greenery in a megacity.

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In a city of twenty-four million people, green-spaces are limited or non-existent. The city is concrete jungle. A majority of the land is leveled, structured, or piled with concrete. Skyscrapers and buildings are visible no matter where one stands. Even looking out of my window now, I see two skyscrapers and four buildings. Don't get me wrong, there are trees, plants, and grass, but the ratio of greenery to concrete is low. Studying in the city allows me to appreciate places where green is the primary color. In Shanghai there are parks and gardens that offer greenery without a need to leave the city. These parks and gardens are no more than a five-minute walk from a metro station making them easily accessable.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2017_From Danielle Thai Parks 1.jpg

The public transportation system here is so convenient. No matter where you are in the city there is a bus or metro station close by. The fares are low and rides are reliable and fast. After a couple weeks of taking the metro with other people, I was able to comfortably navigate myself from point A to B. It is liberating to be able to get somewhere alone in a foreign country and feel comfortable doing so. I hate to admit this, but I feel more comfortable using the public transportation in China than I do back in the States. I somehow find myself getting lost when taking public transportation in Boston. It is strange that I am able to direct myself in a foreign country where the system is extensive and the language is unfamiliar. 

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Activities Abroad

Deal or No Deal: Bargaining in Shanghai

Mar 28, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle discusses a cultural difference in China, bargaining, and how she's become accustomed to it. 

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The fake market is unlike any place I have seen or heard of. The stores are identical in terms of size and layout. It reminds me of a flea market; the products are laid out on a table or displayed on the wall. Another key defining feature is the prices of these items are not clearly labeled. On the ones that have tags, the prices are much higher than what the sellers say the price is. With the prices labeled, it messes with what a person expects to pay for the item. The most counterfeited products are bags, sunglasses, watches, strings of pearls, and jade-looking items. In these places prices are suggestions and are inflated at high rates. The sellers play off the products as being authentic and try to make the customer believe that they are getting an amazing deal. Most people who visit these kinds of markets know that the products that are counterfeited so they do not buy into what the sellers try to tell them.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Cultural Insights

Buddhist and Confucian Temples in Shanghai

Mar 21, 2017 5:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle visits a Buddhist and Confucian temples, and practices some different customs. 

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Let me ask you this. What is one of the first things that come to mind [other than the Great Wall] when I say, “Asian” or “China”? Just for a moment; let the image or word form in your head. You might not be saying it at first but you are probably imagining some kind of Asian place of worship – a temple possibly. Temples are seen as places of worship just like a church is for Christians or Catholics or a synagogue for Jews. Religion plays a significant impact on cultures and societal relationships. People generally have a set of beliefs or guideless they follow in their life and some of the ideas are rooted from their religion. If some peoples’ ideals do not match then tension arises and conflicts occur. That is one of the many reasons why religion can be a tricky subject to discuss.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2017_From Danielle Thai Temple 1.jpg

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Cultural Insights

Top 8 Cultural Celebrations in China

Mar 14, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

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Words by Mary Brown, an Admissions Advisor at CAPA The Global Education Network.

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When you study abroad in Shanghai, there's a few cultural celebrations throughout the country that are worth looking into attending! Here are eight for your list: 

 

1. Spring Festival

This January 27th- February 2nd festival, better known as the Chinese New Year, celebrates the upcoming year with hopes toward luck and prosperity. Festivities include holding a family dinner, the exchange of red envelopes (with money), fireworks, dancing, and elaborate decorations! Many Chinese will hang red items and decorations around for luck as well.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Cultural Insights

A Trip to a Soccer Game and a Lesson on Identity

Mar 14, 2017 9:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle goes to a soccer game, which causes her to confront her identity as American and Chinese. 

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Clear Saturday night. Blinding bright lights. Cold, plastic stadium seats. Professional flag wavers. Roaring crowd. It is the season opening soccer game. – Shanghai SIPG vs. Changchun Yatai.

 CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2017_From Danielle Thai Post 5.1-343704-edited.jpg

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Study Abroad

A CAPA Shanghai Trip to Beijing

Mar 7, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle takes us along on the CAPA Shanghai excursion to explore Beijing. 

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Twenty-six point two miles – the distance of a marathon. Did I actually complete a marathon? No. Three days walking and exploring Beijing will equal walking a marathon. I am not making it up; my Fitbit tracks the distance I walk per day. I applaud those who complete a marathon within a day because my legs are sore and I had two nights to rest between the days.

The city of Beijing is more spread out than Shanghai in terms of the distance apart that the attractions are located. Although places are spread out, the more popular sights are swarmed with people. Public transportation is comparable to rush hour, but at all hours that the metro and buses run. It is always packed. To make it onto a vehicle, it is either push or be pushed. Once on, it is like packed sardines with no room to move. My body parts would be pressed against at least five different strangers and I would have to slightly tilt my head to get some “fresh” air. In China, I have come to appreciate the times where I am at least an inch from the people next to me.

Saturday

FIRST STOP: BEIJING PLANNING EXHIBITION HALL

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Posted in: Travel, Shanghai, China, Official Bloggers and Vloggers

First Thoughts on Classes & an Internship Abroad in Shanghai

Feb 28, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPA_DanielleThai_Blogger_Shanghai.pngDanielle Thai is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A resource economics major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Danielle shares her experience taking classes and interning abroad in Shanghai so far this semester.

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This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about studying abroad. It may even slip many peoples minds, especially those who only see the pictures posted all over social media. In a way, it is hidden and overlooked but yes – I do take classes here!

All the noise and adventures students take on when they are in a foreign region often masks the thought of classes. During the past few years, studying abroad has become associated with a semester of just traveling around with friends, eating good food, and trying new things.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Shanghai_Spring2017_From Danielle Thai - Mao Statue in the front of an academic building.jpg
Photo: Mao Statue in the front of an academic building.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Official Bloggers and Vloggers, Academics Abroad, Internships Abroad

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