Arrival: Davidson-in-Shanghai 2012

Group Picture at Fudan University

With the requisite group picture standing in front of the Great Helmsman by the main gate to Fudan University, the Davidson program in Shanghai has officially begun!

My family and I arrived a couple of weeks earlier, to make sure Michael was set up for school at Fudan International and that last minute issues were resolved prior to all 14 students showing up in Shanghai. By August 30th, two students of the group (Alex Bau and Tommy Fang) had already arrived in Shanghai. Alex, Tommy, and I went to Pudong International Airport to meet the group – they were relatively cheerful, given the length of the plane ride, the extreme turbulence (weather issues), and one piece of lost luggage.

To recover from jet lag the following day, I took the group out for an introduction to breakfast foods in Shanghai (they all had steamed buns of different varieties, 肉包子), and then we went for a walk around the Fudan University campus and the wujiaochang (五角场) neighborhood. The long walk on the first day was designed not only to familiarize newcomers to their home for the next four months but also to help them get over jet lag.

Packing Smart – start with luggage, and plan

I’m about to leave for close to a month in China, including a conference where I need to look “presentable.” I will have fieldwork equipment (video, audio); and everything will be in one carry-on bag that I can carry on my back. I will not have any checked luggage.

So much of succeeding in fieldwork is preparation, and the logistics of travelling smart are crucial to your success abroad. Take a look at this website, Onebag.com for hints on travelling smart.

Here is the bag that I use the most for travelling, either domestically or internationally – the Rick Steves convertible. Ebags has a version that I’ve used in the past, but I found the Rick Steves version to be lighter.

Readings for the Program

Possible Course Readings (Public Amazon Wishlist)
Note that not all of the books listed here are required for all courses.

All the readings for the courses (except for Chinese) will be available in Amazon Kindle format. You do not have to own a Kindle to buy and read Kindle books; instead, you can download the kindle software for your computer (Windows or Mac) and read them on your computer.

I would recommend buying a Kindle for your own sanity – you do not get eyestrain by reading using a Kindle, since it uses e-ink (and is not an illuminated screen like your computer). You will need a light source to read on the Kindle, like reading regular printed books. Please see Fuji if you are interested in exploring options other than buying a Kindle.

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