• Daniela Wildi


Shanghai, a dynamic, diverse and stimulating city, where you never get bored. I’m fascinated every day and I love spending my time here.

Finally I’ve found time to write down my thoughts and feelings. I’m back with an update about my last weeks here in China.

Autumn in Shanghai

As you might know I changed my host family one month ago. My first host family wasn’t able to host me anymore because they were too busy with their work. They didn’t have time for me and decided it would be the best to change so I can enjoy my year in an other family. There were also other reasons which influenced the change, but it’s fair for all of us to keep them ourselves! However, I had good moments with them too. The change was definitely no big deal for me as my new host family is adorable. I’m very lucky to live in such a kind and lovely family.

I live with my host parents, my mother’s parents and aunt in a big house. My elder brother, who lives at the dormitory during the week, comes back on weekends. Even though my place is further away from the city centre and therefore I spend more time on the metro, it is of no importance because I love my new host family, as already mentioned above.

Lately, I’ve been very busy with homework and studying Chinese as it requires a lot of patience and ambition to learn this language. Compared to other, especially Western countries, my exchange year focuses on school and studies as most teenagers in China do. There isn’t a lot of free time during the school week and after class finishes you usually go home to continue the work.

Jersey Boys Musical at the Daning Theatre in Shanghai

It’s tiring and with the beginning of the cold season with its shorter days I need more rest to renew my energy. Compared to Switzerland, where our holidays are spread over the whole year, there are only two main holidays in the school year: the summer vacation and the winter vacation. The winter vacation cuts the school year in half and lasts for approximately one month, and it includes the Spring Festival which lasts for 15 days. The summer vocation starts at around the beginning of July and lasts two months.

I usually spend weekends with my family or friends. Spending time with family is very important here. Chinese people respect hierarchy and appreciate proper social relations, full of harmony and with minimal conflict. This weekend I’m going on a three-days trip with my mother and my best friend. I’ll keep you updated.

school trip to Happy Valley in Shanghai

Christmas in China? - Our Christmas tree at home

Most Chinese people do not celebrate Christmas at all. The commercial Christmas has become a major annual event in the major cities in China. Streets and department stores are decorated with Christmas trees, lights and decorations. You'll hear Christmas music playing at the end of November. Most Chinese people who celebrate Christmas do so as a happy occasion for get-togethers of friends, relatives and couples.

#EXCHANGEYEAR #Shanghai #Family #Travel #Autumn #China

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