Hello world! This is my first entry of my TFi blog and I’m looking forward to share my experiences through this medium. This is DATE experience would be the first time I would be leaving Singapore for an extended period of time. Despite this long duration, I personally took this as a challenge to find my inner strength and independence, and a learning journey where I can learn interpersonal and hard skills.

         

Our four people team flying over!                            My friends and family

I shall jump into what I have experienced during this first week in China. But before I go into the fun stuff, I’ve to talk about the administrative stuff that we had to settle. This was our agenda for the first day. We were very impressed by the size and amenities of the campus, having the ICBC branch and China Mobile on campus. This made settling these two administrative matters very convenient for us. We first went to the China Mobile branch to open our sim card which was needed to set up our ICBC bank account.

         

At China Mobile                                              At ICBC Branch

The next day(14th May 2019, Tuesday), we had a culture experience activity to Liangzhu Dream Town. We visited many startups and established companies(eg. Xiaomi), through this journey, we were able to learn about different industries and design considerations for the creation of products. What struck me most from this learning journey, was the emphasis on the industry and consumer needs, shifting their designs and strategies quickly based on the changing markets. From all the companies present, Xiaomi was particularly impressive to me with their wide range of products from smartphone to smart home appliance, they took products that were already on markets and made it IOT where it can add value to the consumers.

       

At Liangzhu Dream Town                              Xiaomi Design Exhibition

On Wednesday(15th May 2019), we had a free day and we made use of this opportunity to explore the Zhe Jiang University’s Zijinggang campus which was where we were situated at. We went around the campus with the school’s shared bike which could be unlocked with Alipay app. We explored the various buildings and gardens within the university campus. It was interesting to see ducks and large freshwater lakes around campuses, a sight that u don’t really see in Singapore campuses. Other than adding to the aesthetics of the campus, I believe this gives students, staff and faculty alike a place to unwind and appreciate the natural surrounding.

Exploring one of the many gardens on campus

On Thursday(16th May 2019), we visited the 西溪国家湿地公园, which was the largest freshwater marshland in Hangzhou. The original size of the marshland was 60km but was reduced to 11.5km due to urbanization, even though there was a drastic reduction in the area of the national park, it was good to see that the Hangzhou government maintain a protected area remaining. Walking through the marshland, I felt a sense of calmness and peace being away from the tourist and noise of the city and it was certainly very refreshing.

   

Bridge at 西溪国家湿地                            My friends on that trip

On Friday(17th May 2019), we visited. We explored the 西湖. We first went to 雷峰塔, where we had a panoramic view of the lake and learned about the historical structures surrounding the lake. We then headed down to the lake where walked the length of the lake, experiencing the Chinese parks which were most busy and bustling compared to our parks back home in Singapore.

       

Bottom of Pagoda                                         At the top of the pagoda

Over the weekend, we had buddy day, where we explored the city of Hangzhou with the fellow students of Zhe Jiang University. We explored the different famous spots in Hangzhou and through our interaction with the local students, we learnt about the local hacks and tips to have better experience in Hangzhou.

Group Jump Shot!

We also went to 龙津村, hiking around the tea plantations in this vicinity which was one of the highlights of this week. I was truly humbled while hiking through the tea plantations with the need to harvest the tea leaves from high elevations.

At the top of the hiking trail

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