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Christina Ho - USA Pavilion Student Ambassador

USA Pavilion Student Ambassador from Bryant University, now serving at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo
April 26, 2010

Clinton Visits the Pavilion                                                                May 25, 2010

I had the privilege of being one of the Student Ambassadors to welcome Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the USA Pavilion. I was stationed in Act II, “Urban Garden”, along with my fellow Student Ambassador Luke. Camera, lights, and people surrounded the Secretary as she walked into the theater. Luke and I spoke, in Mandarin, Shanghai dialect, and English introducing the film as guests, including the public took their seats.

On a daily basis, I encounter approximately 15,000 people who visit the USA Pavilion. The USA Pavilion averages around 40,000 visitors per day. Speaking to a large amount of people is making me a more confident person and hopefully a better public speaker.

In the evening, we had a photo opportunity with the Secretary. This is where she asked us to go around and tell her our names and where in the United States we were all from. It was such a memorable experience!

Jogging the Expo, Training & Africa                                               April 26, 2010

Last night, I went for a short jog from the Expo Village to the China Pavilion. It was very refreshing to breathe the night air. I felt very special to be a part of this grandeur. The Expo is so large, and to experience it with so few people meandering about was very unique. Filled with lights in the night sky, the Pavilions lit up and my eyes widened with pure excitement! It was quite emotional. I got to walk right near the river and see the company Pavilions on the Puxi side, and right at that moment I knew this was and still is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had wished I brought a pen and notepad to write down exactly how I felt. Even if I captured it on film, it wouldn’t have felt the same. Maybe it was best I didn’t do anything but feel like a tiny but significant piece of the big puzzle on Expo grounds.

Typical Training - Today, the Student Ambassadors all had security and emergency evacuation training at the Pavilion. Two global sponsors, Chevron and GE, came and educated us about their respective companies so we would be more knowledgeable to speak to the visitors about them. They were very happy to show us their Act III (Post Show) contributions. I found the GE Interactive Wall to be rather entertaining. I felt like a child again. It was very fun playing with the motion sensors and making the digital objects move. 

Africa Square Safari - It was really interesting to see the African countries displayed in the huge room. Most Chinese people are very amazed when they see people of color, so it was very interesting to see many Chinese people genuinely interested in seeing pictures and displays of different African counties. The Chinese typically like to take “cute” pictures and pose in front of interesting objects. I saw that a lot and mimicked them. It’s a good thing to assimilate sometimes.

The Commute                                                                                    April 22, 2010

The commute from the Expo Village to the USA National Pavilion is hard work. I have to make sure I bring an extra pair of shoes to wear for the commute. It takes roughly 45 minutes (this includes a 5-minute walk to the bus stop, a bus ride to the main gate, a security check, a 2-min walk to the other bus stop, a bus ride to the USA Pavilion, and a 1-min to the Pavilion) to get to my final destination. I will surely get used to this. I will be working 4 straight days and have a break for 2 days (running on a line schedule). I have yet to visit any other Pavilions because I have been focusing on the USA Pavilion.

Plans & Settling In                                                                             April 15, 2010

I have finally arrived. Prior to December 2009, my future had yet to be determined. I was graduating from Bryant University with a Bachelor of Science in International Business/Management and a Minor in Chinese. What was I to do? I decided to graduate a semester early in order to save some money, but with the job market and the economy looking meek, I was in trouble, or so I thought…

I received the wonderful news I was accepted to represent the United States, my home country, at the USA National Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 from April to July 2010. I thought “Wow! This is perfect for me,” and it was. I was to take a short break and live at home for a few months and get some work and volunteering experience in my community. So…I got to be normal for a few months. I developed a work, volunteer, family, work-out routine from December to April 2010. I also had a few interviews for some different companies for a full-time job after I returned from Shanghai. I received wonderful news from Bryant University’s Confucius Institute mid-February. I made it through a successful set of interviews and received a great job offer!

As April quickly approached, I was getting very antsy. I didn’t know what to expect at all.

“Settling in, settling down, and settling…for 4 months at least”
So I made it to Shanghai! Now what? Now I have to develop a rhythm, a rhythm that involves incorporating the many aspects of my life and transforming it to fit to the “Shanghai Expo Village” lifestyle. There is so much to see, so much to tell, so much to experience. It is right here, right now! Shanghai is here to show this “world” to whoever wants to see it. Take this opportunity to see it. You may never have an opportunity to visit all of the countries that are participating in this World Expo, but you have the chance to go and get a taste of what each country potentially has to offer. Each country is attempting to put its best forward!

The current portion of my life has been planned out. This is quite a relief, but I do have to work hard to keep it that way. Management of my time here in Shanghai is critical. I have a busy schedule and transportation from one area to another is quite difficult. I am still adjusting, even though I have already lived in Shanghai for 4 months in 2008. I am in a different part of Shanghai. This metropolis is so big! I just took a weekend trip to Nanjing (first time), and coming back to People’s Square in Shanghai definitely put Shanghai in the “huge” category of cities, although, Mexico City is really big too!