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Expo Blog - April: Preparing for the World

Weekly digest of Student Ambassadors posts during the final preparations for the Shanghai World Expo, opening May 1.

April 30, 2010

Hu is Coming to Town?                                                              April 30, 2010
By HEATHER JOHNSON - Clemson University

I feel like I’m about to tell the biggest “no big deal” of my life right now. This might quite possibly be it. Here we go:
"Hey, no big deal, I only met THE PRESIDENT OF CHINA TODAY!" Read more of Heather's post...

Rainy Day in Shanghai                                                               April 28, 2010
By TREVOR WELTMAN - University of Michigan

I exit the main building with a group of other Student Ambassadors. The weather is humid and warm and our collective mood jovial, happy to be free for lunch for longer than expected (a full two and a half hours instead of just one due to a presenter's scheduling conflict).

We arrive not long after at a nearby noodle joint, one that, in the two times I’ve eaten there previously, I have already exhausted all of the vegetarian options. Read more of Trevor's post...

Interconnectivity and Communication                                     April 27, 2010
By JING FENG - Concordia University

In my two weeks of being in Shanghai for the World Expo, I noticed that the network of Pavilions functions like a diorama of the world. Through visits to or from neighboring Pavilions, each country’s cultural outreach efforts come closer to total fulfillment. With the participation of 192 countries in this micro-model of the world, visitors have the chance to experience global cuisines, languages, histories, and products with a quick walk or bus ride (less time waiting in line). The internet brought the world to one’s fingertips, but the Shanghai World Expo 2010 takes one extra step to capture the essence of the world and present it in Shanghai. Guests experience sensory overload via the smells and tastes of delicious ethnic foods, the feel of major country exports, the sight of diverse people, and the sound of music and oral traditions. Read more of Jing's post...

(Soft) Opening Day at the USA Pavilion                                    April 23, 2010
By DANIEL REDFORD - Michigan State University

Though the Expo doesn’t officially start until May 1st, on Tuesday, the Expo committee decided that it would be a good idea to do a bit of a dry run. They let in about 200,000 local Shanghai folks to see the sites. All I can say is…hold on to your hats kids. Read more of Daniel's post...

The Commute                                                                               April 22, 2010
By CHRISTINA HO - Bryant University

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. Read more of Christina's post...

The First Few Days...                                                                    April 19, 2010
By MARK WLODAWSKI - University of Memphis

Ni Hao! Today was the final day of classroom training, and it's both sad and a relief. Over the past few days, we have learned about everything from how to greet dignitaries to layouts of the Expo and our pavilion to first aid and how to save people. We were given very quick introductions to Chinese culture, history, values, etc., hospitality techniques and their importance, and many other valuable lessons. The reason I typed "both sad and relieving" is because we had a lot of fun interacting with each other in those classes. We found out who has a sense of humor, who is timid in front of others, who unabashedly speaks his/her mind, and who has artistic talent. Quite a lot for 4 days, I agree!  Read more of Mark's post...

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore...                                  April 12, 2010
By DANIEL REDFORD - Michigan State University

Zaoshang Hao cong Shanghai! Greetings from Shanghai everyone. Still a tad bit jetlagged and a bit less than comfortably situated, I can say that Charles and I have safely arrived at the Expo Village to start what I anticipate to be a fantastic summer.

Our experience so far has been one that I would attach many adjectives to – exciting, surprising, confusing, disorienting, and uncertain. First of all, Expo Village is, for all intents and purposes, a ghost town. That’s not to say that it is not an impressive place. The village is comprised of a few thousand square meters of state of the art, brand new apartment buildings, hotels, fancy restaurants and day spas. Read more of Daniel's post...

Journey to the Middle Kingdom                                                  April 10, 2010
By LUKE MOHR - Washington State University

My journey to China for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo begins today, starting from Spokane, WA-- a small city usually unheard of outside of Washington State despite it being the second largest city in Washington. I have been to China back in the fall of 2008 for about nine months so I have no feelings of nervousness, only excitement. Having the privilege to travel back to Mainland China is a gift by itself, but going there to represent the US at the USA Pavilion for the World Expo is beyond me. It is true I am only a student, just like the other “Student Ambassadors” flying in from all around the US, but the positive influence we students can have on the Chinese people and other foreigners coming through our pavilion is more powerful than a speech made by an American official on TV, for we student ambassadors will interact with some of the poorest and richest of the Chinese and likely make a lasting impression, especially so since we may be the first and only Americans they will ever meet. It is because of this fact that I do not feel like a mere student, but instead a young American ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.