China has been an experience unlike any other so far. As a travel snob who loves Europe, I was pleasantly surprised to find lots of similarities between Beijing & Shanghai with European cities. The University I am at right now, Fudan University in Shanghai, has many french and American attributes. There are streets lined with overhanging trees that remind me of Savannah, there are many small administrative buildings that look like British flats, and yet the Chinese historical culture is still alive mixed in all the other influences. There are some big differences though, like the toilets. Although in their homes the Chinese have Western toilets, in public restrooms or in some offices, the toilets are (in polite terms) nice holes in the ground. There is also of course the pollution. China’s pollution has reached an all time high with 3x worse air pollution than what is considered okay living conditions. The smog is visible everywhere and you can barely see a few blocks down. Beijing was the worst as far as visible air pollution. I’ve been in China for about 5 days now, with 2 more weeks ahead of me. I’m a little homesick for America (and my boyfriend), but still excited to see whats next!