A day after arriving at Shanghai Maritime University the school decided to hold their annual welcome dinner for all the International Students who will be studying in China for the Spring semester. There are students from six countries which are the United States of America (Massachusetts Maritime Academy), Germany, Russia, Poland, South Korea, and Mexico. Yes Mexico, at first when I arrived they told me there would be Mexican Exchange students on campus which I found interesting because my family background is Mexican. Until I realized that I was the only Mexican exchange student, which was funny because all the cadets were wondering who was the Mexican student. I am glad that they decided to represent my family heritage since I know it means so much to my family, so I thought that was pretty cool. It was also nice that Dr. Ghosh the International Maritime Business department head as well as Captain Belle from Massachusetts Maritime Academy were able to be present for the dinner. The dinner was wonderful with great presentations by SMU students, as well as the food which we all enjoy. The biggest concern for us cadets upon arriving was how we would respond to the food, but we all love the food so far especially the fried dumplings.
As far as classes go they are very interesting and we all seem to enjoy every single one of them. Monday and Wednesday we have two classes but each class is three hours long so we go to class from 0820 until 1600 but we get an hour of lunch break. Tuesday we have only one class in the morning, and Thursday and Friday we also have only one class. To our surprise the language barrier while in class is not difficult all the teachers can get their points across to us no problem and it is very interesting to learn new teaching styles. The easiest class to understand is with Captain Belle because he is American which is no surprise. It was also nice to meet Captain Belle he has so much experience in the Maritime Industry so I can say that I have learned so much from him in such a short period of time. With only week one behind us it already the rest of the cadets and myself cannot believe we are in China it is as if we were in a dream. It has been such a wonderful experience so far, and we are all anxious to continue on and see the amount of valuable things we will learn.
- 2/c Eduardo Ramos