From the 1 to the 28 of January, twenty undergraduate students and one graduate student of the University of Seoul (UOS) left to discover an advanced city, Shanghai. During winter vacation, the program of discovering an advanced city is offered to students so that they can experience the futuristic urban landscapes of foreign countries. The participating students took lessons in urbanology from an expert who worked in the real field of practices. Moreover, students not only studied the development strategies of futuristic cities and successful cases of urban planning but also improved their communication skills through lectures on language. So, this program gave students double-wedged benefits.
This time the discovery program of an advanced city of China took place in Fudan University. Through this program which consisted of four lectures and nine field trips, the students could thoroughly come to understand Shanghai` urban planning. In the case of lectures, various topics such as the environment, transportation and urban protection, were covered to delineate the differences between Seoul and Shanghai in the aspects of urban planning. Basically, China is a socialist country. Thus, to make and implement policies is a lot easier than in Korea. In other words, when policy makers make a policy, it will be carried out very well. During the nine field trips, they saw the essential celebrated locations, Xin Tian Di, Pudong New Development Area, Bund and Lu Xun Park in Shanghai. Oh Han-nah, a student of the Dept. of International Relations said "It was a very meaningful experience for us. We learned a lot about Shanghai` politics and the Chinese language. I feel more grown up than ever before."
As well as Shanghai, this program for the first time included trips to Suzhou and Hangzhou. Students could appreciate the beautiful scenery of Shanghai as well as Suzhou and Hangzhou. Furthermore, they were organized into four groups based on each student`s interests. The groups were divided with four main topics about Shanghai` aspects of urbanology to report on. Each group should accomplish their report. So, they visited other famous places closely related to their topics in their free time. In addition, most students visited the provisional government in Shanghai, thinking about their own national consciousness.
Shanghai is a city of harmony, preserving tradition and developing modern culture. They did not follow the exponential growth of other places but found ways of coexistence between old and new. Hence, the students thought that we should learn this lesson from Shanghai`s urban planning. Although it was a very short time, they were grateful for the opportunity. To all students, I would say: don`t lose this great opportunity to experience foreign culture!