Shanghai Leadership Project Survey 2018
1. What was good about your* leadership project, what do you need to improve?
Our topic was too broad, though interesting. The judges seemed to like more involvement in the project (Getting a professional opinion, getting field experience, taking surveys, etc.) It would have been better if our group members were situated in a closer range, unlike the Chinese students who worked in groups mainly based off their school giving them better communication and collaboration. It would have been better if we had been able to have more time to translate more of our project into Chinese since the translators could only give a brief overview.
2. How where the Chinese projects different from ours (The international/american ones)?
They were focused on small, but serious topics, mainly based on China’s problems. Obviously, they had a better understanding of Chinese, so the judges were able to understand them better, therefore earning a higher score. They had a lot more information on their problems and had a lot more involvement. They seemed to take it more seriously while many of the international students took it less so.
1.What was good about Round 2 and how could it have been improved?
Round 2 was fun, since one of my roommates were in the same group as I was and I have a pretty good understanding of Chinese and am able to speak it fluently (with the exception of a few words). However, when it came to the actual research part of the project I was unable to help due to my amateurish understanding of writing and reading Chinese. It could have been improved if the Americans were able to work together on a separate project, although that may have lead to the same problem of the judges being unable to understand our projects and lead to less collaboration and communication between American and Chinese students.
1.Did you like the questions/topics of the third round?
Yes, though the others in my group may have had a different opinion.
2. How could Round 3 have been improved?
There could have been a choice of three different topics (or more depending on the amount of students) that people would have been interested in like entertainment or something instead of Facebook’s denial of restricting posts on Nazi massacres that some students seemed to be confused about or had little to no interest in. Also, one of the people in my debating group in round 3 had trouble understanding the topic and the provided information.
1.What did you like about the Leadership Project? (Subjects, projects, communication, etc.)
Since I had an adequate understanding of Chinese and was able to speak it fluently communication wasn’t a big problem, unlike some of the other students who struggled to understand despite the translators. The subjects for Round 2 were broad but allowed discussion in order to choose a topic within the subject. Round 3 was mostly independent but was based off of group work and coming to a conclusion by debating the given topic that gave us a brief overview of the problem. It was fun to discuss and debate the general topic with others. Communication was fine in Round 3 since it was a group of American projects; though Round 2 had some complications.
2. How was the camp in general? (Food, rooms, friends, etc.)
The rooms were ok, though it got a little hot and some were smelly. My roommates welcomed me and introduced me to some of their friends.The food was fine although some of the other students seemed to enjoy Cup Noodles more. Many people were friendly and seemed interested that we came from the US, although it was immensely amusing to see their reactions when they realized I could speak Chinese and understand them. Overall, it was a rather enjoyable experience especially the last day where all the school groups and the international/American group held a show which many people seemed to had fun participating in. The last day people hung out at other rooms and some held mini-parties. Also the milk tea from the store is awesome.
3. What could have been improved overall?
Time. Time was a huge issue due to the fact that for the last performance and most of the rounds the international group needed more time to work and prepare unlike the Chinese groups who already knew about the general subject and what the rounds would be based off of. Communication was another huge problem for most of the students; the judges couldn’t understand us when we explained our projects in English, some students had trouble understanding the judge’s questions and others struggled to communicate with the Chinese students at all. The translators were helpful but most of the time it boiled down to the other students who had a good grasp on the language to explain what was happening and what they had said.
4. How has camp influenced you?
It really hasn’t “influenced me” but I have made many new friends and had a good time in general. The Shanghai Sightseeing Tour allowed independence, though we had assigned meet up times and usually traveled in groups for safety. It was also just fun in general.
5. What would you recommend to others about the Leadership project?
I would tell them to come if they can communicate well, or at least understand Chinese though it would be fine if you came just for the experience. It’s fun to talk with other students and the Chinese students. If you like to interact with other people and talk about interesting and impactful topics you should definitely come.
P.S. Try the milk tea. Just don't do what I did and not eat for three days and live off the tea instead.
*The project you created or joined for the first round.
I just got back to the U.S. so it took longer than I expected to post.