27 Jan Chinese Cooking in Shanghai It was on a chilly Saturday afternoon in downtown Shanghai when our participants learning Mandarin in Shanghai at our partner language center and from Fudan university gathered together with Go Abroad China’s representatives to cook a Chinese meal together. The atmosphere was great; everyone was excited about learning how to cook some Chinese dishes with great company as the participants got introduced to one another. Sure enough it got noisy very quickly, with the clinking of plates, chopping of vegetables, washing, boiling etc and best of all practicing conversational Chinese. I have heard that great stories are told over the dinner table; with this dinner session in Shanghai, this was proven true. I had one friend in the Shanghai language group ask me “what is the best way to learn Chinese?” somebody else was asking me for free Mandarin classes during our downtime, a particularly interesting comment was when somebody else chimed in; with the cost of living in Shanghai 2016 being so steep it was a good idea to often have home cooked dinners! I agreed. We all had something in common; many of us were interested in the Mandarin language with one even doing an intensive Chinese language program at the famous Shanghai Fudan University. My only thought was imagine how much extra work one would have to do when enrolled in this particular study abroad program. Truth be told, despite the intense assignments and going to class consistently, it is a great thing to be able to speak Chinese and not have to struggle with basic Chinese on a daily basis like I sometimes do. After dinner with stomachs full, we did as the Chinese usually do, and that was to follow up with some local brews. It’s funny when you are in China for the first time the type of things you easily fuss about, like different Chinese foods in China, how to order food in Chinese, trying to read the subway map, buying groceries etc. But I must say the support from GAC helps too. Anyone can be like these candidates and come over to learn Chinese in Shanghai.