Colton McCormick

Colton McCormick has written 16 posts for Study Abroad with UNA

There and Back Again

So I think I’ve finally recovered from jet lag. Some people can recover in a few days and others will take a few weeks. The best thing to do is try to figure out what time you’ll arrive at your final destination and plan when you sleep accordingly. By the end of your journey you will be exhausted regardless. Even if I had been jet lagged for two weeks, it would have been worth it. This trip to China has been one of the highlights of my life. Getting to see pieces of ancient China, like the Great Wall, exploring … // Read more

Venice of the East

Yesterday, our last full day in China, our group took a day trip to another city called Suzhou. Suzhou has many canals running through it, and because of this it is also called the Venice of the East. In Suzhou, we rode boats on the canals, visited a silk factory, and strolled through a famous garden in Suzhou. We also met up with some UNA students there. I wasn’t aware that we have business students in China until this trip, but it was great to be able to meet them all. We headed back to Shanghai in the afternoon, got … // Read more

Chinatown, China

Even though I didn’t have plans at the beginning of the day, I did end up having an adventure and I wasn’t disappointed. After class, one of the other group members, Kristen, and I went to Shanghai’s Chinatown. It is slightly ironic that a Chinese city would have a Chinatown, but it makes sense considering how much western influence and modernization has occurred in Shanghai. Kristen and I began exploring the markets in Chinatown and we finally got the hang of bargaining. It was hard for me at first, but after you lose some of that initial fear of haggling … // Read more

Shanghai Swing

It has been a busy past two days. On the 28th, we all visited a construction site of a shopping mall in the middle of the city. We had the chance to speak to the heads of the project, and it is insane how quickly they’re building it. For most of the day, I was exploring the city with a few other classmates. That night we visited this interesting place called the Cotton Club, a great diner that had live music. The first band, called the Swing Dynasty, was composed of French and American musicians who played fusion music in … // Read more

A Bright and High Future

There are hundreds of skyscrapers in Shanghai that go as far as the eye can see. Surprisingly, all of these skyscrapers have only been built in the last twenty years. The first of these skyscrapers is the Oriental Pearl Tower, which was built in 1994. It is probably the most unique skyscraper in the city. Shooting up like a needle, the tower is considered the architectural icon of Shanghai. We had the chance to go up the tower and see the skyline of the city, and the high rises really do go as far as the eye can see. A … // Read more

Our First Day in Shanghai

Shanghai is extremely different from the other cities we’ve visited. As a port city, Shanghai has had a lot of western influence, and you can see that influence in its architecture. While there are typical Chinese traditional buildings, there are many European style buildings. Our first day there we explored the city and looked for some interesting places to eat. In one of the art centers of the city, we found a bathroom themed restaurant called More Than Toilet. We also found a restaurant where they bring a live cat to your table with your meal that just sits there … // Read more

The Trek up the Purple Mountain

Today, a group of us went to the Purple Mountain. It’s called that because of how it appears to be purple at dusk and dawn, unfortunately we didn’t get to see this, but regardless of that, our trip to the mountain was fantastic. Our approach to the mountain felt surreal, because at one moment we were in the middle of the urban sprawl, and the next we were on a small road inside a dense forest. After hopping from city to city the past several days it was strange being surrounded by green leaves and the fresh smell of pine … // Read more

The Spirit of the Southern Capital

Yesterday our group visited the Nanjing Massacre Museum, a museum honoring and remembering the approximately 300,000 citizens of Nanjing that were killed by the Japanese in 1937 during their invasion of China. It was a very solemn place where most people were very quiet as they walked through. Kristen, a member of our trip who has also visited old concentration camps in Germany, said that the museum reminded her of the heart wrenching emotions she and others felt as they visited the camps. It’s saddening to think something so horrible can happen, but it is uplifting to see how Nanjing … // Read more

Night Train to Nanjing

If you have never been on a night train before, you should know that it will be an unforgettable experience if you ever do. You’ll probably be a little nervous, but you will probably have a lot of fun too, especially if you’re sharing a room with your friends. Think of it as one big sleepover on wheels. I think that makes it sound less intimidating! After the twelve hour train ride, we went straight to our hotels so we could get showers (hallelujah!), and after that, we visited two factories. The first factory we visited was a bible printing … // Read more


Biking on the city wall was incredible. It took about two hours to go around the entire wall, which allowed us to see much of the city from an interesting perspective. Afterwards we went to the bell tower and the drum tower, two ancient buildings at the heart of Xi’an. We then navigated the bustling Muslim street and followed the scents of a hundred kinds of delicious smelling food. We also got to visit one of the oldest mosques in China, where Arabic and Chinese words were engraved together on stone objects. That night, I met some friendly locals who … // Read more