One of the goals I had set for myself before I left for Shanghai was making as much of an effort as I could to apply the Chinese I learned at University of Melbourne. I really wanted to integrate into Chinese culture as much as I could rather than being just a tourist. In the beginning of my experience in Shanghai, I was a little intimidated to speak Chinese because I was afraid people would not understand my pronunciation.
However, as I started to meet new people especially at work, I started to learn more words and improve my pronunciation. This gave me more confidence to speak in public like at shopping malls when I need to get a size for clothing or ordering something on a menu. Being able to communicate better makes want to continue to improve my Chinese vocabulary even if I’m not in China.