The idea of going on a trip for a math competition does not appeal to many people, not when it is phrased that way. How about “Exploring Shanghai, experiencing Chinese culture, and interacting with people who have the same passion as you?” This sounds more like the trip which I went on.
During this MATHCOUNTS trip to Shanghai, it almost seemed like we were on holiday. In the morning and afternoon, we were at Shanghai American School (Pudong), encountering challenging problems with people who had the same aptitude for math as we did. Personally, this was an extremely enjoyable experience for me. The welcoming hospitality of the school was a bonus.
On top of that, our team - made up of Aarushi Maheshwari (6CIH), Abhay Malik (7Yma), Peter Jaeyoung Cho (8MSy) and myself - won fourth place in the Team Round. Our other teammates won 10th place (Avi Darbari 6AFR), 11th place (Avi Saraf 6SMu) and 14th place (Advaith Maganti 8Pwa, Maika Yoshida 8PWa, Kyle Minchan Park 6AFR, Nishant Muralidharan 8MWe). The highlight of the competition was the Countdown Round, an elimination contest where two mathletes raced to answer questions correctly within 45 seconds. Three of our teammates made it to the Countdown Round. I was in 8th place, Abhay Malik was in 15th place and Advaith Maganti was in 20th place.
After we were finished with the math, our whole evenings were dedicated to exploring, and taking in this dazzling city. We visited many city attractions, the most memorable ones being Shanghai Disney Town and The Pearl Tower (where we stood in a glass sphere almost 300 meters up).
Overall, I think I can safely say that everyone in the trip had a great time, and I would definitely recommend to anyone with an interest in math.