My international experience to date is: I currently do not have much international experience. I’ve been out of the US twice: to Mexico and Bermuda. But, both of those were when I was much younger and for a very short period of time. I’m fairly up-to-date on world affairs. My current area of focus is Japan, as I’m a Japanese minor.
I want to go to China because: As a business student, specifically a marketing major, China is a country of great interest when it comes to the global market. I’m very interested in studying and working abroad, specifically in either China or Japan, so I feel this trip will be a great way for me to get a feel for what it’s actually like to be abroad and what the business culture is like in some place other than the US. I’m also very interested in the history and learning about the general culture.
I think the main cultural differences I experience will be: I think the biggest cultural difference will be the difference in existing in a more collectivist culture coming from a more individualist culture. When it comes to everyday life, and especially in business, understanding relationships is crucial to how successfully you can conduct yourself. I’m excited to get a different perspective on how those relationships should be conducted.
I think the main political differences I will experience will be: I have only a vague idea at best on the current political state in China, but from what I’ve been exposed to it seems the main difference is how involved the government is in everyday life. Censorship is something I’ve heard come up a lot when discussing China, most often referring to certain websites and content being blocked, so my current assumption is that the government in China is more involved morally in what it believes its citizens should be exposed to.
I think the students I meet in my country will be: I think the students I meet in China will be curious about learning about what it’s like to be a student in the US. The Chinese international students I’ve met here seem to be very curious about the US, just like we’re curious about what it’s like to be a student in China. I’m not really sure how to generalize an entire group of people into an assumption, as I assume there are all sorts of students in China. But, I think universally being a college student means you have at least a little curiosity, so I assume they’ll also share that trait.
I think the major differences in living conditions will be: From my understanding, things are a lot more crowded in China than they are here. I assume that spaces will be smaller. From what I’ve gathered from speaking to Chinese international students here at Pitt, there’s a big difference in air condition. They’ve also said that WIFI is less universally available, so I assume communications are less WIFI focused than they are in the US.
I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be: I’m most looking forward to just seeing the cities. I have no idea what to expect, but I love cities and am excited to see what similarities and differences they hold. On a more specific note, I think the cultural site visits will be very enjoyable for me, because I love history and learning about things that are more cultural in nature.