Australia in the summer of 2012 for 20 days with People to People. There was ~40 students and 4 teachers/adults on the trip.
Czech Republic in the spring of 2015 for 7 days with the music department at my high school with over 100 students. We stayed in Prague.
Austria after visiting Czech Republic. There we went to Vienna and Salzburg, this was where the Sound of Music was filmed.
I want to go to China because:
This might be the only opportunity I have, to visit China and learn about the cultural and politics first-hand.
Learn more about the smartphone industry because I’m studying Computer Engineering with an IE minor with the certificate in “innovation, product design, and entrepreneurship” and this might be an industry that I go into.
I think the main cultural differences I will experience will be:
(Depending on where we are) How there is no such thing as your “personal bubble”. In Australia, there was a lot of Chinese tourists and they did not react if you bumped into them or vise-versa. Besides that, most likely how deeply embedded their cultural is into their lives compared to us, especially since their history goes back hundreds of years before we even knew the Americas were landmasses.
I think the main political difference I will experience will be:
How, compared to the United States, the people do not have much of a voice in politics. I know China is still slowing moving towards more of a democracy/republic, but they are still communistic; where a small party of people control the people. For example, the limited websites the Chinese citizens have available. I think that, one of the Chinese students on my floor just created a Facebook account because in China they do not have access to Facebook.
I think the students I meet in my country will be:
Will respect, the cultural that is present in China, and respect political views of the citizens if they are asked about theirs. (This was something I was warned about when visiting Europe). And of course, be respectful to me and to other students and staff.
I think the major difference in living conditions will be:
Living space and air-quality. I used to watch House Hunters with my parents, and there were episodes that were filmed in China, majority of the time in Hong Kong. A “mansion” would be anything larger than 700 sq ft, where the average size as 400 sq ft. For air-quality it is known that China is less restrictive have pollution control in industry. Last month or two months ago I saw a video where they were explaining how, in China either no drove or half of the population could drive, and because of that they could see the blue sky for the first time in x amount of time.
I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be:
Besides learning about the food and cultural, being able to tour a factory. I have never been in a factory environment, I have seen videos on modern assembly lines and what-not, but I have never physically seen inside of a factory.