China Pre-Departure Report

– My international experience to date is: My international experience is very limited. The only time I have travelled outside of the country was when I went to Rome in Second Grade. 

– I want to go to China because: 
I have been fascinated with China’s culture and history for years now. In high school, I took four years of Mandarin facilitated by the Confucius Institute at Pitt. It taught be a lot about Chinese customs, culture, and history. I believe better familiarizing myself with the country will be important in my professional life, given the rise of prominence China has been seeing on the global stage. 

– I think the main professional work differences I will experience will be: I would believe that the Chinese workplace is much more competitive than in the west. This would be because China has such a high population, the job market in turn would be highly competitive with everyone working their hardest for a competitive advantage, and as a result, you must be the best of the best to succeed. 

– I think the main cultural differences I will experience will be: I think unlike Pittsburgh, the cities we will visit in China will always be busy, no matter the time or day of the week, because of how dense the cities are. 

– I think the main political differences I will experience will be: 
There are many political differences between China and the US, the main being the structure of the Chinese government. China, unlike the US, is ruled by a single party, the Communist Party of China, which is centralized in an oligarchic state. 

– I think the students I meet in my country will be:
 Fun. If there is anything I have learned from my Chinese friends at Pitt, it’s that even if there may be some communication problems, Chinese and US students are very similar. They both have similar pursuits, both enjoy going out and having fun, and making new friends. 

– I think the major differences in living conditions will be:
 Space will probably be a lot more restricted in China than it is here given how dense the cities are. It shouldn’t be a major issue however. If I could survive a year in the cramped rooms of Tower C, I can certainly deal with whatever China has to throw at me. 

– I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be: Making connections. I cannot wait to talk with native Chinese students and learn more about their country and culture.

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