To this date, I have travelled to Canada, India, Qatar, Singapore, and the Bahamas. India is the country I have been to the most outside of the US since my family is from there, and I have been immersed in that culture my whole life.
I want to go to China because Eastern traditions and practices are very different from what we see in the Western world. To be studying the largest smartphone industry in the world, as well as obtaining an insight into cultural differences in business, would be very beneficial in operating in the very connected world in my future.
The main cultural differences will be day to day social interactions, such as greetings and good byes, interactions with shop owners and street salesmen, and getting used to the hustle of huge cities after coming from Pittsburgh.
The main political differences I expect is that my family has always encouraged being open about political thought, and from what I’ve learned in school, there are some ways thought and expression are censored by China. Granted, I have never been there so I do not know to what extent this will be, but I assume this will be the largest political difference.
I think the students I meet in China will be just as enthusiastic about learning from Americans as we are about learning from the people in China. I hope to extend my network overseas into China, and I hope I can do that by getting to know some of them.
I think the main difference in living conditions will be getting used to everyone moving around fast at all times. It seems that no matter what time you step out on to the street, there will be many cars and people all about. Coming from Pittsburgh, that has scheduled rush hours and sharp contrast between day/night life, it will be something to adjust to, and in my opinion a positive difference.
The most enjoyable experience I think will be getting to visit all the national landmarks. I have dreamed to see those all my life, especially the terracotta warriors and the Forbidden City. It will be a great exposure to a country with a rich and long history and I am very excited to see those things.