Today we visited the Central University of Finance and Economics, which is ranked as the twelfth best university in China. First, we got to listen to a lecture from Dr. Kai Yao, who was a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in computer science, and a Ph.D in the business field. He described the smartphone market in China to us, so that we can have a better understanding when going on company visits. One of the major differences in China is that most people do not have PCs or laptops. For this reason, cell phones are the most popular devices used to access the internet, and almost everyone, even the older population, has them. Mobile payments are used extensively due to this, with around 50% of cell phone users paying with their smartphones, opposed to around 20% in the U.S.

After learning about the smartphone industry in China, we had a delicious lunch in the cafeteria. The food at Chinese universities puts food at American universities to shame. There were several dishes, including pork, chicken, and vegetables, which were all very fresh and flavorful. My favorite dish was chicken and mushrooms in a type of garlic sauce.

We then got to tour the newly built library, with many incredible features. It was six floors, including one underground floor. The students can go to a terminal and see all of the open seats at one time, so they do not need to waste time walking around looking for one. I thought this was a really great idea, and I wish they had it at Pitt. The students can also check out books really easily. All you need to do is set the books on a counter and scan your ID. The computer knows which books you set down, so you are ready to go in seconds.

The last part of the university visit involved some fun. The Chinese students showed us a game they like to play called “rope skipping” which is similar to jump rope. Two people spin a rope, while others run in, jump over the rope, and then run out trying not to get hit. It was a really fun and interesting experience, and was nice to see how some games students play in China are similar to those in the U.S.

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