Friends From Across the World

Today we visited Donghua University, which is known for art and fashion, although it offers many different majors. First we listened to a short lecture given by a professor at the university. He was born in Africa, but has been in China for around twenty years. He spoke to us about e-commerce and doing business in China. This included the age distribution in China, as well as how companies such as the Alibaba group have become so popular and how companies such as BestBuy and Amazon have had trouble succeeding. One cultural difference we learned was that websites are very busy in China, meaning that they have a lot of pictures and colors all over the screen. This contrasts the simple, clean style that American websites usually adopt. This seems to reflect how e-commerce is much more popular in China, as well as the fact that they have a fast paced lifestyle.

After the lecture, groups of two American students were assigned to one Chinese student. We got to have lunch with them, and learned a few differences between American and Chinese universities. For one, the food at Chinese universities is much cheaper. My meal was about ten yuan, or $1.50. We also found out that all of the students at the university eat lunch at the same time, rather than going whenever they want like we do. It was really fun and interesting getting to know Chinese students, and practice some of my Chinese with them. My partner, whose name is Qi, is a fashion and Japanese major. Many students in China can speak three languages by the time they graduate college, something that I am very jealous of. They start studying English in first grade, and continue until graduating high school. In college, they can continue learning English or choose another language to learn.

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