China Pre-departure Expectations

– My international experience to date is:

Currently, I have very limited international study experience.  This will be the first time I will be outside of the country by myself.  The only time I was outside of the country was on a cruise with my family.  We visited the Grand Cayman Islands and Jamaica each for one day.  Neither of these destinations will be anything like I will experience in China for two reasons.  The first is I was with my family for the trip, and secondly, we were with a cruise line, so we could not actually explore the countries.

– I want to go to China because:

There are many reasons that I want to visit China.  First, this is a once in a lifetime experience.  I am assuming that this will be my only opportunity to explore foreign culture and foreign business all at the same time.  Within the Plus3 program there were many options.  All were intriguing, but I cannot see myself ending up traveling to China at any other point in my life.  Visiting the country that basically keeps the US economy afloat is also very fascinating to me.

– I think the main professional work differences I will experience will be:

When it comes to Chinese professional work, I am expecting companies to be very bureaucratic.  I expect for workers to listen to their bosses and have very limited creative sides in their work making people work with limited autonomy.  People will be hard working and work long hours.  There also will not be a weekend.  People work all seven days.

– I think the main cultural differences I will experience will be:

With my limited knowledge of Chinese culture and from what I have learned thus far, I believe the main cultural difference we will experience is the speed of the whole country.  Everything in China moves fast.  The American culture is slow and appreciative which is completely opposite to what I am expecting.  Also, I believe I will experience a culture change in the food.  I have been informed that all Chinese meals involve a lot of sea food, which I am okay with, but also the food will not be like American “Chinese” food, which is disappointing.

– I think the main political differences I will experience will be:

Going to China, I feel as though I will experience many cultural differences.  First of all, China is more conservative than the United States, so I believe I will witness some old fashion ways of doing things.  For example, I have already experienced the Visa application which to me seemed quite outdated.  Also, since China is a communist country, I expect to see the government more prevalent than in the US.  I expect more government control in everyday life with controlling how people live.

– I think the students I meet in my country will be:

All business starts from the ground up and in this case, I am referring to students.  I believe that the students that I meet on this trip will be rather similar to the students that were selected to be a part of the Plus3 program.  Everyone that came with us is a motivated individual who cares about his/her education.  I believe we will see approximately the same culture with the students we will meet.  I believe they will be driven individuals, who are also willing to take time out of their days to talk to us.

– I think the major differences in living conditions will be:

China houses a lot more people than the US does.  Therefore, I believe the living conditions will be a little worse.  For our sake, I assume that the hotels will be above par compared to the types of hotels that my family stays in here in the states.  I have been informed that the Chinese hotel industry is a rising industry and thus having established some beautiful resorts in which we get to take part.  For those who reside in the country, the conditions will most likely be cramped, causing people to have limited space compared to most places here in the states.  We will only be visiting cramped metropolitan areas. I am familiar more with a rural lifestyle that Western Pennsylvania has to offer.  Also, their public facilities will not be as proper as here in the states.  The restrooms and public facilities do not have to meet the same codes as in America, so I am not expecting anything like the US from this standpoint.

– I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be:

Of course, exploring the other side of the world will be an enjoyable experience that I will never forget, but I feel as though the most enjoyable experience I will have will be getting to know all the other individuals on this excursion.  I am a people person and nothing brings me greater pleasure than getting to know other people.  Whether these people are from China or with our Pitt group, it is great to get to know different people and acquire different perspectives on life.  I really look forward to the entire adventure and cannot wait for it to begin.

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