My international experience to date is: slightly above average. I have been abroad a few times, the first of which I remember was travelling to China at age 4 to adopt my sister. Since then, I’ve been to Singapore and the Philippines, in both instances to visit family. I have yet to see traditional abroad destinations in Europe, but I’ve visited closer destinations including Quebec, Tijuana, and Bermuda in the past 5 years.
I want to go to China because: I have a family connection to the place, as my father is Filipino-Chinese and travels to China often for work, and my younger sister was adopted from the Hunan province. I also am interested in seeing smartphone production in a country different from the United States, as well as experiencing Chinese cultural events and trying new, unique foods.
I think the main professional work differences I will experience will be: that in China, business will move more slowly. I believe this is mainly due to cultural difference and increased consideration over ideas and the people who present them. I believe that personal networking is crucial in the Chinese workplace, and who you are is valued more than what you do.
I think the main cultural differences I experience will be: that China will be a slower-paced culture than the United States. I believe they will take a bit more time to appreciate different customs, rather than purely focus on the future. However, I do believe there will be less diversity in China when it comes to customs and even dress. Because of this, people in China may become intrigued when they see American customs.
I think the main political differences I experience will be: that China is overall more socialist, while the US is overall more capitalist. Because China’s government is more stable in the fact they do not elect a new leader every 4 years, I believe that Chinese people will be extremely interested in American politics and in some cases have stronger opinions towards our government than their own. Since China’s GDP has been expanding so much lately, I believe they will also have slightly negative opinions towards foreign business coming in.
I think the students I meet in my country will be: enthusiastic, and fairly similar to ourselves. I believe they have also been brought up in an academic-oriented environment and put a significant amount of time and effort in school. I believe they may be excited by name-brand items, such as Nike or Apple, as I believe it is more expensive to access those in China.
I think the major differences in living conditions will be: that there will be a wider spread in economic status. I don’t expect to see poverty significantly worse than in America, but I believe there will be spots of contrast due to gentrification. Due to their large population, I believe that the urban areas will be very crowded, in regard to both housing and people on the streets. Finally, I believe the air will be polluted in areas such as Shanghai.
I think the most enjoyable experience I will have during this trip will be: forming friendships with my classmates also coming on the trip. I believe that travelling across the world into a completely new environment will be a fantastic bonding experience. I think that bonds have already started to form, as plus3 has given me a connection to some of my classmates I didn’t have before, and this will only be expanded through the trip to China.