Matt Freeman: Pre-Departure Report

  • My international experience to date is:

The summer before my senior year of high school I was lucky enough to travel internationally with my family. The trip was 10 days long and we traveled to both Spain and France. In Spain, my family only visited Barcelona. The food and scenery were amazing and everyone was able to speak English (which was a plus for my dad because he’s deaf). In France, we visited Carcassonne, Marseille, Lyon, and Nice. The food, scenery, and people there were amazing as well. While we were in France the Euro Cup was underway so my family and I went to two soccer games, which was an unbelievable environment. Overall, the trip was great and since then I have looked forward to going abroad again.


  • I want to go to China because:

I feel as though this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to travel to China again. I’m looking forward to getting a first-hand look at how the supply chain of cell phones works. It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to visit some of the most reputable/respected companies in the world and learn how they do what they do. Aside from the schoolwork aspect of the trip, I am excited to meet students from China to see what their lives and schoolwork are like. I am also looking forward to visiting different places especially The Great Wall, as it has been something I have wanted to visit since I first saw a picture of it.


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

Considering that the US is a democracy and China is a communist country, I feel as though there could be many work differences. I feel as though there will be a wage difference. The wage difference may or may not be in value but it could come from different taxes or government regulations. I also feel as though people in the US probably receive more days off than people in China. I feel as though it’s a part of our culture here to go on vacations and things like that, while it seems that people in China continuously work extremely hard. Going off my last point, I feel as though I will come across more hardworking and determined people in the professional workplace than here in the US.


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

I think the biggest cultural differences will be language and food. The language barrier will be the difference by far, but aside from that food will be different as well. While we have Chinese food in the US I feel as though it is not much like the food I will come across in China. While in China I don’t expect to hear political opinions from the people at all as it’s communist. I think that will be another difference. I’m expecting the people to be more reserved/respectful than people in the US.


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

I don’t think I’ll hear anything about politics there. It’s a communist country so the people don’t have much say and I feel as though they may be afraid to speak their opinion. In the US, politics are a common conversation topic and can even ruin relationships sometimes. I don’t think Chinese people have that problem as they don’t have candidates to choose from every 4 years.


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

In China, I feel as though the students will probably have better study habits than I do. I think a major difference is that they go to school for more days of the week than we do. It also seems as though schoolwork is taken much more seriously in China and I feel like it puts more stress and pressure on those students than it does for us. I’m excited to be able to meet and talk with students there to share stories and learn more about what it would be like to grow up in China.


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

I think that it will be very crowded in China. China is already much more populated than the US so I don’t expect to see many backyards or large houses. I feel as though I will be reminded of New York City except with even more people. I feel like with that many people living in one area it will be dirtier than what am I used to in my small hometown of farms. The government may also put restricts on certain things the people can buy or have in their homes. They may not have the access to the same things as we do.


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

I am hesitant to answer this question because I feel as though many things will be very enjoyable. If I had to choose one thing I think it will be when we visit The Great Wall of China. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and I have wanted to walk on The Great Wall since I was a little kid. I also can’t even imagine how amazing the view must be, so I am extremely excited for that.

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