Sarah Snavely: Pre-Departure Report

My international experience to date is:

When I was in high school, I travelled abroad to France for 10 days with my French class. It was really cool to experience another culture and be able to explore different museums and historical sites. When went to a few small towns in the south of France and ended our trip in Paris. Being immersed in the French culture helped me learn more and apply what I learned from France to my French education.

I want to go to China because:

I want to experience Chinese culture first hand. I was born in China, and I haven’t been back since, so I am really interested in going. I also want to learn more about the cell phone industry and how the Chinese do business. I think it would be beneficial to learn about those kinds of things and be able to apply what I learned in China to my education at Pitt.

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

I feel like the workplace in China will be really fast-paced and collaborative. The Chinese are definitely leaders in technology, and that will show up in the workplace. I think the Chinese interactions with other countries about imports and exports will probably be different that how the US interacts with other countries.

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

I think that every culture has its own specific mannerisms, and I think a large cultural difference I will experience is that there are different ways to show others respect. Also there will definitely be different views of what is “normal”. Our group might have to get out of their comfort zones, and I expect that some Chinese people will want to take pictures of our very American group. 

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

I think that the Chinese government will be more organized than the United States government currently is. I’m not completely sure how the Chinese government operates. I think a large political difference between China and the US will be the citizen’s opinions of the government. Our nation is very divided right now with Trump as president, but I wonder how Chinese citizens feel about their government.

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

I think the students I meet in my country will be very similar to myself. They will definitely be very driven and studious, but I think they will also like having fun and hanging with friends. We’re all at the same stage in life, just in different countries, and I think we will all be able to relate to each other in some way.

I think the major differences in living conditions will be:  

Since China has such a large population, I think the living conditions will be a lot different that in America because there are so many people in a smaller amount of space. Also, there is a lot of pollution in China, so I think that I will see a decent amount of people wearing air masks as both a fashion statement and a necessity. 

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

I think that I will enjoy visiting the cultural sites the most in China. I am really looking forward to going to the Great Wall because it’s one of the seven wonders of the world. Also, I watched Mulan pretty recently, so I want to have a few Mulan moments in China. I still can’t believe I am actually going to China; I think the whole experience is going to be surreal.

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