Pre-departure Individual Report

My international experience to date is:

I have traveled internationally in the Americas and Europe for family vacation. In Europe I have spent time in Great Britain, primarily in London, as well as a few different locations in Italy and France. I have also been to Mexico, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. These visits were for site seeing and learning about local history. I have been to other countries in the Caribbean for the purpose of vacation.

I want to go to China because:

I want to go to China because it is unlike anything any other place I have been. Other places I have gone, I have either known the language or at least been able to catch some words because of the Spanish I knew from high school. In China I will have no such comfort, and that is exciting to get to experience something so new to me. I also enjoy history, thus part of why I have always enjoyed Europe, and China has a history that I am not as familiar with, but think would be fascinating to learn about.

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

The primary differences I expect to see comes from a lack of clarity between parties. The tendency for Chinese to not express that they may not understand something for the purpose of saving face seems that it could make getting somethings done in a certain was challenging. This along with the fact that Chinese don’t always give explicate instructions would be troubling to me.

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

The primary cultural difference I will experience will be the collectivist thought process as opposed to the American individualistic frame of mind. I do not know how this will affect my interactions with other people or experiences but am anxious to find out. I will also come across a different social structure that puts more emphasis on age and seniority.

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

The main political difference I will see will be the large amount of control that the party holds over the people. The amount of censorship over the internet in China limits many freedoms that are guaranteed to people in the United States. Also the difficulty that the government puts on foreign companies trying to open business in China is much more significant than in the US.

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

I expect that the students I meet in China will be fairly similar to me. I have gone to school with Chinese exchange students while I was in high school. Those students were a little shy but had many common interests with my friends. One difference I would expect would be their outlook towards their form of government.

I think the major differences in living conditions will be:

In major cities I expect that living conditions are largely the same as city living in the United States. However, I would expect those apartments to be more crowded than in the US. The primary difference I would expect to see would take place in the more rural areas. I do not think rural houses would place as much value on size and decoration of their house.

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

I anticipate that I will most enjoy either the Great Wall or the Terracotta Warriors. Both of these sites have deep histories which I am excited to learn about. The Great Wall should be very interesting, but I have a sense of what it will be like visiting it. On the other hand, I have idea what it will be like to see the Terracotta Warriors.

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