Pretty much everything about our trip was great. Our classmates, our professors, our itinerary, and of course China! The professors and course assistants could not have done a better job so to them I say thank you.
I learned so much about China over the past 3 weeks, everything from business and people culture to societal and economic structure. It’s all so different and fascinating to me. Many of my expectations coming in were challenged and changed. For example, I was expecting the cities to be a bit more dirty and disorderly than cities in the U.S. but I was very wrong. The cities are quite immaculate and the infrastructure is all very organized and well thought out. And they were absolutely massive. I was expecting more of more vertical expansion in the cities than there actually was but they were so large horizontally it was crazy. Maybe this is just my view seeing as I have never lived in or near a big city but it was just amazing to see miles upon miles of city landscape.
The Chinese people were probably the most rewarding part of the trip. We were always treated with such care and affection. One small example I noticed is that often times when someone would go to hand you something, whether it be a business card or your change after buying a can of coke, they handed you the object with both hands as they pass it to you, as if presenting it to you as an important gift. Often soft spoken and a with caring tone, they would never say anything that would cause you to be humiliated or lose your respect. They care deeply about what they say and how it will be interpreted by the listener. It is a culture that places huge importance on respect and courtesy to others, something the U.S. could probably use a little work on.
I hope one day I can return to China, whether for business or pleasure. The people, culture, and land are all wonderful and I could probably spend a lifetime there and always be learning and seeing new things. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to get this experience. Goodbye China, I hope to see you again soon.