ryanoceros, June 21st, 2018
Going to China was a once in a lifetime experience, and I know that I made the right choice when choosing a study abroad program. I learned so much about the culture and experienced new food, landmarks, and some serious jet-lag. But I would endure another 16-hour flight and do it again right now. In this post, I will share my overall thoughts of my experience and highlight some of my favorite moments from this trip.
The thing that I was most curious about there was the food. I quickly discovered that real Chinese food is nothing like American-Chinese food. It’s way better. The taste, the seasonings, and the environment in restaurants are all what make it unique. In China, people eat out in groups with family or friends, almost never alone. Restaurants are always lively and full of talking. A noteworthy thing about Chinese cuisine is that dessert isn’t a huge part of a meal. Most restaurants didn’t offer dessert, so my friends and I found ourselves at McDonald’s most days to satisfy our sweet tooth after a meal.
The cultural visits in Beijing were very enjoyable because of our tour guide. She possessed so much knowledge about the landmarks we visited because of her love for her own country. She gave us the information in a way that was interesting and didn’t sound boring to a group of college students. We were able to ask any questions we had throughout our visits, and we could always expect a response with a smile. Her passion for China was contagious, and it helped to draw my peers and I in to get more out of the trip.
The lectures that we attended at Beijing Jiaotong University provided more information than I could have learned on my own. Each lecture presented a new idea and aspect of Chinese business culture to provide us a vast overview of how things operate in their country. The most beneficial class while I was in Beijing was the one about Chinese culture. It made the new place around me seem less scary and also explained some of their citizens’ mannerisms like why they drink hot water or why they prefer to shower at night.
My favorite part of the trip was our weekend trip to Shanghai. It had a big-city feel with high-rise buildings, bright lights, and lively streets. It had a modern feel and there was never a dull moment. I rode a subway train for the first time in my life and found a breathtaking view of the city from the bund. Nearly everything we wanted to do was within walking distance, especially a Starbucks. It was nice to have a little taste of home that weekend in Shanghai.
In conclusion, China was a breathtaking experience that I would repeat time and time again. I learned so much about one of the world’s biggest cultures and got to live in it at the same time. Between the food, the landmarks, and the two cities, there was never a dull moment. I can’t wait to go back in the future and learn even more about my favorite country on the other side of the world.
Categories: 2018 Trip