David Page

Initial impressions of china – When we were headed to china on the plane I didn’t know what to expect when I got off. In my mind I had all the pictures I’d seen in textbooks or on TV and movies. I was expecting a somewhat poor place with a lot of street markets and people walking around, with a lot of typical Chinese culture. As soon as we got off the plane I realized most of what I had in my mind was going to be false. When we first got off and were waiting in line to show our passports I was completely surprised at the size of the airport and how modern everything looked. As we got on the bus and headed to the hotel I realized how similar America and china were really going to be. The street signs looked the same, the highways looked the same, and buildings look somewhat similar to America. The only difference was all the writing was in Chinese. As we get to the hotel it is apparent how urban and modern Beijing was. There are nice cars everywhere, big buildings, and a lot of people already walking around even though it was 5 or 6 in the morning. The hotel was nice and better than what I was expecting, and I thought it was a little funny that every hotel room had an air purifier, to make sure we weren’t breathing in too much pollution. As walked around everything started to seem even more like America and I realized there were more similarities to the US and China than there were differences. We went to go eat lunch and my first impression with the food and the people was very positive. Everyone was pretty nice and very patient with us Americans who only spoke zero mandarin.


What I learned about china – I learned quite a bit about China in our two-week stay. While some of it was learned in our lectures and business visits, and a lot was learned just walking around interacting with the people. In lecture we were given a crash course on some of china’s biggest industries and the culture of china. We learned how many of the large corporations in china are state owned enterprises, in which the majority of the business is controlled by the state. Many of these state owned business’s run at a loss and the government covers their losses. One of the most interesting lectures was learning about the high-speed rail way and what it took to finance, build, and maintain. The professor was against the government funding the high-speed railway because many of the rails are run at a loss. They are expensive to maintain, expensive to build, and need an extremely large amount of people to use to maintain a profit. We also learned about how Chinese culture applied to businesses. The Chinese people think more about the group, compared to Americans who focus more on the individual. To get ahead in America is pays to be creative and take the initiative in your job. In China, these traits are not as valuable. It is better to do what you are told and learn to follow the rules to the T. Walking around we learned quite a bit about Chinese people and culture. Something that stood out to be the most was the driving and how different it was than America. People drive however they want and will get inches from you when you are crossing the street and other cars while driving. But they don’t get upset or angry like people in America, they seem used to it and remain calm through the whole process. We learned in lecture that Chinese people did not express emotion as much as Americans and this was evident when we walked around and interacted with people.