During my life I have never had a strong desire to visit China, however, I’m extremely grateful for the experience I had with this entire group. As my first international trip I can say that I loved every moment. We visited some of the most famous tourist destinations, while also learning about Chinese culture and their corporate business environment.
Overall, this experience has taught me that no matter what nationality or culture you belong to, we are all humans with similar desires. This seems like a simple concept, however, it is very easy to feel isolated in your own country and culture –forgetting that there are other people in different nations trying to live their lives as well. But, because we do not see these people every day or care enough to listen to the news on a regular basis we can forget about them and only think of ourselves. We may have different political views and approach situations differently, but we all want to survive, feel accepted, and live comfortably.
Throughout the entire trip, we often heard that the relationship between the United States and China is vital to the world. I understand this because things as we know it are becoming more and more global, especially when it comes to businesses. I do believe this relationship is important, however, it seems overdramatized. After observing China for the brief two weeks we visited, I noticed a lot of progress but also a lot of need for change. No doubt that their economy is one of the strongest in the world, however, they do face a lot of challenges.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was the visit to the Shanghai Stock Exchange and not only because the entire building was covered in fenestra’s but because I personally love investing in the stock market. I’ve never had a tour guide be so honest about some of the more ethically questionably aspects of their business environment. Additionally, I enjoyed the student summit because of the new friendships that I formed in the classroom activities. It was interesting to understand the Chinese students’ viewpoints and compare them to my own. Despite this, I did find most of the summit somewhat useless. It seemed like one big photo shoot.
I’m so grateful for this cultural experience and especially to have had the opportunity to travel with such a good group of students and professors from Chapman. After being home for almost a month, I’m more appreciative of the life I live in the United States and the opportunities that have been given to me. I cannot wait to travel the world more and gain a more wordily view.