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Global Marketing

Our Time at Fudan University

In all honesty, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect out of the US-China Student Summit as we got closer and closer to the actual dates of the summit. I wasn’t sure how enjoyable it would be and I had no idea what I would learn from the two days. Now that I look back on it and that the summit is all over now, I would not say it was the most insightful aspect of the trip. I can easily name four other outings we did as a group in which I learned more. That being said, going through the activities with the Chinese students and interacting with them in an extremely casual manner was an experience I will remember forever. Teaching some of the brilliant students American slang and learning Chinese slang was extremely funny. There are certain phrases we say (especially in California), that we don’t even think about twice when we say them. I know that the point I am making here but it really helped me fully understand what cultural relativism is. This, obviously, is only an extremely small example of this concept.
At the summit, we did not go as in depth into business differences in US and China as I would have liked. However, understanding how the students and how the Chinese people think is a skill I would never have learned without this trip/this summit. It is one thing to speak the language of Mandarin, but to really understand the culture and be able to connect with the people is a whole different “beast”, so to speak.
As Tala mentioned in her recent post, I also found that the students had a difficult time opening up about even the smallest topics. They were a bit scared to share the opinions about social issues, gender differences, etc. I know it sounds typical, but any government issues that the American students brought up, they did not want to discuss at all. They wanted nothing to do with those types of conversations. It really made me think about how I, personally, share my opinions in a new perspective.
In regards to the various speakers and panels at the conference, I was, the most impressed with the consulate general. The points he brought up from an American perspective were pretty interesting to me. They were pretty similar to the points we had heard for the entire 10 days were in China. However, I remember I was