Christian’s Trip to China
What did the China experience mean to you?
“Going to China was an eye opening experience for me because of the vast difference in cultures between the Chinese culture and American culture. Being in that environment took me to a place that I was only able to hear about and see pictures of. Interacting with my new surroundings everyday made me realize that I was a foreigner and far away from what I was use to. This experience opened to what some of the international students at Purdue University might experience when they come to the United States.”
How important do you think it is for every American student to have international experience?
“I feel as though it is very important for every American student to have international experience. Putting yourself in a totally different environment where most of the people do not speak your language helps you to understand what foreigners in our own country go through on a day-to-day basis. Also getting out of the United States allows you to experience a lot of things that many other Americans may never have the chance to do. Even though me going to China was great experience for myself, it was also great for many of the local people that I came across. Many of the people in China never get to experience others from different countries so me going there showed them what some Americans, and in my case African-Americans, are like.”
Based on your experience, how important is it to understand the idea of globalization?
“Understanding cultures is extremely important considering how many people from different countries come to the United States. Having an idea of what different groups of people are accustomed to will really help in creating a relationship with people from other countries. In China, when I or another person would ask for or talk to one of the locals in Chinese, they were very impressed that we had actually taken time to study the language or at least gave an effort in trying to communicate in Chinese. Showing that we took the time out to actually learn some of the language really made people even more excited to talk to us.”
What attracted you to studying abroad?
“I was attracted to studying abroad because I have always been interested in going to different countries around the world. I have been very interested in Asian cultures and when the opportunity for me to go to China came, I took it. I am glad that I decided to go to China because many Americans hear about the population, the government and it’s economy of China, but do not know much other than that. I wanted to actually go and see if the things that I heard were true, and also to see where exactly many of the international students at Purdue actually come from.”
What was the best part about China?
“It’s difficult to say what the best part about China was because everything was amazing. The cities Shanghai and Beijing were astonishing because of their size and scale. Visiting the Great Wall and the Forbidden City was wonderful because I was able to actually see and touch the things I had learned about in my Chinese history class at Purdue. Interacting with the people and learning how to get around in the cities was great because I was able to use the Chinese that I had learned at Purdue in China was exciting. Overall, I loved every part about being there and I would hope to travel there again if I get the chance.”
Do you have any more study abroad plans?
“As of now I do not have any more study abroad plans but I would love to either go back to China for an entire year or go to a county in Europe or South America.”
How has this experience affected you as a student at Purdue?
“The experience has affected me as a student at Purdue by giving me a better understanding about the international students at Purdue. At first, I did not fully understand why they did some of the things that they did or acted in certain situations, but going to China really opened my eyes to the entire thing. The experience has also helped me to realize what it is like to go somewhere not too many people look like you or talk the same language you do. I feel like now I am more willing to talk to and get to know more international students since I have an idea of what they are going through.”