Coming back from China which has the largest population in the world to Seattle, a city that allows you to have a lot more personal space, I feel very relaxed and comfortable. Travelling with two professors and 20 plus MBA students gave me a different experience. During the trip, it is very interesting to hear all my colleagues’ thoughts about my home country, China. China is big because it has so much land and so many people. China is beautiful because it has so many historical and modern buildings. China is important because it is developing so fast. China could be seen as messy sometimes because people are fighting for opportunities. China is polluted because 70% of the energy still comes from coal. Traffic jams are very common, especially in Beijing and Shanghai even though they have the world-class subway systems. The rich and the poor are very clearly classified. Porsche, BMW, Audi, Merdedes-Benz and other well-known brands are everywhere. Cost of living in the big cities is very high. One night on the way to the hotel, my taxi driver told me that he would never have the money to buy a condo in the urban area because the price is sky-high. In the night market of Beijing, employees of a food stand said, “We came to Beijing to work from western China. We know we only make $200 per month and have only 1 day off in a year, but it is much better than in our hometown.” That is why this study tour is so great because it shows us two sides of China, the good side and the bad side. I guess this is the reality about China.
Toward the end of the tour, we had an opportunity to see the World Expo in Shanghai. Again, fighting with 200,000 people to see a famous pavilion such as China, Spain, England and Saudi Arabia was a tough job because it required a 5-hour wait in line. Of course, this reflects the China population very well. The day before we left, it was fortunate to meet with our governor of Washington State, Christine Gregoire. Since WA State is the second largest export state to China, there are many opportunities for international trade such as agriculture, aviation, IT, tourism, education and wine.
Taking this tour makes me become more self-aware. I have developed a better mindset for my future career. I still remembered a sentence from my grandparents. “Reading ten thousand books is not as good as travelling ten thousand miles because travelling can give you emotional experiences. These experiences come from hearing, seeing, touching and engaging.”
Written by Derek Zhao, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org