This summer, a group of GHC students left American soil behind and journeyed to China.
The trip started with a visit to the political heart of China, its capital, Beijing. They toured the Forbidden Palace, which was the traditional home of the Emperor. The students experienced the crowded areas of China when they visited Tiananmen Square, the largest square in the world.
Chinese history was made real when they saw the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Warriors in the city of Xi’an. They were able to sit in on a lecture at a university in Beijing.
The students and staff learned about the different regional foods of China, and everyone walked away with the seemingly small but important knowledge of how to eat with chopsticks.
Not only did they learn about the history and cultural lifestyle in China, the students also learned about many business aspects of Chinese culture. Where the United States is very individualistic, business in China is more of a groupthink. Relationships and trust are important when doing business there.
The students and staff exchanged gifts with the people they would be working with when they met because that is customary in the Chinese culture.
Jason Parker, one of the study abroad students, said one of the most interesting things he learned while visiting Microsoft was the hologram technology.
With a digital headset, the students could look inside a holographic display of a beating heart. As this technology advances, doctors and surgeons will be able to practice their operations using holograms, and engineers will be able to display a finished product with holograms before they begin working on their product.
The students were not the only people learning on this trip. The Chinese people were impacted by GHC’s presence as well. Bronson Long, director of study abroad, shared, “We had one student, really sweet African American girl— Diane Feign, with dreadlocks, and the Chinese people thought she was fascinating. They constantly wanted to get their picture taken with her. I think they thought she was a star.”
This expanded the mindset of the Chinese people towards Americans. American culture has influenced China in many ways. Pop culture, NBA and fast foods such as McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken are a few things that Long noticed.
This trip made China more concrete and real for the students. It helped them get out of their comfort zones and taught them many important factors in doing business with foreign countries.
In an upcoming study abroad trip, GHC students will be traveling to Panama. This will be an opportunity for students to immerse themselves into a Spanish-speaking nation and understand the business aspects of the Panama Canal.
To see more of last summer’s study abroad trip to China, please see the slideshow above.