My name is Kate Szewczyk and I am a rising Junior at Sacred Heart University. Currently, I have been in Tianjin, China now for two weeks. For my first study abroad adventure, I gotta say this trip is more incredible than I could have ever imagined. I can't believe I'll only be here for about another two weeks! Time goes by so fast and we are kept very busy here at Tianjin Foreign Studies University with classes, trips, Tai Chi, and shopping! One of the best things about China is how cheap everything is here! However, you really need to watch what you buy, since it all adds up fast! (Trust me, I've been learning the hard way after going to the Silk Market last Monday).
Anyway! Since this is my first time ever overseas, I have definitely learned so much more being here and experiencing China, than I ever could have in a class! First of all, while yes there is pollution in China, the American media hypes it way too much where most Americans believe you will need facemasks at all times because of the smog (I have been to Beijing as well, and the smog is nowhere extreme as the media makes it out to be, at least in my opinion). Yes, there is pollution and trash here, but what surprised me was how many workers they have going up and down streets sweeping debris and trash, as well as even washing the streets! For such a polluted country as the media makes it out to be, that was probably one of the many surprising things I first noticed here.
Another surprising thing was how they drive in China! Talk about traffic and road rage! You seriously need to be EXTREMELY careful when crossing the streets here. Even though it says on the sign you can cross, that STILL does not mean it is safe. Even as you are crossing the street, there will still be cars turning and driving towards you! Pedestrians do not have the right of way here! Not only that, but bikes and scooters do not obey stoplights. Definitely different than the US.
Mason and I are not the only ones on this adventure, we also are with four students from Quinnipiac University, Jenna, Alex, Sydney and Jose. So far, the places we have been are Shi Palace, the Great Wall of China, Tianjin Water Park, and the Silk Road Market in Beijing. Tomorrow, the Quinnipiac girls and I, as well as our Chinese MBA friends Lilian and Daniel, will be traveling to Shanghai till Tuesday! I'm super excited!
We also are all interning at Tasly, an international pharmaceutical company based in China. So far we are learning about how Chinese business operate, as well as helping them with their marketing plans and strategies for coming into the US. It's amazing how huge this company is, and none of us have ever heard about it! I'm looking forward to learning more about doing business in China through the help of Tasly!
Mason and I will continue to update for the next two weeks or so while we are here! I still cannot believe how fast it is going! Hopefully I will be update with pictures soon when I figure out how to properly place them in here! My computer is having trouble uploading them. I look forward to more adventures here in China!