Embracing the Ambiguity: BRIC 2015
Posted by: Helena Hernandez and Daniel Madden, Babson Class of 2017
After our three weeks living in St. Petersburg, most of us have come to love the city and feel comfortable because we have adapted to the environment. As warned by previous BRICers, however, this feeling of familiarity does not last very long. In this past week, the BRIC group has traveled from St. Petersburg to Moscow to Shanghai. While traveling has brought great adventure and excitement, it has also resulted in a need to adjust. Needing to adjust is most exemplified by the fact that some of us continue to use “привет” and “спасибо”, hello and thank you in Russian, and have accidentally started saying it to locals in China. Additionally, many of us have been quick to compare what we see in China to its counterpart in Russia, such as living conditions in the hotel, transportation systems, and food to name a few. These two examples are evidence that we have completely embraced the Russian culture. While we are proud of our cohort for this, we need to start immersing ourselves in the Chinese culture as well. The transition is going be easier as we have been taking survival Chinese classes for the past two days. Furthermore, our time in Shanghai has been filled since the moment we left the airport and arrived to the hotel. Since then, we have participated in meets and greets with Chinese students, group tours, museums, a boat cruise, a scavenger hunt throughout the city, and class to ease this transition. We are sure that in no time we will exchange our Russian greetings for “你好” and “谢谢”, hello and thank you in Mandarin, and get to know and love China as much as we loved Russia. We look forward to starting Entrepreneurship and New Ventures in China with Professor Chang tomorrow! Lastly, in light of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and the tradition of celebrating family, the cohort will continue to act as a family in order to support each other through the struggles of transitioning and any other problems that may arise during the duration of BRIC. 再见！ (see you later)
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.