The C in BRIC!
This has been our first week in China. Although many of us are still getting used to the Chinese environment, most understand that changing and adjusting to a new place will take time and we need to try our best to get into the new culture. By starting the course with Prof. Chang, it has been easier to get adapted since we are starting to get a routine. We have been taking classes in the morning in which we study several cases, such as Rent the Runway, ASC Wine, and Wild China. After the morning class, we have afternoon business visits in which we have been able to understand and learn about the business environment in China. For example, we visited the law firm Latham & Watkins in which Rowland Cheng discussed several observations for foreign investors and businesses in China; many of us were able to ask him questions relating to our native countries. So far, China has been amazing. Even though it is a very crowded city, it has many technological advances and a lot of variety in products that helps us adjust faster to the new environment. These technological advances really made us understand how China is truly ahead of the world in many aspects of day to day living. This includes the high speed rail that connects nearly 100 million people within a one hour travel radius of Shanghai, the amazing advertisements on the metro station and even how much of a blessing WeChat is. WeChat for those reading this is a service that helps one to do everything from communicate to pay to engage with companies that are trying to market themselves. We also visited an old water town that the tour guide compared to Venice and truly got to see aspects of historical China. The food was unusual with snails and other such mystery meats offered at the dining table. Going back to the food experiences we had, almost all our group dinners were amazing and the collective nature of Chinese culture is truly emphasized at the dining table. Various dishes are put out and everyone is forced to share the food and truly engage in conversation, a stark difference to Russia where we were a few days ago. Finally, a lot of the restaurants had private rooms and upon further looking into, we realized that a lot of the business meetings take place in these private rooms and involve a lot of alcohol and a lot of expensive food! DEFINITELY the best way to do business!
For more stories from the 2015 BRIC study abroad program, please click here.