China · 20 Days · 45 Moments · June 2017

Arianna's adventure in China

23 June 2017

Shanghai Day 4: #2 (CC) My last full day in China was a tough, but magical experience. Shanghai Disneyland was beautiful and the food was delicious. The only meal I ate while in the park was a cheese and tomato pizza, similar to a margarita pizza. I thoroughly enjoyed eating it, but I'm not completely sure as to why though. It could have been that it was in actuality a really good pizza, but it could have also been because I was extremely hungry thus I settled for the first thing I saw. Either way, it was a good pizza with a delicious Balsamic drizzle that filled my stomach well. After eating it, it made me miss home a bit for I had already been missing western foods. However, it also made me feel a bit bad for it felt wrong eating a pizza for my last meal in China. I wish I could have eaten more authentic foods, but I have come to realize that it would have been quite difficult to find that in the setting I was in at the time. I am for sure going to miss authentic Chinese food.
Shanghai Day 3: #2 (CC) Tourism is highly important for any country for it gives them opportunity to advance and develop. The main responsibility of tourism is to open doors for the local people and to open their minds to new things. Being in China has made be realize how little many individuals in China truly know about other people from other cultures. In addition, this goes both ways for many Americans do not know much about Chinese culture either. Thus, tourism helps create a bridge for people to meet and interact as well as teach each other the importance of each of their individual cultures. Moreover, tourism also opens doors for Chinese development as a country. Tourist bring a influx of revenue to China, helping them become wealthier. For example, there are many Chinese people who make a living from selling things, thus when we purchased many goods, it basically improved their life and put food on their table. Tourism truly improves the overall country in almost every aspect.
Shanghai Day 4: #1 (DM) This trip had brought light to the significance and prominence of brand imaging for and within a country. The brand image of Beijing was modern city life with a strong emphasis of its culture embedded into it.Beijing is a developed city, but it's history is well cultivated.In Xi'an, the brand image was educationally focused.This city is also filled with a grand amount of history therefore there were many learning opportunities, particular going to see the Terra-Cotta Warriors. Hangzhou, was the young hipster of the family. The brand image of this city was projecting a easy going lifestyle as well as family oriented. As for Suzhou, the brand image was more sophisticated than other brand images I have seen. Last but not least, Shanghai is branded as a luxury and expensive destination. Since this city is the financial district of the country, there is a huge amount of pressure thrown upon this city. I have learned that Brand Imaging is make or break for visitors

22 June 2017

Shanghai Day 3: #1 (DM) The lecture that was given today, provided me with a great deal of Chinese knowledge that I was unaware of. First off, I was not aware of the fact that eastern and western China were so different in terms of industrialization and development. I learned that the reason as to why western China was not as advanced was because it was previously inhabited by nomadic tribes. On the other hand, eastern China, is the wealthiest side of the country holding most of its prosperous history and culture. The eastern side is also home to all major and extremely developed cities, such as Beijing. This leads me to the second point, that explains how this affects the cities as a whole. One of the major problems is that people do not want to go and work in these undeveloped cities, thus no change is brought to help heighten development. By learning this, I am now more aware on how important it is to strengthen every city within a country in order to give a better life to all.

21 June 2017

Shanghai Day 2: #2 (CC) The ping pong diplomacy became about due to an event in Japan. In 1971, there was a ping pong tournament in Japan where people from many countries came to compete. Both the United States and China sent athletes to this tournament. The monumental incident that is now marked in history all happened because of one guy. An athlete from the American team missed his bus and he ended up accidentally boarding the Chinese team's bus. The American athlete thought that he was going to get kicked off, but to his surprise, he was welcomed with kindness. The Chinese team and the American athlete ended up becoming great friends. This incident ended up sparking the bond between China and the U.S as a whole. Later on, President Nixon ended up traveling to China because he heard of the kindness of the Chinese people from the story of the athlete. Due to this, President Nixon signed a friendship agreement with China. It is crazy how one act of kindness can spark greater things.
Shanghai Day 2: #1 (DM) continued Things towards them, I believe that the local people should also work towards that. For example, Americans are highly stereotyped in almost every aspect, from their physical attributes to their personality traits. Due to this, many Chinese people believe these stereotypes and treat us based on them, which is completely not right or fair. By increasing social awareness among the stake holders, foreigners will have a better experience.
Shanghai Day 2: #1 (DM) As my time in China has gone on, I have seen more and more tourists. The tourism percentage of foreigners traveling into China is much larger than I thought it was going to be. This is probably due to the fact that in the U.S no one really talks about traveling abroad to China for leisure. However now that I have been able to actually come to China and see the country with my own two eyes, I have come to realize what a beautiful country China is, thus it is no longer a surprise to me that many people travel here. However, tourism would not be as large in the country if it wasn't for the tourism stakeholders. These individuals can make or break the travel experience of a foreigner. One thing that I have seen that needs a bit of improvement, is the people's social awareness. There is still a lot of ignorance towards foreigners. The stakeholders should educate themselves about people from other countries because just like we work hard to not do offensive (cont.)

20 June 2017

Last Day in Suzhou/ Shanghai Day 1: #2 (CC) Suzhou and Shanghai are both unique cities with lots of history. 150 years ago, Suzhou was the metropolitan area where as Shanghai was just a village. Back in the day, Suzhou was the hip and cool place to be for they had all the new commerce in China, making it a highly popular location to shop at. Shanghai at that time was an underdeveloped city with villagers living a simple life. However, all of this changed when the British brought commerce to Shanghai. The city became a small location to now buy goods and it soon became nicknamed "small Suzhou". Flash forward to today, Shanghai is now the leading city for commerce in China. Suzhou however is not regarded as a less developed City in China, but it is still a beautiful city. It quite cool how things can be one way in the past but become completely different in the future. Learning about this has taught me that adapting to new times is the best way to survive and prosper in the world.
Last Day Suzhou/ Shanghai Day 1: #1 (DM) When Jeff said that we had arrived in Shanghai and I looked out the window, I gained my first initial impression and thought about Shanghai. This impression was satisfactory but not as good as I thought it was going to be. When I looked out the window, I saw quite regular looking buildings and I already had the perception that Shanghai was going to look like the most modern and high tech city I had ever seen. However, it was not like that. It was still modern with many skyscrapers but it resembled cities in the U.S. The atmosphere of the city makes up for that in my eyes. Shanghai is the melting pot of China making it unique from other cities. The vibe of Shanghai is like a fresh breathe of air, for it feels new and exciting. It might not have been how I thought it was going to be, but in a way I'm happy it wasn't, for it surprised me. Being in Shanghai for half a day as made be extremely excited to explore this diverse and special city.

19 June 2017

Suzhou Day 2: #2 (CC) The Chinese craft or art that stood out to me the most was the embroidery in Suzhou. I had previously not known about this art form, therefore I was completely blown away when I became aware of it. Each piece looked like a painting but it wasn't it was literally just thread that was stitched by an individual solely by hand.The attention to detail was insane for every single thing was as perfect as it could be. For example, we saw a portrait of the Mona Lisa in which she looked exactly like the painting done by Van Gogh.In addition, the dedication each artist has to do this art is incredible. Not only do they have to work many hours a day, but they have to commit all they have to this especially their eyesight.The embroidery is all done by eyesight without any magnifying glasses, therefore there must be a large amount of strain in their eyes. Moreover, each artist began doing the embroidery since they were very young, which fair if only they love to do it.
Suzhou Day 2: #1 (DM) In my opinion, 3 characteristics that define Suzhou as a destination are calm, natural, and collective. Compared to the other 3 cities, we have visited, Suzhou is a calm and less crowded city. There are not that many cars crowding the streets and everything is more spaced out. My experience in the city, even though it was short, was relaxing and energizing.Suzhou was also very natural with trees and flowers everywhere you go. Tall buildings are still part of the city, but there is a strong balance of nature and architectural skyscrapers.Due to this, I was able to take many beautiful nature pictures. In addition, the nature helped me breathe better.The last stand out characteristic is collective. Technically all Chinese cities are collective since it is a part of the Chinese culture, however Suzhou cultivated this more. This city seemed more of a place to actually live and raise a family. The local community also seemed more united and dependent on each other.
Last Day in Hangzhou/ Suzhou Day 1: #2 (CC) In my opinion China, is a unique and special country, for it puts such a large societal emphasis on health and relaxation. Although, China is filled with many people making it a bit high paced, the people always make time to relax. The main way in which they do this is by drinking tea together. They sit down and talk while they drink tea, which contains antioxidants that are good for your health and it helps your body relax. This activity is simple but affective and you even get to share the experience with your loved ones and close friends. Just by undergoing this experience once, I realized how unique it was for in America we do not do anything similar to this. In America, there is no emphasis to relax instead we are pushed to do more and more things.The way Americans relax is now by staying home and watching Netflix alone. There is not much collectivism in our relaxation which is quite sad. China has taught me the value of relaxation.

18 June 2017

Last Day in Hangzhou/ Suzhou Day 1: #1 (DM) Tourism is the travel for business or pleasure, either internationally or domestically. Due to this, Tourism comes along with many effects. The local people of the location, specifically vendors, in which tourism is welcomed are always affected. This is due to the fact that tourists brings in an influx of money as well as opens up their minds to things that they were not aware of. For example, while visiting China, I have noticed how hard vendors try to sell to foreigners because they know that they have money to spend. In addition, many Chinese people get excited to see foreigners simply because of how they look. I was surprised to hear that many Chinese people believe that all Americans have blue eyes and blonde hair. I am extremely glad that our group has been very diverse in physical attributes for it has in a way brought light to the fact that America is filled with individuals from all parts of the world. I am glad tourism exists.

17 June 2017

Hangzhou Day 5: #2 (CC) All three universities in which we have had the pleasure in visiting, have put a strong emphasis on long term orientation as opposed to short term. Due to this, there have been quite a few effects that I have noticed. The first effect I have taken note of is that all to them have become more welcoming to foreigners. They do not want to isolate themselves, but rather they want to learn as much as they can about people from other countries. This is an example of them wanting to provide more opportunities for their students to learn and advance.The second instance goes hand in hand with the previous one, but it is the fact that they now accept more students from other countries to study at their universities.By creating more diversity, it is creating more opportunities for them in the future. The last instance, is how they are now incorporating more English in their schooling to be more international. The skill of knowing a second language is invaluable in life.
Hangzhou Day 5: #1 (DM) Today's adventure consisted of visiting WuZhen, which is known as the water village in China. Although it was quite crowded while we were there since it was a Saturday, I still had a great time. During my visit there, I bought a bracelet, a lucky charm, and a notebook. However what truly made the experience memorable was the intangible products of the location. The first product I would like to address is the scenic beauty WuZhen had to offer. The whole place looked like it came out of a Chinese historical drama which was amazing. Due to this, I was able to take many beautiful pictures. In addition another intangible product, was the boat ride that we were lucky enough to take. This boat ride truly immersed me into the living culture that WuZhen had to offer. We were able to travel down the canal and see all the houses along it. It was fascinating to see people on the sides just simply doing their laundry. These intangible products made my visit memorable.
Hangzhou Day 4:#2 (CC) The Power Distance of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, is the the acceptance of unequal distribution of power that is in society. In China, this is a huge thing in their cultural protocol. Today, in Zhejiang University, I witnessed many of these instances.The first one I saw was how the important representatives of the university were greeted by their peers and lower ranked individuals. Their peers would greet them by shaking their hand with both hands as well as doing a slight bow.The second instance, was when the main representative of Xiezhu Technology and an important individual of the University signed the partnership agreement. During this exchange, the representative of Xiezhu Technology bowed a bit and let the University man sit down and sign first. The last instance was when it came to photo taking for all important people are suppose to stand in the front despite their height. In my opinion, power distance in China has to do with rank and age.
Hangzhou Day 4:#1 (DM) Technology has rapidly taken over the world. Therefore, it is not a surprise that it is now involved in collecting data for hotel management. In China, a company called Xiezhu technology has created 4 devices that help hotels collect usage data from their guest. These four devices are used by the guests on a daily basis in their individual hotel rooms. For example, one of the devices is a Xiezhu Smart Remote, which is able to control many room features in hotel, such as the air conditioning, lights, and the tv. Through the usage of the remote, Xiezhu Technology or the hotel can gain data on things such as how many times the guest turns on the tv or what temperature they like the air conditioning to be. I believe smart hotels are game changers for the hotel industry. The data in which they collect help hotels identify the needs and wants of their clients which is the most important thing in the service industry to have knowledge in. Smart hotels are the future.

15 June 2017

Hangzhou Day 3: #1 Continued (DM) If I was easily persuaded to buy an ice cream just because a celebrity was on it, think about how many people would travel to a city or place simply because a celebrity advertises it. This was a real small scale example of marketing, but I believe that if this is used in a larger scale it could become a game changer and improve the overall marketing outcomes of China.
Hangzhou Day 3: #1 (DM) During this trip I have seen multiple instances of destination marketing especially for the country's attractions. In every country, the main attractions are always advertised and marketed to tourists entering the cities. For example, in Beijing, in almost every place I went in to, there was something related to the Great Wall. Therefore I believe that putting representations of a country's main attractions in places that many people go to is an excellent destination marketing practice. In addition, another excellent practice is utilizing well known individuals of China in marketing. The celebrities of China are seen as a depiction of the county for people who do not know much about the country. Due to this, asking them to get involved would be extremely beneficial and help control the overall marketing image of the country. For example, I bought an ice cream cone simply because a Chinese singer named Lay, that I like was on it. (To be continued)
Hangzhou Day 3: #2 (CC) One of the main reasons I wanted to come on this study abroad trip was due to the fact that China is one of the only countries that accentuates and puts emphasis on both it's past and present. China has a large amount of history that goes back thousands and thousands of years. It is wonderful that this history is not forgotten but instead its preserved. Hangzhou is a prime example of this. This city is extremely modern with multiple skyscrapers, but it's also full of trees and mountains. Today, when we we were on the boat at West Lake, I noticed how if you glanced straight ahead there was a city view, but when you glanced back it was an ancient and historical view of much greenery. In addition, in Xi'an much of the architecture remained the same as it was when it was first build in the ancient days, however the inside of the buildings were very modern. The convergence of modern and ancient characteristics has made China into an amazing destination for anyone.

14 June 2017

Hangzhou Day 2: #1 DM As time has gone on, society has continued to advance in almost every aspect of life.Many of these advancements are due to technology.The world is now dependent on technology therefore it is a highly important factor to consider in destination marketing.On this trip I have seen multiple instances where technology intertwined with the daily life of an individual.The first instance was when I found out that most people, particularly young adults, use their mobile phones to pay for everything.They no longer need to carry their credit cards or cash with them.This makes purchasing items easier and faster for the person and the vendor.Another instance in which I witnessed this, was tonight when I saw the enduring memories of Hangzhou.The whole show was dependent on technology to function. Every single performance involved some technological aspect. For example, there was a ballet part in which a dancer danced in the middle but then beside her a hologram dancer followed.
Hangzhou Day 2: #2 (CC) This morning was an interesting one thanks to Bing. I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories and facts that he shared. My favorite part was the explanation of some of the superstitions and beliefs Chinese people have in their culture. The first belief that he shared was about the meaning of gifting a fan. In China, when someone gifts someone a fan it means that they wish to separate from them. The same goes with sharing pears, thus in gatherings pears are never shared.Another gift giving item that has a superstition is a clock. Clocks are seen as a representation of death for the pronunciation in Chinese is similar to the pronunciation of the word for death.It is also seen as you're telling someone that they are running out of time to live. Moreover, sticking your chopsticks into a bowl of rice also represents death for it mimics incense lit at funerals. I am glad that I am now aware of these beliefs so I do not unintentionally offend or bring bad luck to someone.

13 June 2017

Last Day in Xi'an/Hangzhou Day 1: #2 (CC) In America, Chinese food is mostly the same any where you go. However, after coming to China I have realized that Chinese cuisine is not simply defined by one type of cuisine or food flavor. Each city has its own specialties and flavors. The cuisine in Beijing and Xi'an were quite different. The overall concept and fundamentals are the same but the actual food tastes different. In Beijing, multiple dishes containing meat were always served where as in Xi'an there were meat foods but only two or three per meal. In Xi'an there were more vegetable based dishes. In addition, I felt that the vegetables tasted way better in Xi'an than they did Beijing. They just tasted fresher and were lightly seasoned most of the time. On the other hand, in Beijing many of the vegetables were spicy or had a heavy taste. The meals in Beijing also more unique in flavoring where as in Xi'an the flavor tasted more familiar to me.Overall, both cities had delicious food
Last Day in Xi'an/Hangzhou Day 1:#1 (DM) My first impression of Hangzhou was that it was a bit gloomy. When we landed the sky was completely grey and clouded plus it was also raining, thus it is not a surprise that this was my first initial impression. However, once we started traveling to the hotel and I got to gaze out the window, my impression changed. I am now in love with Hangzhou, even though I have just arrived.I am already captivated by its scenic view and atmosphere.In Beijing, I felt that everything was too packed together and that there was just to many people everywhere.In Xi'an, I felt that there was not much to see other than the tourist attractions. Despite this I still loved Beijing and Xi'an. There is just something about Hangzhou that I'm fond of. I am not quite sure why but here in Hangzhou, I feel at peace.Out of the 3 cities, Hangzhou is the only one I could imagine myself living in. This is just an early impression, but I hope I feel the same by the time we leave

12 June 2017

Xi'an Day 4: #2 (CC) I thoroughly enjoyed the outing to XISU, for it was another opportunity for me to interact with students from China, who are also studying hospitality. In this particular university meeting, I realized how selfish I was being in terms of communication. At the first University in Beijing, I failed to realize how much we were asking of the students when it came to speaking English. Luckily though, since Beijing is a larger and more modern city, most of the students spoke very well. On the other hand, in Xi'an, many students spoke and understood a small amount of English. However, it makes sense that they don't speak English because they're from China.I felt a bit upset because I couldn't communicate as well I wanted to, but then I realized that I was the one at fault.I was a visitor from America, I should have been the one trying to communicate in Chinese. This experience taught me to work harder towards learning different languages just like the XISU students have.
Xi'an Day 4: #1 The adventure that took place today was an excursion to the Muslim market of Xi'an. This market is filled with various souvenir and food shops. Its appearance looked like a standard flee market, but after walking through it and experiencing the culture that it holds,I no longer view it that way.The Muslim market is a hub for shopping but most importantly, it is a place where the local community comes together to create. All the food shops were filled with artisans creating all their products themselves in a domestic manner. Due to this, the attraction itself is a must see for any domestic habitant who appreciates the culture with in the city. On the other hand, for foreigners this market can be easily over looked. This market is the perfect place for any foreign visitor, for it is filled with many things to buy at low prices. As previously mentioned, the Muslim Market is influenced by the culture therefore visiting this location would allow people to get more insight.

11 June 2017

Xi'an Day 3: #1 (DM) Today I experienced my fondest moment in Xi'an. It has been one of my goals in life to bike ride in a special and important historical place. Today, luckily enough I got to do just that. It might seem a bit silly to pick this at my most memorable experience, but riding a bicycle has always been one of my favorite and most relaxing things to do. Many people doing this today might have just seen it as a way to kill time, but for me it was an unforgettable experience. The freedom of riding a bike in a foreign place with a beautiful landscape is unbeatable. I am thankful to Xi'an for opening its city wall to visitors and for providing small attractions, like bike riding, as an activity. This goes to show that just one small attraction can make someone extremely happy as well as make the overall destination more appealing. I am indebted to Sally for she paid for us to do this. The people of Xi'an truly make the destination more beautiful with their generosity.
Xi'an Day 3: #2 (CC) This trip so far has been a dream. Everything from the food to actual China has been wonderful. However, with any great experience comes challenges that one must overcome. The biggest challenge I have faced culturally, is adjusting to the fact that toilets are not common in China. In contrast to the U.S, Chinese culture puts more of an emphasis on reducing waste, therefore they make women use a floor hole to use the restroom in public places. At first, I was completely intimidated by this and was quite scared to utilize these sort of restrooms. However, as time went on I realized that I needed to get it together and just do it if not I was going to probably develop bladder problems.This was quite a huge thing for me to do for I had no clue what to expect or how to probably utilize it. Now, I am happy to say that I am a pro and that I am no longer, in any way, scared. This has taught me to let go of any unnecessary fear I have about anything and to just enjoy life.

10 June 2017

Xi'an Day 2: #1 (DM) Hospitality is a diverse field with many different characteristics. I believe that each country has their own set of characteristics defining hospitality. In my opinion, Chinese hospitality is based on two main characteristics: generosity and respect. I have noticed how generous Chinese people are especially in the hospitality industry. Every single hotel that we have visited, all the employees are willing to do any thing they can to make us feel more welcomed and at home. In addition, gift giving is of huge importance in Chinese culture therefore I believe this is highly carried my any person in the the Chinese hospitality industry. Respect is the second important aspect for it is also very important in the culture. One way this is expressed in the hospitality industry here in China, is the act of giving face. Through this, greetings are never forgotten and manners are a necessity. No matter where I would go, someone would greet me, which speaks volumes.
Xi'an Day 2: #2 (CC) The concept of giving face in China is the act of showing gracious and respectful gestures and actions towards others. This ideal was highly important today when visiting the recreation resort. This resort is upscale for only important local officials and their acquaintances therefore it is really private and not open to the public. Due to this it was already a pleasure and luxury to be invited there to take a tour, but we were even welcomed with a huge and delicious 5 star meal. I was blown away by their kindness and generosity. The first thing we did to give thanks is greet them with kind words and a smile. Because of this I believe they truly felt how grateful we were from the moment we stepped off the bus.Another way we showed face was by being respectful and well behaved.This probably showed how important the dinner and tour were to us too. Being courteous and giving face was the least we could do when many individuals worked hard to make what happened happen

9 June 2017

Last day in Beijing/ Xi'an Day 1: #1 (DM) Beijing was a beautiful city with many things to see and do. However as a westerner, I do not believe I would have been able to navigate and see all that I saw without the help of other individuals around me. I did not experience any difficulties at all as a tourist while in Beijing, but I believe this is due to the fact that I never had to do anything myself. I mean this in terms of organizing my own transportation or tours. Everything was already set up for me by my amazing professors and tour guide. I honestly do not think I could have survived without them therefore, I do believe that other western tourists must have trouble. I feel that there were many close calls where I could have gotten ripped off or taken advantage of because I'm a tourist. For example, I was approached by a begging woman in the street who was asking for money. She was holding a baby and referencing towards him to draw pity. Any human with a good heart would have
Last Day in Beijing/ Xi'an Day 1: #2 (CC) Beijing was filled with collectivism and everything that goes along with it. Since we are traveling in a group, from day 1 we were already creating a collective spirit among us. However, the collectivism in China is on a whole different level. Almost every aspect of this China has some sort of collective attribute. For example, the prime aspect is the fact that every meal for the most part is eaten within a group in contrast to eating alone like in the U.S. Another example which I found amazing is that most individuals take public transportation as opposed to driving. I saw this a lot among college students, for they all travel together to their schooling each and every day. In addition, I also believe Chinese people have a collective mindset. I mean this in the sense that since their culture highly embraces collectivism, they themselves are symbols of it. I now know how true it is that Chinese people are always thinking of others.
Last Day in Beijing/ Xi'an Day 1: #1 (DM Continued) Wanted to give the woman money, but I was told to just ignore them for these people are scammers who tend to use the money for bad things. This is just one example but there many other occurrences like this that westerners are not aware of. Due to this I believe that Beijing, as a tourist destination, should bring more social awareness about things like this to incoming tourists. I am lucky that I had the support system I did, but many other travelers do not. However, Beijing has done a great job conserving and protecting their attractions. If they had not done this tourism would have fallen in the country and we would not be able to see pieces of their past in person.

8 June 2017

Beijing Day 5: #2 (CC) Every culture has specific behaviors that individuals from that particular culture posses. A quite big and popular cultural behavior among Chinese people is that they tend to stare and take pictures of western foreigners. I completely understand the fact they are simply fascinated because they do not see western individuals often, but it still quite strange. This is a learned behavior that seems to have been taught at a young age. No person would think to take pictures and stare at a certain group of individuals if that ideal was not taught at a young age. Although some children have asked for pictures, it is mostly their parents or an adult who pushes them to take the pictures. This is prime example on how children grow up with this mindset that it is okay to objectify a whole group of people just because they look different. I must admit that at times I find the whole behavior cute, but when it's a huge group it becomes too much for me to feel comfortable.
Beijing Day 5: #1 (DM Continued) pictures of the people taking pictures of us. It was hilarious and we could barely keep our laughter in. This became a fond memory for we, together, turned an uncomfortable situation into a funny memory. In addition, I also feel that this occurrence has influenced and changed the way I view things. This is due to the fact, that now I try to view things that make me uncomfortable or upset as just an opportunity to change my mindset as well as a way to create great memories.
Beijing Day 5: #1 Destination Marketing It is a really fortunate thing to be on this trip in China with such amazing individuals. Prior to arriving in Beijing, I was highly concerned about how I would be able to form friendships with the people going on this trip as well, for I did not know anyone. Thankfully, I was graced with the company of kind and outgoing people. Each and every person on this trip brings a different thing to the table, making us a diverse group which is truly special. These last couple of days, I have made many fond memories that have affected my trip is a positive way. One particular instance where me and one of my peers worked together to create a memory was when we were at the Summer Palace. The whole group was sitting down outside and listening to Nikki speak about the palace. As time went on more and more Chinese people gathered around us and some even took many pictures. It started to get a bit uncomfortable so a member of the group and I began to take

7 June 2017

Beijing Day 4: #2 (CC) continued easy. The struggle is an essential part of the journey, just as in life. I will continue to experience bumps in my road, but the important part is to continue walking no matter what. The Great Wall reminded me of that, thus it will always be a beautiful memory that I will carry with me forever.
Beijing Day 4: #2 (CC) Beautiful,stunning, unreal, these are the adjectives I kept repeating in my head as I glanced around at the Great Wall of China. The experience started off well with me purchasing a strawberry ice cream with one of my favorite Chinese singers on it but little did I know that eating that ice cream would be a mistake. Initially when I started climbing I was beyond pumped and motivated. However as time went on I started to feel ill and my stomach hurt really bad. Thankfully I was with Megan and Emily, who didn't mind stopping and helped me regain my strength. After gagging a couple of times, I felt like a new person and we continued our climb. On the way back I was faced with another bump in the road, when I slipped and fell on my butt. Luckily though I did not get hurt.The whole experience of climbing the Great Wall of China was a tough experience with a couple of bumps but when I remember the suffering of the people who built it, I realize it shouldn't be
Beijing Day 4:#1 Tourism Products (DM) During my visit to the Great Wall of China, I witnessed that the greatest and most important tourism product in any destination, especially China, is its attractions for it represent and stands for its history. As it is already known, China is a country of immense history which sparks the curiously of many people, therefore many individuals already travel from all over the world to China to visit. Due to this, the attractions representing this history must be well preserved, accessible, and affordable in order for people to experience them and create fond memories. A close second tourism product that is important is its goods or souvenirs. Although I experienced walking and seeing the Great Wall with my own eyes, I still wanted to look around the shops to see if I wanted to purchase anything as a memory. This is a prime example how consumption is now highly essential for a grand amount of individuals.It also allows people to buy gifts for others

6 June 2017

Beijing Day 3: #2 (CC) Today, visiting BISU was truly a once in a lifetime experience. The room was filled with extraordinary individuals, who have walked and continue to walk on all different directions and paths. The biggest take away from this experience was listening and taking in the the opinions and thoughts of the students at Beijing International Studies University as well as those of my peers. The questions that were asked sparked conversations about important social and industry topics and issues. Multiple interesting statements were shared from funny work stories to personal struggles. It really touched my heart to listen to the stories that were shared and to hear that many of the individuals there shared the common goal of bettering the world as a whole. Through this experience I learned more about the people of Beijing and more about my peers. I learned this because I strive to gain knowledge from others for they push me to open up my mind to new things and perspectives
Beijing Day 3: #1 (DM) In order to improve the destination marketing and management of China there needs to be more education on both a domestic and international level. Today, while visiting BISU, it was told to us that all the students in the same major took the same courses through their schooling. This can be a good thing but it ultimately means that there is only a limited amount of classes students can take. One student in the cross cultural discussion expressed that he wishes that there was more variety of classes such as destination marketing and wine classes, that he could take at BISU. I believe that if universities in China add more classes for their students to choose from the improvement would be incredible. As for the international level, there needs to be more education of marketing about China and the exposure of the pull factors offered there. This will motivate more individuals to want to visit and explore China as well leave less room for ignorance in the world.

5 June 2017

Beijing Day 2: #2 Meals (CC) Today's meals were completely different to the meals that I eat back home. From the atmosphere to the actual food itself, it is all different, but in a good way. The first thing that really stood out to me was the family style of eating. Several dishes are selected, placed on a circular spinning plate in the middle of the table, and then shared by everyone. I found this refreshing and nice because it truly makes you feel close to the people you are eating with. We all had to be conscious of everyone around the table in order to make sure the food was equally divided. I also learned not to spin the plate too fast because it could affect someone on the other side of the table trying to get food, which is something that I was not aware of. The cuisine is Beijing was delicious, especially the orange chicken. I could not get enough of it. However, I was not fond of the doughy foods but they were still filling and delicious.
Beijing Day 2: #1 Stakeholders (DM) The stakeholders of any country are highly important in any destination, for they are the local people, who make the destination special. I was amazed of how active and involved the stakeholders were here in Beijing. Our tour guide Nicki, is a prime example of what a good stakeholder is. Today, she shared many stories and facts about everything we saw which made me appreciate the destination more. She communicated with all the local people in every attraction in order to ensure that we had all that we needed. In addition, Victor, our tour guide in Xiaojinsi Hutong, was also a great stakeholder. He constantly communicated with Nicki about what we were going to be doing as well as how he could help to make sure we got the most out of our experience. I love that he has formed bonds with the local people that now many let tourist into their homes, like Mr. Zhang, so tourists like us can truly get information and knowledge of the area firsthand.

4 June 2017

#2: Culture differences/similarities (Culture and Cuisine) One cultural difference I have noticed so far is that most buildings in China do not have curtains on their windows. This is quite strange thing to notice but when I was gazing out my bus window today on the way from the airport, the no curtains thing really caught my eye. I must say it was quite fun looking at all the different windows and seeing how uniquely each room was decorated. There was even one window that showed off a mini garden consisting of many flowers which I thought was beautiful. However, in the U.S, you barely see that. Americans tend to not like when strangers look into their homes or offices. This is as to why most, if not all, buildings have curtains or blinds which are always shut, thus it was interesting and nice to see something different like that. I believe this is true depiction of how Chinese people are more open while Americans put a larger focus on privacy.
#1: First impressions of China as a destination (Destination Marketing) My first impression of China once I left the airport was that it was breathtaking, beautiful, and that it looked like no place I had ever been to before. I could not believe that I was in China, for it is a place that is on the other side of the world from where I live. I am grateful that Beijing is the first city that we are visiting, for it is the one I've been most wanting to see. Today, we rode a bus from the airport to the hotel and on the way to the hotel, there was a large amount of traffic. Due to this, we got see many buildings as well as skyscrapers, which instantly made me want to explore. Just by simply looking out a bus window, it instantly made me realize how truly special Beijing is as a destination for there are an endless amount of places to visit and things to do.