By Hana Barkowitz
Before this trip, I considered myself a worldly and tolerant person, but I now realize how little I knew. I now know that the only way to truly know about a culture is to experience it and be immersed. Never had I thought that I’d travel to see the world’s biggest Buddha, see the home of the pandas, get a foot massage with some of the best people or sip tea at a genuine Chinese tea house. The entire experience was trans formative and truly made me a better person, but I would day the people I met truly impacted me the most.
Chinese people are generally so welcoming, polite, sweet, funny and intelligent. I didn’t encounter one person who I thought was directly rude by any means. One of the most incredible experiences I had was in my Critical Thinking for the Social Sciences class. We were assigned a group and had one day to make a presentation on whether cultural diversity within groups is beneficial or detrimental. This project was particularly interesting because I was the only American among seven Chinese students. I learned so much from conversing and hanging out with my group members, more than I could ever hope for. I feel I am a more patient person after being in this group, and I am growing into a better person.
I still keep in touch with my group members and I hope they come to visit me in Kent soon. I realized, after this trip, that everybody is beautiful.