Sunday, July 24, 2011

Study Abroad Reflections

I just thought I'd copy my last blog post from my study abroad blog. Check here for full details on all my travels ;)

So I'm finally back in the USA! It's honestly kind of a culture shock to be back here, back to normalcy, back to what I know best. I've been away from it for a while and have seen so many different cultures, that it was a bit of a surprise to come back to. But now I'm alright :) Also, first thing I utilized was a nice, public toilet. Hahaha.

The flight wasn't too bad, considering. I slept through most of it and watched a movie as well. Customs was pretty easy to go through, but saying goodbye was hard. I had to rush it since my dad was waiting outside and everyone else had to catch the connecting flight to Salt Lake, but it was weird to think that the trip was finally OVER. I made 20 great friends on this trip, people I've gotten to know really, really well, and I hope we can continue to remain great friends in the future. I'm really excited to look back through this blog and everyone's pictures as well as see the video that Michael is compiling. So no pressure, Michael :)

I thought I would just take the rest of this post to reflect on my trip as a whole and on the many things I've learned. I've learned so much on this trip, not just about business and the world but about myself as well.

I think the most important thing I've learned is how big the world actually is and how much culture affects people's lives. We're all inherently similar, yet the way we are brought up - by our families, governments, societies - plays a huge part in our motivations and mindsets. In Europe, they're used to a comfortable lifestyle and don't think it wrong to protest when the government asks for a 35 hour work week. In India and especially China, where they've been poor for so many years, their work ethic is completely opposite.They can work 60 hour work weeks and think nothing of it. It's important to realize the ethics and mindsets of each culture you associate with in order to get anywhere with them, whether it's business related or not.

Another big thing I learned was how business is conducted in each country. Negotiation skills and work mentality is different everywhere you go. The French are aggressive and in your face. The Chinese are passive but take a long time to make a decision and don't quite understand the meaning of yes. It's important to learn all these things if you're going to do business abroad. And one thing I've learned is that I definitely want to do business abroad. Your way of thinking just changes so much, and you realize that the way you've always done things is not the way the rest of the world thinks is correct or even reasonable.

I've also learned a lot about myself. I've learned to let my guard down and just have fun. I've learned to be strong and not compromise on what I know is true. I've learned how much I love this gospel. I've learned just how insignificant I am compared to the 7 billion other people  in this world, yet how I can make a name for myself in this world. I've learned how to be more respectful of other people's beliefs and lifestyles. I've especially learned that I want to make a difference in the world, not just get a job that will make me wealthy. Because I've learned that wealth doesn't mean anything when it comes to happiness. In fact, it's even harder to be satisfied when you have more. True humility comes when you make the most out of what you do have and don't want for much more.

I want to continue to travel. I've had a sip of it, now I'm thirsty for it. There are still so many places I want to visit and see. I hope I can get a job that will let me travel. Because you can't really understand something until you've truly experienced it. And I want a life full of experiences.

Thanks to all of you who read this blog. I hoped you enjoyed reading about all my adventures, and I hope you soon get to have some of your own! I heavily recommend traveling and seeing the world. You won't regret it.

Merci. Grazie. Shishi. Shukriya. Thank you! 

No comments:

Post a Comment