Article by Nicole Blahut (Q20)
Before diving into all the amazing things we did, I would like to give a special thanks to those that really made this trip what it was: Dr Bailey, Professor Ashley, Professor Goodell, and our teaching fellow Alex Bansleben.
I can safely say that I speak for more than just myself when I say that the trip to China was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. But then again, how could I possibly forget any detail after taking literally thousands of photos documenting the entire trip.
Starting from the beginning:
When I first arrived with Matt Henricks, Allan Nicholas, and Hannah Buehler, we got in a taxi and made our way into the city. Already, we were blown away by the LED-lit buildings that decorated Hong Kong’s skyline. Just to give you an idea of what Hong Kong was like, I think Meenu Singh (Q19) said it best when she said it was the Disneyworld of cities. Everything was spotless. The buildings were gorgeous. There was a light show every night. The subway system was clean and efficient. There was a shopping mall on every corner. Hong Kong was indeed surreal.
Afterwards, we got to practice our negotiation skills at the Stanley Market, an array of little shops selling souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, paintings, and knock-offs. Our tour guide assured us that no one could do better than 15% off the given price. Well, I think most of us showed him wrong getting 50-75% off.
Hong Kong was jam-packed with business visits. One day, we went to Modern Terminals, which is the second largest shipping container terminal operator in Hong Kong. Almost all of our products are stamped with ‘Made in China’ so it was really cool seeing those products taken from trucks and put on ships set to go all over the world.
We eventually had to say our goodbyes to Hong Kong and make our way into China. Shenzhen was certainly a change. Almost no one spoke English, the streets were not spotless, and there were not an overwhelming amount of luxury cars. But Shenzhen was still fun. One of our cultural activities was at Splendid China, a popular theme park with a miniature of all the interesting sites of China. A small few of us stayed for the show our tour guide suggested. And let me just say, it was incredible! It included traditional costumes, over-the-top special effects, acrobatics, and dance. In Shenzhen, as a group, we got to try out the very popular Karaoke and let’s just say we have some great singers in QUEST.
In Guangzhou, we went to what, I think, was most people’s favorite site visit. We went to GAC Group and got to see actual cars being assembled! Unfortunately, we did not stay long in that city. On the first day we did a little bit of touring and it was just gorgeous. It was a great mix of cultural and modern aspects.
When the trip ended, it was hard to believe it was already over. I didn’t want to leave. With a week before classes some of us – including myself – went to Beijing while others went to Shanghai, Xi’an, and other areas to visit family.
QUEST2China was by far one of the best experiences of my life and I couldn’t imagine having a better time with any group other than QUEST.
If you have not yet traveled abroad and still have time, I highly recommend going to QUEST’s next study abroad trip. It was truly remarkable!