After having stayed in China for roughly four months, it is safe to say I have got a proper impression of this incredible country. It’s varieties in landscape, cities, food, and people never cease to amaze me. However, what has impressed me the most, is not only how fast China is developing on the economical and technology plane, but how this development has not made any sacrifices to China’s cultural identity.
Throughout the years, especially in the many rough years of civil wars and foreign interference, China has succeeded in maintaining her own sense of identity. It is very impressive to see how this sense of belonging is present on all levels of society. Even nowadays, with technological advancements occurring at a rapid pace (in particular when it comes to services provided through mobile applications like Alipay, WeChat, and Taobao), China is not forgetting where its roots lie. Its rich culture filled with colorful traditions is resilient to not only foreign involvement in the forms of treaty ports like Shanghai (where cultures interact, coexist but not integrate) but also to modern day innovations. I truly think this is the strength of China: Successfully adapting to and paving the way in economical and technological innovations whilenot losing its identity in the process.
In regards to my experiences studying at the UNNC, I must say I really enjoyed the lectures and workshops. This is almost entirely due to the lecturers who not only showed they were very competent in conveying their stories, but also because they put such enthusiasm and energy into the lectures which sparked interests amongst the students. With the course ‘The Rise of Modern China’, we went on a history hike into the mountains where our teacher, professor Tracy Fallon, told us about the history of the monastery and region we visited. For my Mandarin course, Yolanda Liu took us to a primary school where we spent the afternoon interacting with Chinese school children. For my course ‘Web and Social Media’, taught by Eugene Ch’ng, we have a very active WeChat group in which we constantly talk with the lecturer and fellow students about subjects related to social media effects in our daily lives. These aspects really helped me learn about these subjects much more than what I would have learned from books alone, and I greatly appreciate my lecturers for that!