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China: Ethnic Minorities and Contemporary Culture
The Experiment in International Living participants with a local The Experiment in International Living participants with a local

China: Ethnic Minorities and Contemporary Culture

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

A different kind of living

From living in the urban areas to living in the rural areas, immersing myself into a similar culture to mine was a new experience. The use of squat toilets was shocking, but when you got to go, you got to go.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Personal Development

    8

A Different Kind of Living

Living in a country with a culture similar to mine was actually a new experience. I got to learn the authenticity of my own ethnicity. From living in the urban areas to living in the rural areas, it was transformative. I was use to the urban areas because it was similar to home in the United States, but as I got to the rural areas, mostly everything was a culture shock: the bathrooms, the living situations and the family bonds. The family bonds were impeccable. Everyone in the village new each other! It was very enjoyable to go on a journey, at which new and long lasting relationships were made.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Personal Development

    10

Through experience

When the trip first began, I was ready to view the world in a different way. I was able to meet my homestay family with excitement and curiosity, the mind of someone who wanted to explore. Living with my homestay family, I had to try harder to communicate with them. It was not something easy that I would usually do at home. The language barrier was something that made the experience more important. With the first few days of the homestay, I had to use a lot of gestures and body language to help my host family understand me. It made me realize how much easier it was for me back at home because I didn’t have to do much for anyone to understand me. I really enjoyed seeing the change in relationships I had with my host family. We somewhat connected really well after the first few days of struggling to communicate, but it wasn’t just that experience that changed me, it was the whole Experiment itself.
I was able to empathize and put myself in a different perspective to understand how it must have been like with the language and culture barrier. Seeing things from a different view makes situations a lot easier to comprehend. Being able to understand someone and not make judgments or assumptions upon your own perspective was something that I figured was going to be helpful in the future.
The Experiment experience changed the way in which I perceived things. I’ve learned many things along the way. Looking down to the simplest of things, I’ve learned to appreciate what I have. At one point during the trip, I really missed the fresh air back at home. I also started missing the tap water as well because the tap water in China was unsafe to drink. I remember being in Beijing and thinking about how much I missed seeing a blue sky. It wasn’t something I would ever miss, but the thin layer of gray that’s always in Beijing due to the air pollution made me miss it badly. That was when I started realizing about the things I should appreciate having back home in the U.S.. And I also realized that when I come back home, there may not be people who will understand how I feel about appreciating those kinds of things.
It wasn’t so much as how the homestay experience has changed me, but how The Experiment has changed me. All in all, The Experiment has taught me many good things. I had many realizations about my own life and the life of others. I gained a better perspective and stronger will because of The Experiment. To be able to realize that I should really appreciate what I have means that I have learned one of the many

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Program Opportunities

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Personal Development

    7

A New Family

During my stay in China on this program, I came to love my host family as an extension of my own family back home. I spent time teaching my host brother new English words, and enjoyed bonding with my host parents during dinner table conversations (in Chinese!), and car rides in their home city of Gui Yang. I have made lifelong friends with my host siblings, and now know that I will always have a place to stay if I am ever in China again! The Experiment offered me an unparalleled opportunity to expand my family into the global spectrum, and with the program's help, I have begun my development of my identity as a global citizen.

  • The Experiment in International Living responded to this review December 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Thank you for posting! Really appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences and how you are now a global citizen. :)
    -The Experiment