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Study Abroad in Hong Kong, Beijing, and the Guangdong Province, China

May 7, 2012

I have been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad! We leave in a week [flying out of DFW] and today we had a pre departure meeting/session. It was very long, but very informative and needed to ensure we all have a safe, fun, and enriching experience.

In my experience abroad I:
-Will visit textile mills, apparel production factories, and critical points in the supply chain.
-Visit a variety of apparel outlets, from night markets to luxury retailers
-Increase my knowledge of international Merchandising strategies and opportunities
-A living and learning community

The first thing we did was right a short paragraph on what our impression of China was. Now, the only knowledge I really have of China is what I see plastered in the media and I’m sure it is not an accurate view. I have a preconceived notion of short people crowding the city streets munching on sushi and rice.

The next thing we did was watch a documentary on China which I thoroughly enjoyed. It chronicled the lives of 4 Chinese individuals. One was a little girl training to take part in the Olympic games and the other was a family man from Beijing who worked in Shanghai to support his young family. The third was an urban Chinese woman trying to find her way amongst the thousands of other “Urban Chinese Women” in hopes of landing a career. She ended up getting what is known as double eyelid surgery to look more western. The movie also spoke of a Chinese female police officer, desperate to find middle ground between the tradition of the female role and her own happiness in a male dominated society.
This documentary was very interesting in that it told personal truths about the happenings in the country while still being educational. I learned that in Mongolia it is tradition to partake in horseback riding and that all Chinese can read and write the same unique characters, regardless of their background. I also learned about China’s one child policy and the huge importance of martial arts to the people.

We also watched a short documentary called “Mardi Gras, Made in China”. This movie told the story of how the beads thrown at the New Orleans Mardi Gras are made. They are produced in huge factories in China by children workers who live on the premises. They are payed .10 cents an hour and work up to 15 hours a day. The movie showed 2 completely different parallels of a simple chain of beads. In China, these beads are the only way for these children to provide for their family. They have no other choice but to work hard. Back in New Orleans these beads have virtually no value. The people on the streets have no idea how hard 12 year old girls and boys worked to produce them. They are oblivious to the fact that a child put in long hours only to have their work thrown around on the dirty street.

We learned how essential China is to the supply chain and that it’s economy will soon surpass that of America’s

My Study Abroad Polo!

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That’s all for this post, I will be back on Sunday when I board the plane!

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