A Life-changing Trip: A Student’s Journey to China


by Jules Haus

I had the honour and pleasure to spend five and a half weeks in China as part of the MGMT228 programme. Prior to this trip I had never been to China. I was nervous but excited to spend nearly six weeks ingrained in China’s day to day life and feel like living like a Chinese local.

The first three weeks we spent in Hangzhou at the Zhejiang Gongshang University (ZJSU). Here we attended lectures about Chinese business practices and consumer trends as well as Chinese culture and participated in the Second Language Promotion Programme (SLPP). The SLPP was one of the best experiences about the trip. We got assigned two Chinese student buddies at the start of our trip who would help us feel at home. Every day we spent a few hours with them participating in activities.

My personal favourites were the amazing race around the campus and a pick-up basketball game with an historic comeback story. Almost every evening we had dinner together and talked about our cultures and the differences between our countries. My buddies and I became such good friends that we still talk to each other over WeChat. Funnily enough while I was writing this blog, my friend Wang messaged me asking how my summer is.

We didn’t just spend time in the classroom, the cool thing was we were able to visit many historic sites during our time in China. Hangzhou was the perfect place to start our journey as many describe it as heaven on earth. You think Hagley Park is cool? Wait till you see West lake! In the centre of a city with 10 million people you will find the beautiful West Lake. As we learned it is regarded as one of the must-see sights in China and its beauty is the subject of many poems and paintings. Words don’t do it justice.

We graduated from the SLPP and our time in Hangzhou came to an end. Shanghai was up next, and I have never seen anything like it. Our whole group fell in love with Shanghai and over the next week it felt like everyone was trying to figure out how to land an internship here. We visited a number of multinational (mostly Kiwi) companies with operations in China. My personal favourite being the visit to Zespri. It made realise how important marketing was and made me fall in love with the subject again.

Shanghai is a multinational city and you can feel its historical western influence throughout the bustling streets. One of my favourite experiences in Shanghai was sitting on the 120th story of the World Financial Centre watching the sun set, while the skyscrapers lit up. A week in Shanghai was not enough and I left thinking of a plan to convince my friends to come back with me in the future.

Time flies by when you are having fun and suddenly, we were in Beijing. This meant it was our last week in China. During this trip I have made some incredible friends and at this stage I was sad thinking my time exploring with them would be over soon. It meant we had to make the most of it. Visiting the Great wall, Olympic Park, Summer Palace, Hudong district, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden city, Temple of heaven, and my favourite location, the Art District.

This blog is just a small glimpse of my time on the MGMT228 trip.  Being able to learn about Chinese culture and business etiquette first hand instead of in a lecture theatre is a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did I learn a lot about China, but I have made found some fantastic new friends who I would not have met otherwise, whether it being the other students on the trip or everyone who participated in the buddy programme. At the end I didn’t want to leave, there was so much more I wanted to see and experience.

If you are thinking about signing up to MGMT228 and would like to talk about the experience, feel free email me at jlh152@uclive.ac.nz or add me on WeChat:

Jules Haus is in his fifth year of a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Management. He is also the COO of Entré.

You can also read about the recent trip on the University of Canterbury website.


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