Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Students and Old Alum.

After we were provided with breakfast by the Hostel (toast, eggs, sausage and bacon) we headed for Xi'an Jiantong University where we met with many of their MBA students. It's so amazing because everywhere we go there are big banners welcoming us. and everyone seems so excited to see us. The students especially enjoy being with us, it's very rare that they get to use their English on someone other than their teacher or classmates.

Although they had gone to effort of providing us with a few short movies on the history of Xi'an and their campus, the highlight of this trip was the chance to go on a campus tour and have the Chinese MBA students as our guides. Most of us broke off into groups of 2 to 4 and just walked at out own pace talking about life in China compared to that of the United States.

It's funny because they all LOVE "Hollywood movies" which is great, but is scared me when one girl said she like to watch them because it helps her to understand our culture. I think I broke her heart when I told her that Americans aren't truly much like what you see in the movies. As with many other things on this trip it was an eye opener to realize just how similar many of us are, despite living in different parts of the world.

At the end, we of course exchanged email addressed and will hopefully write one another after we get home. After this trip we returned back to the Hostel and were given the afternoon to do as we pleased. I can tell you that what most of us did was sleep. I think it was the first afternoon nap I have personally had since I've been here and it was wonderful. Others took the opportunity to explore the city, do some shopping, and see some of the historic sites that are close to us. I'm not sure I mentioned this but our Hostel is close to the downtown area where there is upscale shopping, Starbucks and a McDonald's, so much of us are doing okay!

This evening we attended the Alumni Banquet. The whole reason why we are able to do such a great trip is that our professors have developed wonderful relationships with the city officials in Xi'an and other cities in China, so it was nice to be able to see who has made this all possible. It was a traditional and very formal dinner (14+ dishes, some dishes that still had their heads attached, warm coke and fried rice at the end). But it was good food. I don't want you all to think we are starving. With 14 dishes there is almost always something for us to eat, and if not, both McDonald's and KFC are just down the street.

Anyway, enjoy the pictures. Everyone is doing really well and having a good time. Bye
Here is a Chinese student hanging out with Jessica and Sarah. He was much more eccentric than the other other students, and fun to be around. He said he loves American movies. His favorite is Titanic, and he cries every time he watches. Oh, and he wants to marry an American woman. (Don't worry Moms, any girl that left without a husband will come home without a husband).
Here is a group shot of the students, professors and administrators that attended the event at the university.
A couple of students visiting with a Xi'an MBA on a tour of their campus.
3 WVU students and one Xi'an student stand in front of the statue of on the the Universities former presidents. We were laughing because this picture turned out looking like they were on a date dance.
Jason and Joe talk to one of the Chinese MBA students on the campus tour.
For our free time, a few of the students went on top of the wall and found out you can rent bikes for next to nothing and right around the 14 kilometer perimeter. The building behind them is on top of the wall. I'm not sure what they are for, but you could kind them about every 1/4 mile or so. They sure are purdy.
Here is a group of us walking to the Alumni dinner. The dinner was held right close to the Hostel so there was no need to take the bus. Don't we look sharp?

Our first actual day in Xi'an was one a good one. Although it started way to early (a wake up call at 6 am) we were given lots of free time today, which we all really like.

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