During my time abroad I noticed that being a foreigner played a large role in the experiences I had. Many Chinese people regarded both me and my classmates with open arms and smiles mainly because we were foreigners. They would often ask about us like where are we from, why did we come to China, then random questions about the United States and our opinions on global matters (such as the current trade war). This was unique because I’ve never experienced anything quite like what I did in China, where people treated foreigners with respect and unhalting curiosity. In the United States, I feel like this is almost the opposite, which was why it was so interesting to experience going to China.

Furthermore, being a foreigner in China yet being able to speak Chinese was an experience in itself because the reactions you would get in response to speaking Chinese were priceless. Often when I would speak Chinese to strangers in China, they would be stunned for a few seconds before being able to respond and afterwards would be the most encouraging individuals I have ever met. People I just met for the first time in China were often treating me like a long lost brother, son, or a friend, talking to me like they had known me forever and treating me with love and respect. Just experiencing this difference in culture between China and the United States was extremely rewarding, and overall the time I had in China was unforgettable.