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Although I had been to China in the past with my family, this class allowed me to experience China with a different perspective. Traveling with a group of students from the course has allowed me to have intellectual discussions with my peers. Additionally, collaborating with students from Beijing Normal University on educational psychology research strengthened my interpersonal and communication skills.
Being a second-generation Asian-American, it is interesting to interact with native Chinese students because we all have similar family structures and dynamics. Since I can speak Chinese, it was easy to converse with them, especially regarding project responsibilities. In addition, the group consisted of students with diverse identities, allowing unique perspectives to be heard. Having people that come from different backgrounds allows better facilitation of ideas and multiple dimensions of ideas to be analyzed.
However, there were some challenges on the trip. There were times when some people were ignorant of the impact of their words on different identities. Nevertheless, follow-up discussions allowed it to be an essential learning opportunity for everyone on the trip. In fact, discussing sensitive topics such as identity with each other has allowed every one of us to grow tremendously. We learned how to deal with conflict resolution and the importance of consideration of others’ feelings.