As a tradition, each year CSA-EUR organizes a Study Trip with the aim of giving the attendants an insight about Oriental lifestyle and business world. This time, I had the pleasure of interviewing the head of the International Relations Committee, Xinyi Zhu, to talk about this year’s upcoming Study Trip to China. If you are eager to know more about the trip as I do, let’s explore how this years’ Study Trip looks like!
Best of both worlds
Every year the Chinese Student Association organizes trips to China. What makes this year different from the previous years?
“This year we are combining the two biggest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, in the trip. This is an upgrade comparing to last year’s, which had visit to one big city and two small ones. We will divide the days evenly- five days in Shanghai and five days in Beijing, so that our participants can get the full experience. We want to visit companies during this visit, whilst also participate in cultural and social events. Beijing is a rather ancient city, while Shanghai is very innovative and modern. We want to offer our participants a traditional Chinese experience, as well as to experience the new and modern China. The participants will experience both the old and new China, or to say, “Traditions meet Modernity”.
Talking about business, can you give a snippet of this year’s business activities?
“There are several business-related things that we are happy to introduce! Of course we cannot miss the visit to Beijing University and have a fun cultural exchange session with the students there. We also have confirmation to do Nokia Beijing Inhouse Day, where we will have a company tour or even a workshop. Also, we are going to one of the biggest insurance companies in China, which is called China Life. In Shanghai, we will visit Wicresoft- a Chinese alliance with Microsoft. Those are just the teasers – more details can sure be found on our Facebook event page!”
Now that we have established the business related activities, can you describe the cultural and social activities that you’ll be doing this year?
“This year the cultural events will be based around calligraphy and a traditional tea ceremony. There will be an Chinese cultural tea tasting, where you can learn how to make and enjoy a traditional Chinese pot of tea. It will be a very traditional, in-depth cultural experience. The calligraphy workshop will be taught by the university students.
In terms of nightlife, we will go out in Beijing as well as Shanghai, so we can enjoy the nightlife in both cities. We aim for partying at least once per city, but if the group feels like going out more, we are more than willing to plan that in the free time. There is of course a lot of space for free time, so the participants can explore the city, for example go shopping or go clubbing. And of course we will also take the participants to do some sightseeing. The must-go destinations include the Great Wall of China as well as the Forbidden City”.
Looking for a dream team
For all the potential students who want to apply, how would you describe the perfect applicant for this year’s Study Trip? What type of qualities do they have to master?
“The application is open for everybody. However, we deem that Master students or third year bachelor students are relatively suitable, because they are more attractive to companies as potential future employees and more career-oriented. But that is definitely is not a strict requirement! The group will consist of a range of study levels- we aim for a variety in the group.
In terms of personal qualities, participants have to be engaged and involved with the group. Extroverts are more likely to go with the flow in the group and also being a team worker is a must when applying to the Study Trip. Don’t be stubborn! [laughs] If someone is not getting along with the group, it is very difficult for the group’s ambiance and it increases the chance of conflict within the group. We are looking for easy-going people, who have social skills and is generally open, spontaneous and nice to people”.
What have been some difficult moments you have encountered whilst in the preparation in organizing this Study Trip?
“Definitely looking for sponsors for our trip, that’s the main one we are focussing on right now. Also, the booking and accommodation is difficult, because we are going in March and it is hard to book in advance. We also want insurance that the costs are good for everyone. However, we are having a great time organizing this trip and hope that the participants will feel the same!”
If you can describe this year’s Study Trip in one word, what would it be and why?[laughs] “I don’t really know, but I guess in more words it would be: tradition meets modern”.
And last question: pitch why everyone should apply for the Study Trip to China! What would the participants get out of this trip? Why is it worth it?
“You can learn so much from this trip, from a traditional and a modern perspective. You get to have the full experience of the Chinese culture and how the Western culture is interpreted in Shanghai. You get emerged in the lifestyle and the entire trip will impact your life. This Study Trip is enriching and will develop yourself as a person”.
Written by Thu Nguyen