Coventry to China: A Cultural Connection

Spending two weeks in a country that is worlds apart from England has become a brilliant experience for us and our fellow English students. When preparing for our trip to ZUMC, our expectations were ever-changing, judged only by what we had been told from those who had previously visited, writes Kimberley Hall…

On our first day in the classroom, Charlie and I were put in a group with two Chinese students, Yoyo and Dylan. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Dylan had to drop out of the exchange and we were then left as a group of three.

We were given three tasks to accomplish, all of which we did within our given deadline times. When doing this work, Charlie and I learnt a lot about the Chinese work ethic. We realised that the way in which the Chinese students work is entirely different to ours. One thing in particular that we noticed was how Yoyo would assign herself work to complete and get it done straight away, without any hesitation.

In England, procrastination is a known trait of most students, who often leave their work until the last minute and procrastinate heavily before finally completing their work. Although we do have this much more relaxed approach to our work, we always still manage to complete all work before the deadlines to a high quality standard.

In the UK, work experience plays a very important role to students. We tend to feel a lot more relaxed about our work than Chinese students, who are dedicated to completing their work to a very high standard at a very good pace. Charlie and I have learnt that being pro-active and professional in every aspect of our work would benefit us greatly. Rather than procrastinating and leaving things to the last minute, we have learnt that getting things done right away will help us in the grand scheme of things. We also learnt that students in China are very polite, well-mannered and extremely friendly.

Charlie, a Media Production student at Coventry University spoke about her time working with the Chinese students: “I’ve learnt to work with other students through language barriers. I’ve also learnt that things may need to be explained in a simple way, as Yoyo cannot speak perfect English. Dividing tasks up between the three group members was an efficient way of working, as we managed to get things done a lot more quickly and efficiently.”

But it isn’t just those visiting from England who have had the opportunity to learn from their new friends. Yoyo, who worked alongside me and Charlie, said “This week I worked with my new friends, Kim and Charlie, who are students from Coventry University. We have a lot of course work to do, but we only have 3 people in our group. So, when we finally accomplished all our work, I felt extremely happy. I think we really did a good job.

“At first, I was afraid that we would perhaps not be able to finish the work in time, as my major is Public Relations, and I therefore don’t know how to layout, how to film and how to edit. Luckily enough, Kim is really good at layout, and Charlie is an awesome filmmaker! I wrote some articles and did all of the translating things, as I could not help a lot with technical skills. I’m glad I can help in this way.

“When Kim and Charlie were working, I sat beside them and looked at the work they were doing. Now, I know how a newspaper or a short video is made. Although I still can’t do it by myself, I know how it is done.

“Kim and Charlie are both very kind girls, we enjoyed working with each other.”


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Filed under China Trip 2011

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