Culture Shock (part I)

This is my first time traveling to another country besides USA. I say besides USA because nowadays I live in the US but I am originally from Brazil. Prior to come to China I did a lot of research and thought that I knew what to expect and was prepared to experience the culture differences. I thought that wouldn’t be too hard for me to overcome the cultural differences in China because I had done it before when I moved to US 6 years ago. Well, I was wrong and I quickly realized it when I had to order a coffee by pointing at the picture and hoping that the coffee would taste good (I could not read what was in the coffee because the description was written in Chinese of course).

The struggle # 1 (BUT FIRST COFFEE)
I don’t consider myself to be a picky eater so I thought that I would do fine in terms of food here in China. Again I was wrong, even the coffee served in our Hotel for breakfast is really different and I can not get used to it. I don’t really like instant coffee but over here I am having no other choice but to drink it. In fact, I bought a box of instant coffee and I have it every morning. As you can see in the picture below I am so happy for finally having some somewhat normal coffee.



The struggle # 2
I am also having a hard time to eat Chinese food for every meal every day. Again because I don’t considered myself a picky eater I thought I’d be fine eating Chinese for every meal. However, even though I eat basically everything (meat, chicken, pork, steak, veggies and noddles etc), I think that the seasonings used over here and the way they cook the food is really unique. I feel like the smell of their food is everywhere all the time which is making me have a hard time to adapt to the food. Please don’t get me wrong, most of the food that I tried here is really delicious but I can not have it all the time. Most of the days I try to only eat Chinese food in one meal and for the second I try to eat the snacks I brought or I go out for food. We (the students) actually found a yummy pizza place walking distance from our campus and we go there often.

Ps: Back home I normally don’t even eat pizza but over here my resources are limited so I am eating it often.

Jiangsu Province Scenic Spot (Yangzhou)

On June 2, 2018 our tour guide Crystal took use to two places one was a beautiful garden that had stone that represented different seasons like Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring and the other was Slender West Lake. The garden is owned by a rich business man in Jiangsu Province. We were told that the owner loved bamboo tree which is the reason why we seen tons of different of bamboo different shape, size and even color. The Slender West Lake used to be a natural river named Baozhang and it has been around for a very long time dating back to the Song Dynasty. The scenery was amazing, we found this beautiful garden with red flowers that all the girls took pictures in front of. We walked all around the garden and then we were able to get on the boat to actually experience flowing down the river which was pretty cool.

Learning and Practicing

On their third day, students participated in creatively building an ambulance car to transport a patient from a rural area to a hospital. They were given a set of legos and they enjoyed building using their imagination! It was an exercise to combine creativity and team building learning. We also had a guest entrepreneur give a very interesting talk on how China is fast transforming its manufacturing into an intelligent manufacturing.

Exploring China

So far I have been in China for 5 days and have done quite a lot.

On Saturday we went to YanCheng ChunQiu Land: The ruins of the ancient ground city where we learned about old Chinese culture.

A group of us went to this place called 1912 which seemed to be where some of the night life in Nanjing, China is,  where we found this unique street with umbrellas.

On Sunday we went to the slender west lake scenic spot where we went on a boat ride that some lady pushed 10+ people up the river which was fascinating to me.

Also, while exploring the city I found something that almost made me feel like I was back home. Overall I have been enjoying exploring around China and looking at all the different sites.

A New World

Stepping off the plane it felt like I entered into a new world! I was immediately excited to see and experience China for the first time.  It has been interesting (especially the first day) to be fully immersed in the Chinese culture. It was neat looking at the street and building signs, noticing immediate differences in roadways, various architectures and the greenery for the first time. On the way to the Nanjing University of Post and Telecommunications one of my first observations was all the nature and greenery that has been planted.  China is a beautiful country filled with flowers alongside highways and various types of trees and shrubs lining the way. These observations make me think. I always remind myself, it is the small things in life we must take a moment to enjoy. Sometimes it is so easy just to overlook and we should take more time to appreciate those things.

I enjoyed the day trips we took helped give me a better glance and appreciation of the history and culture China proudly presents. One of my favorite aspects so far is just observing people in their daily lives in China. It is one thing to read about a culture but it is even better to experience different cultures first hand and see for yourself. The past few days I have been observing street vendors and various shops. The differences in our cultures are amazing and what is normal to them is so fascinating to me. The picture below with the chickens in a cage on a motorcycle was so out of the ordinary to me but so normal to the natives. From this picture, I learned chickens like watermelon, who knew?!

Overall, being able to step out of your comfort zone and try something new is the essence of this program. It is hard to even put into words this experience so far! I would describe it as: once in a life time adventure! Not only are we exploring the areas and culture around Nanjing but, we have the opportunity to work with students from India as well and learn about their culture too! So far this has been an awesome experience!




1st Tour Visit – City of Chang Zhou

Prior to coming to China, I have heard of the great city of Chang Zhou for its great history and wonderful artifacts, one of which was evident during our 1st visit/tour to the city. We visited YanCheng ChunQiu Land, which is one of the great theme parks in the Jiangsu province. It is the ruins of the ancient ground city, which consist of three towns and three rivers. From its quiet ancient forest to its luxuriant bamboo trees, it is known for its uniqueness both locally and globally. The name of the theme park simply means ‘Fairyland’.

A little history about this great YanCheng ChunQin Land is that it predates from an old culture of prekin to the early Han dynasty. It is known for its 12 school of thoughts, which are; Agriculturists, Taoists, Mohits, Electics, Medical Scientist, Legalist, Logicans, Novelists, Military Strategists, Political Strategists, Confucianists and Novelists.

Speaking to one of the tour guides, one of the main goals of the theme park is to provide a great tourist experience, which in my opinion was certainly achieved. The visit was on Friday June 1, 2018. This day happened to also be ‘Childrens day’ in China. This is a day that is observed annually to celebrate their children. Schools will organize trips, events or plays to showcase the skills of their children. It just so happens that we went to that theme park on that same day. There were lots of school children around playing around the theme park. They were very friendly and courteous and asked to take photos with us as they were very welcoming of visitors.

As a first impression to a country and a first visit to the continent of Asia, this speaks volumes to a culture and society that is very welcoming of visitors, as it is apparent not only in their youths but in the adults as well.


Heading to Nanjing


On May 31, st I began my journey to Nanjing, China. Traveling to Nanjing was my first time traveling abroad. As I was getting ready to go I had a bunch of mixed feelings; excited, nervous, and anxious. I had mixed feelings because I did not know what to expect.

This was not my first time on a plane, but this was my first time being on a plane for 22 hours and traveling alone. I hate flying, so at first, I was nervous and wanted to cancel the flight and go home. I faced my fears and got on the plane. After thinking about almost everything that could go wrong on the flight I ended up really enjoying it. I sat next to these two lovely girls from London and we talked about each other, where we were going, and what we were doing. We all had a layover in Hong Kong so we went out and explored the city together.

So far I love Nanjing and I cannot wait to continue exploring and learning!




Study Abroad in China Summer 2018!!

I am fortunate and glad to be in China Nanjing with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, specifically with the study abroad department. It’s something that I had never dreamed in my entire life, But God makes it possible. What makes me more excited about this trip is the fact that that I will get the 6 credits that I need to complete my MBA program at Manning Business School of UML.

Since we came here on May 31 2018, we have been living a particular student life with a tough schedule, each lecture contains class exercises, practical cases. We are eight group projects working on real life projects. Each project should have been well conceptualized with a Business plan, interview questions and survey. For the first week we have learned a lot about Entrepreneurship, innovation, Market research and venture launched. Four terms remains on my mind: Process, value, resources and opportunities. I had the privilege in my early age to launch a kindergarten school in  Haiti in 1999. This entrepreneurship course has motivated me to do more not only to make money, but either to serve a poor and needy population. I have seen the outcome, for example, my daughters were part of this school and they become great students in USA. I am proud of it!!!

The Study abroad in China organized by the University of Massachusetts Lowell is either enjoyable. We visited the historical Museum of Zangzhou a beautiful park in Yangzhou. We enjoyed the time spent in these two areas. We thank Professor Mehta for this initiative and we thank  either professor Crooker for her engagement beside the students, we will not forget the volunteers who did a good job by welcoming us and participating actively to this Session of May 31 to June 16, 2018.

China, 1st Impressions (2 THUMBS UP)

We arrived in Nanjing on Thursday, May 31. In the past Nanjing used to be the capital of China. Today people still consider Nanjing the southern capital of China and Beijing the northern capital. Officially, Beijing is the capital. You can get to Nanjing from Shanghai within two hours by taking a high speed train.

Today, after being in China for five full days, I can say without a question that the Chinese hospitality is second to none. Ah, the Chinese people!! I am very impressed with them. They are very friendly, extremely helpful, highly respectful and seem to be very happy people that enjoy life. I could keep adding positive adjectives here. They are really amazing!

During this short period we’ve had chance to experiment a variety of things, from authentic Chinese food and Western food to doing sightseeing in amusement parks and historical sites.

And, of course, we’ve also kicked off our GE2 program where students from UMass Lowell are working with students from KLE Tech from Hubli, India and the local students from the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications.


In the first two days of the GE2 program, we’ve attended sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation, team building and market research. We’ve been assigned into eight different groups. Right on day 1 we worked on our first activity, for that we had to leave the building. We were tasked to identify problems around the campus and then work on potential solutions. All groups delivered great presentations. Of course, our group, team 6 (AKA “The Fantastic 6” did an outstanding job! We have two members from UML, two members from NJUPT and one member from KLE. The five team mates are from different backgrounds ranging from business to HR to engineering, and this is a great configuration.

Also, we’ve been assigned projects that we will be working on for the next two weeks. Today we started working on the first version of the Business Model Canvas.

More than 10 days to go and I continue to be very excited about the program, my classmates from different countries and, of course, China!

Finally, I could not finish this blog post by including a special mention to the Chinese students who are volunteering in this program. How can they be this good? Liv, Johnson, Max, Lynn, Lemon and Wendy, THANK YOU!

Exploring Sites In China

Over the weekend we visited some parks here in China. Saturday was spent at a park in Hutangzhen, followed by visiting a public garden and market in Yangzhou. Walking around these areas, it is amazing to see the detail in the structures, as well as how clean everything has been kept. There have also been so many people walking around these areas when we are out, and it is stunning to see crowds so fascinated by the work, the same way we are. Something that is put into perspective is just how big China really is. Both days included drives of over an hour and a half. Back in Boston, if you drive that long you may end up in a different state. I am looking forward to exploring other parts of these local cities in the next few days and seeing amazing sites here in China.