My travels to another country that was all the way across the world has absolutely changed my perspective of peoples at home and abroad. Before this trip, the farthest away from home (which is Chattanooga, TN) I had been, was the Bahamas. Growing up in a rather conservative area of the state and city, I had always heard such myths and mysteries about China and other Asian countries. For example; how different it is and how I can only feel at home if I am in America. Well I am very pleased to announce that I absolutely felt at home in China! The hospitality was amazing, and I am very excited to return there and possibly pursue a career in diplomacy.
This adventure of a lifetime has opened my eyes to a whole new world of experiences and opportunities. One of my most fond memories, and one that I will never forget, is the interaction between a young boy and his mother while we were in Qufu. The young boy walked up to a group of us as we were walking down the side walk and attempted to ask us a question in English. We then responded, the mother and young boy were so excited to see that American travelers were so nice to them. She actually told us that she was surprised to have such a good interaction with people from a different part of the world that she and her family have hardly seen. This interaction made me realize that we are all humans on the same celestial body, just trying to make the best of our lives, and if you can make the best of your life and put a smile on someone’s face every day, then I would be happy to live that life.
I want to take the information and life lessons from this study abroad experience and go into my future career proud to say that I have been to another country just to learn how another culture goes about their daily life. I would like to thank UTC and all of those that helped make this journey possible!
Brandon Layne is majoring in Political Science (American Studies) with a minor in Anthropology. He participated in a faculty-led trip to China through the Anthropology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice Department in July, 2018. Brandon had the following to say about his time abroad, “It is hot, it is humid but, it is one of the most amazing places you can ever go to. China has some of the most amazing cities, food, and architecture in the world. Oh, and by the way, try the dumplings!”
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