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A Culture Shock Within a Culture Shock

A Culture Shock Within a Culture Shock

Within the world’s most populated city, you can find someone from almost every country in the world. Luckily for myself, Absolute is made up of so many different nations that I always learn something new from a different country everyday. Iowa doesn’t have much diversity besides international students so not many people get the pleasure of knowing something else unique about a different culture. Whether it’s learning about cricket in England, maple syrup from Canada, or even kangaroos in Australia, I love meeting people and learning what they have lived up with within Absolute Internship.

When you put an Iowan, Scotsman, and an Englishman in a apartment for a month, you hope they can get along. Meeting James and Nick was the start of a great friendship and so many memories to come that we will be telling our grandkids some day. Nick and James are massive cricket fans, and coming from the US, I only know about football, baseball, and basketball. One night Nick set me down and we watched the England vs. Australia match (England won) and I learned more from Nick yelling at the English players than I could have read from a book. “It’s like a baseball game for gentlemen”, James said, where they have tea breaks, and it lasts the whole day so everyone gets pumped for it. Now it was my turn to show them about college football, and no other team than my Cyclones was the best fit. I showed them what tailgating was like, how insane the student section is, and how we breathe, eat and sleep about football season. By the end of the night, we all had walked away with a new favorite sport to watch, plus I told James and Nick that when they come to visit, I would be more than happy to take them to a game.

Who ever thought that I would meet my long lost sister in Shanghai, not really since I only have one sister, but Aiyanna and I could be. Aiyanna is originally from Spain, but she studies at Boston University, which for me is pretty cool! We formed this unique friendship from day one, where we go around telling people that we are indeed brother and sister. Another person that I could not have had as much fun is Farah, who I got to meet as soon as I cleared customs at the airport. Since that day, Farah loves to randomly Facebook message me, or text me about what we are going to do that night. She is one of the nicest girls I have ever met, as she always seems to have a smile on her face, and eagerness to see more of Shanghai. These people are only a few that have made this experience the best summer of my life.

For me, I love my university, Iowa State, but I didn’t know much about the universities outside of the US. I stayed till the late hours of the night talked to Matt, David, and James about the UK’s educational system, and let me be the first to say that we have it so easy in the US. One difference is that we pay around twice as much a year compared to Universities in the UK, and that is why many people like going to Europe to get an education. Another difference is that the US has so many universities to choose from such as private and state schools, while the UK doesn’t have as many choices. Finally, in the US, we focus heavily on sporting events such as football game days and March Madness. In the end, I’m very fortunate to get first hand conversations with friends about our different lives.

Since coming to Shanghai, I have been so blessed to talk to other rising leaders of the world, who all share the same dream. I always have an open mind about different cultures, because not one culture or country is the best. Everyone that I have met in Shanghai has helped me become better in more ways than I could have asked for. I truly will miss them when I leave in nine days as I depart, but I know I will keep in contact with them as much as I can. Shanghai has to deal with me nine more days, I hope it’s up for the challenge.

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