There it is, the end of a unique experience, the International Student Innovation Competition in Shanghai is over. After a whole week of hard work between Swiss and Chinese students some stereotypes have been broken or re-enforced, let see how Chinese students have lived this week:
What did you think about this week?
It was a wonderful and we learn so much during this week together ! We are really thankful of this experience, we really believe it changed us, we have grown through the competition. We are also so happy to have meet the Swiss teams, it really changed our way of learning and working, very surprising.
What was your biggest cultural choc?
The first thing that was quite chocking was the “hugging everybody” part. Indeed, everyone was hugging, touching or massaging everyone. We did not expected that, because in our culture we don’t touch each other and if we do it boys with boys or girl with girl, you’ll rarely see a girl with a boy hugging !
Also, here in China, we believed that French speakers are not very good in English but we were quite surprised by the level of the class.
Something else had clearly surprised us during this week, when we had to distribute the roles, the swiss people were so efficient, they knew exactly what they had to do without even speaking. That was really interesting to observe, really smooth and natural for all of them, they knew the weaknesses and strengths of each other’s. This situation in not very common in China.
5 words to describe you week ?
Fantastic Exhausting Rewarding Exciting Funny
What is your opinion of the Swiss people?
They are really smart! We excepted intelligent people, but in only 7 days they really surprised us by their intelligence. Plus they were very professional about the project, even if they liked to have fun very often, they knew when they have to work and they did it pretty well.
Another thing that really blew my mind is the way of making a decision. Indeed, the Swiss team used democracy for every decision to be sure everyone felt included and listened. That really surprised us, because in China we don’t use democracy in groups, we have a designated leader who makes decision for the whole group. We learned to listen to others arguments and fight for what we think right. We really had to express ourselves and our opinions because Swiss students wanted to know every point of view.
What do you think of international working after this week?
It really opened my mind and I know I will surely work with different culture and nationalities in the future ! I’ll be happy to use my new way of thinking on my different class projects.
Group 6 : Elina, Nicolas, Hamza, Kevin