Texas Tech University

Grace K. blog

This trip to China was truly an unforgettable experience. Whether it was finding authentic, local food in the cities that we visited or hiking the Great Wall, this trip was full of activities that I never thought I would be doing. I'm not going to lie, getting used to the culture and hustle of the cities that we visited was a little challenging at the beginning of the trip, but after a couple of days I was able to appreciate those differences.It was crazy to be able to see that even though things in China looked and felt different at first, they were actually very similar to the U.S.

We started out the trip by meeting with the U.S. Grains Council and touring the Sanyuan dairy processing plant. It was very interesting to see how the U.S. Grains Council functions in China. We got to discuss current issues in the trade world and see these issues from a different perspective. Sanyuan was also interesting as we were able to actually watch the entire process from pasteurization to packaging.

In Beijing we were also able to see many historical attractions. We started out in Beijing by visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. I loved being able to walk around the Forbidden City and learn about the history of the emperors. After that a group of us decided to brave the metro and travel across town to the Summer Palace. This place was beautiful. We hiked all the way to the top and were rewarded with one of the best views.The next day was the Great Wall. This was truly an experience that I will never forget. Being able to hike to the "peak" and look out over the hills and valleys that surrounded it was probably my favorite part of the trip.We were also able to meet with some students that were studying at China Agriculture University. Being able to meet these students and make some connections with them was something that I was really excited about.

After Beijing we traveled to Tianjin, which was an awesome city! We were able to go on a boat tour and go right underneath the Tianjin Eye, the only Ferris wheel in the world built over a bridge. Here we were able to meet with ADM and some more students from Nankai University. At ADM we were able to tour the plant and learn about the processes that take place to make starches and high fructose corn syrups. We also discussed the challenges of an American company in the Chinese markets. At Nankai University we sat down and had a conversation with the students about a majority of the current issues between out countries. It was really cool to be able to hear the perspective of these Chinese students and to answer the questions that they had about the way that we see things.

After Tianjin we flew to Shanghai. While in Shanghai we visited Cargill and the U.S. Consulate. These visits gave us some unique insight into the way that U.S. products are being presented to the markets in China. We also got to visit the Old Town in Shanghai, which is a portion of the old city that has been surrounded by the modern city. We also got to go to the top of the Shanghai Tower. This offered the best view of the city and one of the best places to take pictures!

We ended the trip in Hong Kong, which is probably my favorite city. While we were there we were able to meet with Cotton Council International and the Meat Export Federation. They were able to give us an overview of the markets in Hong Kong compared to markets in China. They also answered our questions about how to operate in Hong Kong. We also got to see the tourist attractions in Hong Kong. These included Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, and Stanley market. Because it was foggy we didn't really get to enjoy Victoria Peak, but Repulse Bay was one of my favorite stops on the trip.

This trip was truly a life-changing experience. I am so grateful that I was able to go on this trip and learn a little more about a culture and country that I didn't know before. I was able to see some of the most famous landmarks in the world and make some great new friends along the way.

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

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