The Consumer and Bargaining Culture in China

Jul 11, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Trisha Sanchez

Trisha Sanchez

Trisha is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An International Business major at Champlain College, she is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.

In this week's post, Trisha writes about the consumer culture in China and explores the mall and fake markets where she also experiences the bargaining culture in Shanghai.

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Something intriguing I’ve been observing since our arrival in Shanghai has been the wide spectrum of consumer culture in China. Upon my arrival, I was well aware of the traditional politics of the country’s communist state, but I had never seen it in practice. I was anticipating having to adjust to a strong contrast from the capitalist market I’d grown up with. However, this turned out to not exactly be the case.

At a Retail Mall

One visit to any mall here and you can see not only how many western brands have been integrated into the Chinese economy, but also just how heavily western marketing and capitalist ideals have begun to ingrain themselves within the Chinese culture. Walking through retail stores at the mall you’ll definitely find that familiar sense of attentiveness to the consumer, clean-cut displays, ostentatious sales discounts, and an assertive yet restrained desire for your business.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Cultural Insights, Shopping Abroad

Kindness and Spirituality Can Be Found All Around Buenos Aires

Apr 9, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire talks about the Argentinian brand of kindness and what her experience attending church is like in Buenos Aires.

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When I say Buenos Aires is a city unlike any other, I hope you know it isn’t just me saying that because I love it, or because I don’t have much experience in other cities. The opposite is true—I’ve been in New York and Los Angeles and Dallas and Orlando and London and so many others…yet Buenos Aires has its own special flair. The architecture is amazing and so diverse. Today I took the bus from a relatively modern part of the city and within 20 minutes looked up in amazement at the buildings around me.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - ArchitectureThe amazing architecture in Buenos Aires.

Spanish is everywhere, but you’ll also hear Portuguese and English and Chinese often, and if your time here looks anything like my Easter Sunday, Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian, too. Buenos Aires is a massive city, and yet not once have I felt unsafe walking the streets alone or riding the bus or train. If you hit the streets anytime between 3:00-6:00 you’ll find most of the city seated at a café, enjoying coffee and a friend.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Diversity Abroad, Cultural Insights

What My Daily Life is Like in Buenos Aires

Apr 2, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Claire Shrader_Buenos Aires_Headshot.jpgClaire Shrader is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Pre-Occupational Therapy major at Mississippi College, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Claire tells us what her daily life is like while she embraces new experiences and builds a routine.

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Hola! Today is my last day of classes for the week because it’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), so we get the rest of the week off. I’ve officially been in Buenos Aires for five-and-a-half weeks, which feels pretty unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday I had to ask for help with directions every five minutes, leaving 30 minutes earlier than necessary to leave a large margin for getting lost, arriving to class early and still getting lost on the way. 

CAPAStudyAbroad_Buenos Aires_Spring2018_From Claire Shrader - Wonderful MusicWonderful music!

Now I have the walk to school, the subte (subway), and my favorite bus stops all memorized. I’ve also learned that if I get to class 10 minutes early I’ll end up waiting for 20 mins. I’ve slowly started settling into normal. And then I’ll just end up pausing on my walk to my internship and remind myself—WHAT ON EARTH! YOU ARE IN ARGENTINA. It still feels unreal.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cultural Insights, Activities Abroad

Why You Should Spend St. Patrick's Day in Dublin (and Not Anywhere Else)

Mar 23, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

CAPA_Brandon Mooney_Dublin

Brandon is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Political Science major at Clark University, he is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Brandon witnesses St. Patrick's Day festivities in Dublin and shares some highlights from this cultural celebration.

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I am writing this blog from a hostel in Berlin. Next week I will be sure to talk about my spring break (or “assignment week” as it’s called in Ireland) travels, but for this week, I wanted to talk about St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_Spring2018_From Brandon Mooney - With Friends at St. Patrick's Day Parade.jpeg

What is St. Patrick's Day Like in Dublin?

The entire city becomes a Mecca for foreign tourists for the weekend. I have never seen the city so full of people. Walking around to get dinner on Friday night was incredible because the entirety of South Circular Road was bustling with people when it is typically frequented by a few locals and college students. You will meet so many different people from so many different walks of life, which was honestly the best part of the entire weekend. I met two men from the Isle of Man, one who works in software design and the other in stocks and bonds; a very friendly woman from Amsterdam who talked to me about what to do in the city; a group of people from the University of Dublin; and a woman from California in Dublin for spring break who also played ultimate Frisbee.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Cultural Insights, Holidays Abroad

Connecting Global Cities: Celebrations and Tribulations of Chinese New Year

Feb 15, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

Connecting Global Cities” is a monthly column written by Colin Speakman, Resident Director for CAPA Shanghai.

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“Xīn Nián Kuài Lè” (Mandarin - Happy New Year) or “Kung Hei Fat Choy” (Cantonese - Happiness and Prosperity) were sayings echoing out around Asia and beyond, even as far as London’s Chinatown when the Chinese New Year celebrations got underway as a near global event from Friday, February 15 (New Year’s Eve and China National Holiday) ending by Thursday, February 22.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Spring2018_Shanghai_From Colin Speakman - Chinese New Year Parade in London 2018.pngPhoto: Chinese New Year Parade in London by Colin Speakman

Of course, these holidays are found in other parts of Asia and, in 2017, I celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the period of Vietnam’s Tet. This time I was in London and Western countries have no holidays for Chinese New Year (though China has National Holidays for January 1—three days this time). Thus, it was on Sunday February 18, a couple of days’ later, that London’s Chinatown held the famous parade and events in Trafalgar Square. I was there to celebrate the Year of the Dog even if with the help of a Snake (it was not the Year of the Frog!).

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Global Cities, Cultural Insights

Halloween Abroad: The Dublin Macnas Parade

Nov 7, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

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Elizabeth is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication major at Lasell College, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In this week's post, Elizabeth gets a closer look at the Dublin Macnas Parade during Halloween and sees a different side of the city.

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The Halloween season has officially come to an end. When walking down the street today, businesses were taking the cobwebs off their business signs and the pumpkins out of their windows. Even though the season of apples and spooky decorations has ended, I'm glad I was able to experience part of Dublin’s Halloween spirit.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Dublin_From Elizabeth Leahy - Halloween_Dublin Macnas Parade.png

As we stood on the sidewalk of Capel Street, the crowds around us were electric. On Monday night, my friends and I joined the crowd of all ages to watch the Dublin Macnas Parade. Children were dressed up in costumes patiently waiting for the event to begin.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Cultural Insights, Activities Abroad

Outward Attitudes in Amsterdam

Nov 1, 2017 3:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Thaddeus-Kaszuba-Profile-Photo.png

Thaddeus is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A BFA major at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, he is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Thaddeus heads to Amsterdam and experiences another city and culture outside London over his fall break.

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I was in much need of a break from school. While being in London has been extraordinary so far, it still is very much a busy city that drains you mentally quite a bit.

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Fall2017_From Thaddeus Kaszuba - Fall Break_Peaceful Fields with Windmills In Zaanse Schans.jpgPeaceful fields with windmills in Zaanse Schans.

Lucky for me I started my 10-Day Fall Break this week! And I was off to Amsterdam! This is the second country in the EU that I have visited, and it was an entirely different world than what I had experienced in Italy. That might sound like an obvious statement, but in the U.S., we have many different people from different cultures, all living within the bounds of U.S. history and historical infrastructure.

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Posted in: London, England, Cultural Insights, Fall Break Abroad

Cultural Insights: 4 Daily Differences Between Americans and Italians

Oct 19, 2017 4:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Hayley-Parker-Profile-Picture.png

Hayley is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Communication and Media major at Merrimack College, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Hayley ponders over her cross-cultural psychology classes and the daily cultural differences between Americans and Italians. 

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During my time abroad I have gotten to reflect on my personal identity as an American living in a foreign country. My experiences as well as classes have helped me develop a better understanding of the cross-cultural differences that I face every day in the city of Florence. In one of my classes, cross-cultural psychology, we learn about things such as socialization behavior in a cultural context and the different factors in cultural transmission and development.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2017_Florence_From Hayley Parker - Piazzale Michelangelo.png

One of my favorite lessons we’ve learned in class thus far would be the differences of growing up American versus growing up Italian. This lesson got me thinking about how I may see things differently and act differently because of the way I was brought up in the U.S. Here are some of the major differences I’ve noticed in life in Italy versus life in the U.S.

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Cultural Insights, Cultural Differences

Real People, Real London

Oct 9, 2017 1:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Maureen-Gleason-Profile-Photo.png

Maureen is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A BFA major at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Maureen shares commentary from a group of CAPA students about their real stories and experiences in London.

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Thanks Maureen!

Maureen's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

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Posted in: London, England, Cultural Insights, London Interview

What I See: Diversity in the U.K. and U.S.

Oct 4, 2017 3:30:00 PM / by Irene Kanthan

Thaddeus-Kaszuba-Profile-Photo.png

Thaddeus is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A BFA major at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, he is studying abroad in London this semester.

In this week's post, Thaddeus shares his observations and experiences on diversity in the U.K. vs. the U.S.

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First let me start off by saying: the pictures in this post have nothing to do with the content. I wanted to talk about cultural and ethnic diversity this week, and I felt like taking pictures of random people in public to capture "diversity" was rather rude and uncomfortable. I didn't want to encroach on people's privacy (especially as an American student). So, please enjoy some pretty skyscapes from this week!

Also, diversity is something that must exist...not something we can capture in a picture... If you are a young philosopher, feel free to argue that point with me!

CAPAStudyAbroad_London_Fall2017_From Thaddeus Kaszuba - Harrods.jpg

Okay, so on to this week's post:

As my third week in London comes to a close, I have started to think about how I, as an American student, play into or perhaps stand out in U.K.'s culture.

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Posted in: London, England, Diversity Abroad, Cultural Insights

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