Madrazo Reflects on Trip to China
July 5, 2012
By Stacey Luke
By Stacey Luke
FRESNO, Calif. --- Lanie Madrazo, a senior agricultural business major and member of the Fresno State Equestrian team, leapt at the opportunity to travel with 14 other students to China where she would learn more about a future career in the agriculture industry from an international perspective.
During the trip, Madrazo visited Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing where she interacted with students and professors from local Universities and discussed global agricultural concerns.
Madrazo took time to sit down with GoBulldogs.com and discuss the highlights from a once in a lifetime experience.
GoBulldogs.com: What inspired you to pick China as a study abroad location?
GoBulldogs.com: Where did you study in China?
GoBulldogs.com: How many people did you go with?
GoBulldogs.com: How long did the program last and how long were you there?
GoBulldogs.com: What did you study?
GoBulldogs.com: Had you been to China before? Do you speak any Chinese?
GoBulldogs.com: Was this your first travel abroad study or first time out of the country? If not, did you visit previously?
GoBulldogs.com: What was the most interesting thing about studying abroad?
GoBulldogs.com: How was the culture/school different from the U.S.?
GoBulldogs.com: What is the most interesting thing you experienced during your stay in China?
They all loved us and we were the best thing ever to them. They all wanted to take pictures with us, it was crazy. We were like celebrities, there were lines to take pictures with us sometimes, it was pretty fun to interact with them, especially when we went to the universities, we met a girl who is coming to Fresno to study in the Fall so it was awesome to meet her and know we will see her in August. She is going to live in the dorms and study plant science here for two years, so we were all excited to help her out when she gets here.
GoBulldogs.com: Anything additional that was interesting about your trip?
We were also able to go to the U.S. Embassy and meet with our representatives there in China. I think I want to do something like that when I graduate. It was cool to talk to them and get contacts, definitely did a lot of networking.
We got to go to an organic tradeshow in Shanghai and we got to look at all the products they are developing and try a bunch of different things. It was really cool to see all the different new and upcoming products. There were people from the U.S. there selling their products trying to branch out and expand their market.
We went to an organic farm and a dairy farm, it was really interesting to see how they grew the different plants and commodities, we went to a lot of what we would call a farms market but they call them a wet market. They have everything you could imagine and so many people. There were rows and rows of people and everyone was selling the same thing. I'm not sure why but that's just how they do it.
All of the fruits and vegetables were imported so we saw a lot of stuff from California in China which was interesting. And they had raw meat, seafood and fish swimming in boxes of water. There were live chickens there too that they were killing in the back; you want a fresh chicken you can get it there. We were not allowed to eat anything from off the street or drink the water because we would have gotten sick. We drank all bottled water.
We ate at all restaurants, sometimes we ate at tourist restaurants and sometimes we went to more traditional on the street restaurants. In the U.S. we have a grading system like an A or a B in restaurants for food safety, but in China they had different smiley faces to represent the quality of the restaurant. A big smile meant it was good, a straight line meant it barely passed standards and a frown meant it was bad.
But I would definitely go back. I've been to Ireland and England but nothing like China. I think working with the U.S. Embassy or consulate office would be awesome and this trip definitely inspired me.
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