LIM College's annual trip to China -- to explore business, culture and the fashion industry -- kicked off on June 1 with a direct flight from Newark International Airport to Beijing and concluded with our return on June 15 from Shanghai to Newark for a total of 28 hours of flying time (not including the two domestic flights). Our group of 17 -- 15 students, myself and Professor Paula Wang -- bonded immediately. The students were an eclectic group whose ages ranged from 17 to 35. There was one MBA student, five MPS students and nine undergraduates, all with varied backgrounds.
China proved to be an interesting contradiction in many ways. Everyone agreed it was a great trip and we all came away richer for having shared the experience. But why a contradiction? The picture that is often painted of China is one of poor air quality, low wages, harsh working conditions, overpopulation, and a poor record on human rights. Yes, all of these conditions do exist in one form or another, but there is so much more happening that the average visitor may overlook, or not even see, the above-mentioned conditions.