Our fellow students from Kunming (and all the other Chinese business schools) left Boston about a week ago. Most of them are now using this opportunity to visit many other cities in the US: New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles... they plan to know the country quite well by the time they go back to China!
Having them here has been an excellent opportunity. After being taken care of by them, it was now our turn to show them around, taken them with us to our classes and help them feel at home in Boston. I do hope they enjoyed they time here! The bar was quite high, since they were extremely nice to us when we were in China.
Hosting each other makes for an interesting experience: we both have the opportunity to show our counterparts a bit of the live we live in our cities, our university, our classmates... and if the differences are obvious (from eating rice noodles to hamburguers), it is also worth looking at the many things that bring us together: the genuine curiosity we all exhibit when we ask questions about how things are done here and there; the interest in learning a bit more about projects that are similar to what we do; the willingnes to travel and visit new places... al these things allow us to talk in the same level. And is this the foundation that makes me believe that a more globalized world can bring amazing opportunities to us all and that, if we do things correctly, we can all benefit from out time together.
It sounds like obvious, but it is always different to experience it first-hand than to "just" know it (and, ultimately, that is what Action Labs are for). I hope this is not my only chance to have a cross-continental experience like this: I've seen that there is a lot to learn!