Trevor Gustavson
    China has given me a new view on my life, with experiences that have left me with new perspectives

    Trevor Gustavson


    Jinan University in Guangzhou, China - Spring 2015

    China is an incredible country. With a population over a billion, and cities that no one has heard of that house tens of millions, its truly a country of surprises. I’ve already learned so much by being here. Not from classwork, but just from living and immersing myself within the culture. I’ve come to a realization, though its one that most would be able to arrive at without going to China for an extended period of time, its one that I’m happy I came to by living it. It is that I am so fortunate to have been born and raised in Canada.

    By being in China I’ve become increasingly grateful for my homeland. Growing up and going to school in Canada you learn about parts of the world that are dominated by poverty. Whether it is an extreme like Sub Saharan Africa or on a smaller scale like the poverty that is evident in all metropolitan areas, it is taught, but not necessarily experienced. It was eye opening witnessing some of these areas in China. You come to truly realize your fortune, not only to have what you need but all the excess in your life as well. I remember walking through these small districts both in Guangzhou and Shanghai that consisted of tiny homes with no more than 2 rooms. Plotted sporadically were the shared bathrooms, as there are not any facilities inside the dwellings. The streets that border these buildings are no more than small allies, large enough for a scooter but certainly not a car.  Regardless of the constant staring and looks of bewilderment that you receive while walking down these allies, you tend to try and imagine how your life would have turned out if it were your home. I think it’s safe to say that ‘different’ would be an understatement. What is fascinating is that these small conglomerates of unlit streets and small homes are bordered by city centers with malls and skyscrapers, seemingly unknown to passersby.

    China has given me a new view on my life, with experiences that have left me with new perspectives. Truly this is one of the reasons I chose China.