This road travelled to China was chosen for me because I truly want a progressive Jamaica. I could not have imagined that my experiences in China would be the beginning of an incredibly rewarding one year journey. After successfully completing my undergraduate Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication CARIMAC from the University of the West Indies in 2014. Acquiring a masters degree was a part of my goals for 2015 but never did I dream before to study in Beijing China at this prestigious institution, Tsinghua University. The opportunity for the program of International Master of Public Administration (IMPA) was invited for the attention to the Minister of Information without Portfolio, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Jamaica. Through my various experiences working with the Minister at the Office of the Prime Minister, I was recommended to pursue the IMPA program.
I am extremely grateful for this life-changing opportunity. I therefore wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the People’s Republic of China for granting me this fully paid scholarship for the year and to Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) Overseas Limited for the special gifts. I am not only grateful but I am also honored to be have benefited tremendously. Also, I express my sincere gratitude to Minster Counsellor, Ms. Cherett Campbell and to the former Ambassador of Jamaica in China H.E. Mr. Ralph Thomas and his wife, for their kind assistance and warm greetings. To the Dean, professors, especially to my supervisor, Assistant Professor Yixin Dai and other staffs of the School of Public Policy and Management I commend you all for your hard work and committment. Special thanks to the Program Coordinators Ms. Jenny and Ms. Linda who worked assiduously in the preparation of the program. I would like to acknowledge my dear mother Ms. Marva Garrison, my family members, my close friends and co-workers without their solidarity I doubt I would able to complete this mission.
For more than 40 years, Jamaica is one of the first countries in the Caribbean region to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China. Through the China-Jamaica relations there have been remarkable achievements, specially in the areas of economic and trade-co-operation.
My first impression of Beijing, China was like a developed city because of the railways, the high-end luxurious cars, the bridges, proper highways and roads, the city lights, massive crowd of people and the well-constructed and magnificent tall buildings including the huge shopping centers. I then realized that manufacturing is one of the key to China’s rapid growth. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese people is worthy of emulation and I encourage all nations to follow in this step towards economic development. I enjoyed the smooth and efficient public transportations of the buses, taxes, subways, and the high- speed train which I hope for a new Jamaica.
The cultural differences has definitely made my experiences studying in China very interesting. China has a long history of 5000 years which has shaped the nation in what it is today. Arts in its traditional form including calligraphy and painting and the performing arts plays major significance to Chinese heritage and culture. The cold winter was not the most enjoyable season for me but it was something different that I got used to. I will surely miss the unusal motor bike and bicycle traffic jam both on and off campus. I enjoyed eating my meals with chop sticks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The campus lifestyle of Tsinghua University is very convenient especially for students living in the dormitories. Students have easy access to the main library facilities, the gyms, sporting courts and fields, swimming pool, supermarket, canteens and restaurants. I was truly impressed with the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) used in the classrooms to enhance teaching and learning for professors and students.
I visited many places of interest in Beijing such as the National Museum, Yihe Yuan (Summer Palace), Wanli Chang Cheng, The Wall of 10,000 Li (Great Wall) and other places, university seminars and exchange programs. Tsinghua University is indeed the hallmark for education because on many occasions including summer school several renowned professors and practioners were invited to give lectures which greatly exposed us to comparative governance, contemporary leadership and development issues and practices across the world. In August, our school organized a field trip for seven days to Guangxi Autonomous Region and Shanghai which took us by air to Guilin and by bus to Guangxi Liuzhou and Sanjiang County where we got to sample both urban and rural China. Tourism and entertainment plays a crucial role to the holistic development of Guangxi Liuzhou. I was fascinated by the topography of mountains and its rich tourism attractions. The Dong minority group in Sanjiang County has its own unique architecture, delicious tasting food, hand crafting clothing textiles and energetic entertainment. We then travelled to Shanghai by air to sample the colonial legacy of China, its majestic river, its highly developed and modern commercial port. I have learned so much to enrich my knowledge at just the tip of the “ice berg” because information was made accessible to stimulate the interest of students to learn. The trip was very fruitful because it has improved my ability to apply public administrative theories and tools and I was able to gain a deeper understanding of China’s success and development.
With all these new and exciting stories to tell, my experiences in China have shaped me into a stronger person and leader. I will forever cherish the long life friendships from Europe, Asia, Africa, and America continents who have added such immense value to my life. I have also met Chinese nationals from inside and outside the school who helped me to gain a richer understanding of the Chinese culture and its people.
After all that is written, the inspiration of this paper would not have been possible without the Lord Jesus Christ who deserves all the praises in my life. I am truly blessed and highly favored to have such precious memories and wonderful experiences. I wish for Jamaica and China a very friendly and peaceful relationship for common development in years to come. To God be the Glory!