Table 1:

Differences and similarities in teaching and learning styles/cultures of Chinese and Austrian students/ teachers

After one hour reflection, with four different groups, we came to the point, that there are more differences than similarities in the two countries. They have completely different education systems. The Bachelor in China includes eight semester and the Master six. In comparison you have only six semester Bachelor and four Master in Austria. Another point is, Chinese pupils get grades in the kindergarten and pupils in Austria not before the third class in primary school.

The Chinese students also told us, that in the Austrian University there is more interaction between students and teachers than in China. It is special at their country, when a teacher knows your name. At the University Salzburg it is common. In addition they said, that in Austria there are more group discussions, more field trips and more practical work. One big and important point was, that at the Universities in China it’s a bigger competition between the students. The Austrian colleagues don´t have this competitive thinking. After every exam in China, the grades are published in the University hall and everybody can see your grades. That’s a big pressure for the most students in China. But pressure they are not only gets from university. The family is in the most cases very strict.

But during the reflection the Austrian and Chinese students came to the point, that pressure from the family is a similarity between the two countries. The family in Austria makes also pressure. Another similarity is, that the students from China and Austria have bad time management. Both sides do their university stuff in the last hour. This is a worldwide problem 😉

written by Nora Zacharias

Table 2:

Differences & similarities in the usage of Social Media in China and in Austria

When speaking about the similarities in the usage of Social Media, one can say that both Chinese and Austrians use Social Media very regularly (on a daily basis) and mainly in order to discuss personal/sensitive topics or to kill time. An important part of the Social Media are SNS (Social Networking Sites), which are mainly used on smartphones and thereby kind of replaced SMS/regular texting in both countries. Chinese and Austrians use around 4 different Social Networking Sites and those SNS are used for expanding the circle of friends as well as for dating.

It gets more interesting when looking at the differences in the usage of Social Media. While most Chinese expect a reply within a really short amount of time, this is not so much the cause for Austrians. Facebook and the Chinese equivalent Renren are mainly used for social interaction. But while Facebook is used by young and old people in China (which is the same in Austria), Renren is mostly used amongst students and young people in China. And the Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo is mostly used for news. The interesting aspect is, that Chinese often have to rely on Social Media when they want to get important political news even though Social Media are also affected by censorship in China. Austrian students use Social Media (f. ex. Facebook) for group works and for collaborating in writing texts. Chinese students however do not tend to have a lot of group work at the university. Austrians also use Social Media in order to organize bigger events (like a big birthday party) as well as protests, while in China this is not the case, at least among students.

written by Michael Adler

Table 3

Differences and similarities in everyday life of European and Chinese people

First of all Europeans or rather Austrians seem to be very straight especially in view of working processes. They mostly follow one projected procedure whereas Chinese make detours to get to a specific aim. Further European seems to act more individual than Chinese, who often need support from others to make decisions. Another difference is the social connection between European and Chinese individuals. While Europeans seem to have only few connections to others and thereby a small relationship network, Chinese seem to have the opposite. They always stay in contact with numerous people and therefore develop extreme wide relationship networks.

Next the participants detected that Chinese often speak very loudly especially in restaurants or the like. European people prefer to talk rather muted in order to not disturb other people. Another point refers to food: Europeans mostly eat very mild cold snacks and meals whereas Chinese mostly eat hot and spicy meals. A fifth difference is the position of the boss or rather the leader of a department. In Europe there are no so strict hierarchies, which give the leader/boss exorbitant power as in China. In Europe even the boss tries to stay on the equal level like e.g. his employees to guarantee a good and regardful atmosphere within an organisation.

Mentionable is also that Chinese parents often decide which hobbies their children should have. E.g. if a Chinese mother would like her child to play flute, the child has to take some flute-courses taught by a professional. In contrast European parents do not make decisions for their children in general, because primarily the will of a child is superficial here.
A further difference between Chinese and Europeans concerns marriages. In Europe it is not typical to ask parents if a marriage happens or not so that you are nearly always allowed to marry your partner if desired. However in China women and men have to ask their parents for the marriage-permission.

Next most of the Europeans are Christians or Protestants. In contrast most of the Chinese do not have a specific religion anymore.

Another point is that in Europe the shops mostly close very early (generally ca. 18:00 to 20:00 o’clock) whereat in China shops are open “24/7”.

written by Rita Potoku

Table 4

What have you learn during the participation in the MCM-program?

I was the host in the world café for the question “What have you learn during the participation in the MCM-program?” and the participants of the MCM-program came to the following answers. I want to begin this short summary with the answers of the Chinese participants and after that I come to the results of the European participants of the MCM-program 2014/15.

Chinese

The Chinese students learned the differences in media systems during the fieldtrips and improved their knowledge about media management. With regard to the different teaching method they learned to be more active in asking question during the fieldtrips and the lessons in the university. They also learned the academic citation style, which is standard in Austria. Furthermore they said that they improved their communication skills in Europe and they also learned basic German words. They also mentioned that they learned how to bridge the culture shock. Another point that was very important for them during their time in Europe was the travelling and they learned to make better travelling plans. A few of the Chinese students were stolen during their trips and they said about this that they learned to cope with emergencies. A few of our Chinese buddies also learned cooking during their stay in Austria.

Austrian

Similar to the Chinese students also the Austrian learned more things about the media systems and especially the comparison between the Chinese and the European media system. They also mentioned that they learned more about the Chinese culture and notably about the Chinese youth. Important for the Austrian students were that they learned that some typical stereotypes are wrong. An example was that they believed that the Chinese people are very shy. Also they tried traditional Chinese homemade food and learned some basic Chinese words from their buddies. Furthermore they said that they improved their English skills in speaking, writing and spelling and they learned intercultural team working during the courses with the Chinese students.

written by Lara Panahi