Ni Hao! Finally I’m in Shanghai! After a hectic first few days, I’m starting to settle into the swing of my temporary life as a Chinese intern. Five days into my adventure and it already feels like I’ve been here for years. Let me walk you through my first few days as an intern in Shanghai:
After a 3:30am wake up call for our 7am flight from Singapore, when we arrived in Shanghai, Michael and I were in need of a much needed sleep! But of course there was much to do and we were running on adrenaline so we persevered. We were greeted by a very friendly guy who was the program coordinator, who told us that we had to wait for another 3 hours to pick up an intern whose plane was delayed. Not the best news for people who had been on a plane for 5 hours and really just wanted to get to the hotel to sleep, but nevertheless we sat waiting excitedly to meet this other intern. Nearly 5 hours had passed and there was still no sign of our new friend! Finally Josh arrived, all the way from New York! So off to the hotel we headed (FINALLY).
The drive to the hotel was an interesting experience! This was the first look we had at our new home for the month! We got to see the highlights of the city from our: the tallest building in Shanghai, a quick view of Pudong and lots of other interesting things. And then, of course, we saw a crash on the side of the road… that was when we started to know what to expect regarding traffic in Shanghai. When we arrived at the hotel we finally got to meet the awesome people we had been emailing for months: Will and Thomas, the Program Director and Business Development Manager. They greeted us with a stuffed Panda and a toothbrush, and rushed us off to have a shower and get ready for dinner.
At dinner I finally got to meet my new family! What a great bunch of interns I’ll be spending this next month with! I am so lucky to be sharing all of these new experiences with each and every one of them. We had such a yummy dinner that night as well (I even ate frog – something to cross off my list of things to try). And I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of chopsticks, well that’s what I think anyway.
The next day started with an orientation where we all formally introduced ourselves and got to know a bit more about the program in general. And then we had a brief Mandarin lesson. What an experience that was! Our teacher was so enthusiastic and energetic, that I really took nothing in (apart from Ni Hao)! But it was so much fun and the teachers were lovely (one came up and hugged me at the end – probably because she felt sorry for me and my horrid Mandarin skills). We spent the afternoon exploring the city and soon enough it was time for bed.
On Sunday a few of us ventured to the fabric markets so the boys could get some suits made. That was my first experience trying to navigate my way around Shanghai without the guides to help us out. Let’s just say I’m glad the others sort of knew where they were going. After that we met up with the rest of the interns and walked the Bund and Nanjing Road, finishing with a lovely dinner and lots of excited talk about our first day at work!
I am an intern at a law firm and am lucky enough to be working with another member of our intern family – the lovely Danielle. When we arrived, it was nothing like what we thought it would be! Everyone was so laid back and relaxed that we really felt right at home straight away. Our supervisor, Jessie, is the loveliest person and she really has made us feel a part of the office from the very start! Whilst we were set some more simple research tasks for our first few days, I have found them really quite interesting and loved completing them. Even though I have only spent two days here, I am truly loving every minute of it!
And that sums up my first few days living the life of an intern in Shanghai! Until next time 🙂