18 Aug Let’s go China Internship!
Arriving in Shanghai Pudong Airport, a little hazy eyed from the flight accompanied with the 7-hour time change I headed straight to Starbucks, where one of the members of the Absolute Internship team found me sitting. It was a relief to be greeted by a friendly face and Anna made me feel really welcome here. We waited for the other interns at the airport before leaving and by the time we left, I was ready to get going and explore! We left the airport and drove through the city to our accommodation – Shanghai is like nowhere I have been before. The roads are jam packed, full of beeping cars and with a population of 24 million people; I quickly learnt that there is never a dull moment here! At first, the sheer diversity of this new place was overwhelming to me and it took a few days to adjust to the climate (40 degrees+), the amount of people, the culture and their way of life.
After a few hours of free time to unpack and relax, we all met in the lobby and walked to the welcome dinner together. We were given place names at the table, which gave us the opportunity to mingle with someone new and the Absolute Internship staff spoke to everyone and made everyone feel very included. The food was delicious and an excellent introduction to the food here in Shanghai. I have really enjoyed the organised group dinners – it gives everyone a chance to speak to new people and the food has been really good every time!
I have thoroughly enjoyed the food so far here and have been able to put my chopstick skills to the test! Since being here I haven’t used a fork once, so I’m hoping to leave an expert! It took a few days to get really into the food here but after only week one, I have already tried dumplings, dim sum, jellyfish and I have found my new favorite drink – Black Pearl bubble tea.
The transportation system here is quick, efficient and safe, but it is very crowded on the metro, particularly in rush hour where it is rare to get a seat. I was actually surprised how crowded it was even in the quieter times of the day too!
Taxi’s are fairly difficult to get in the evenings but you always manage to get one eventually and they are a very reasonable price on the meter. My internship in China is an hour away from the accommodation and I take two metros to get there – this is slightly longer than I expected to be travelling but after one week I have realised the benefits of being further out and on my way home I can stop off at many places for shops or restaurants! I have an exciting project and everyone at work made me feel so at ease and took me out for lunch on my first two days here. I am excited for the next few weeks ahead!