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I feel the 43,200 minutes I have been here went way too fast

Absolute Intern in China

I feel the 43,200 minutes I have been here went way too fast

It is so devastating to think my time in Shanghai has come to an end. I have loved and embraced every minute of the month I have been here. Yet I feel the 43,200 minutes I have been here went way too fast and were not long enough. This really has been the best experience of my life, developing me both culturally and educationally. I really do not want to leave this beautiful city, but unfortunately it is time to head back home and start another year of University.

Throughout my time in Shanghai I was lucky enough to go to the most amazing events organised by Absolute Internship. The stand out event for me was the Beijing Trip for Chinese New Year, and in particular, visiting the Great Wall of China. Absolute Internship allowed me to tick one thing off my bucket list and to experience one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I could not have asked for more.

One of the best parts of this whole experience has been meeting people from all over the globe. Not only meeting them, but creating a family with them. I could not have asked for a better group of people to have spent my time with. Every one of them has made my time in Shanghai an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. We have laughed, cried, sang, ate (a lot), partied, worked and been sick together. It is so sad to think I won’t be able to hang out with them when I get back home. But on the bright side, I know I have made some life-long friends, we have shared an amazing experience together and I will have places to stay when I travel now!

Definitely one of the best parts about living in Shanghai was the food. I have never looked forward to meals so much in my life. During every meal I had in Shanghai I was planning what my next meal would be because I just can’t get enough of the food here. Street food, the restaurants in the SML, Sherpa’s, Din Tai Fung, the best Peking Duck in the world and any random restaurant – I will miss them all. The one I hold closest to my heart is none other than Paris Baguette. After spending every lunch break there, I literally do not know what I will do in my life without Paris Baguette. I actually considered buying in bulk on the last day so I can eat endless pastries at home. Put it this way, I was so sad about leaving it that I took photos of the café to remember it…..On our last lunch break Emma and I committed to our plan of buying a whole cake and eating it as dessert. No regrets, just the aching pain of missing Paris Baguette, or ‘PB’ as we call it. It is safe to say I fulfilled the expectation mentioned in my first blog of gaining weight from all the food I have eaten here. 90% of the weight is PB.

Another thing I will miss, which I did not even expect to like, is the metro. It was so convenient, clean and fast. It’s so cheap too, only 3RMB for a trip anywhere. I would actually catch public transport at home if we had a metro like Shanghai’s.

The legal internship itself taught me so much. Through the tasks I completed such as researching, writing reports and proof reading contracts, I learnt some very valuable skills that I know will be highly useful to me in my future. I also learnt about EB-5 Projects, which is something I had never heard of before. The internship allowed me to have a taste of what it would be like to work in a law firm. This practical experience has confirmed that I definitely want to be a lawyer. It made me realise that the years of hard work at university will all pay off.

Not only did I learn so much from my actual internship, but I also acquired a wealth of knowledge from Shanghai itself. I increased my knowledge and acceptance of different foods by going outside of my comfort zone and trying jellyfish, sashimi, raw beef, rotten egg, frog and liver. I also learnt quite a bit of Mandarin – unfortunately nowhere near enough to win the competition between Tom and I. Good game Tom. As well as learning lots about the Chinese culture I was able to learn a lot about other cultures from my friends who live around the world. For example I learnt a lot about America from our American friends Zack and Josh.

There was not one moment in Shanghai where I didn’t feel safe or happy. The city had a calming effect on me, which was a nice change. Everyday there was something new to see or to look forward to. Yet there is still so much to do, so I will definitely be coming back! Not only has this experience made me want to re-visit China, but it has also made me want to travel more. I am all of a sudden so eager to experience other cultures.

To anyone considering interning abroad, I highly recommend it. It seriously has been the best experience of my life.

An internship abroad is the perfect way to stand out from the crowd when applying for a job or a post-graduate degree. It is a great thing to have on the resume! As well as giving you practical experience and useful skills in your desired career, it allows you to experience that job from another country’s perspective. As well as all of this, you get to enjoy living in another country! It really was so much fun.

If you are interested in interning abroad I would definitely recommend doing it through a company, such as Absolute Internship. It makes life abroad so much easier, as everything from your internship placement, accommodation, events to transport are organised by them. Let’s face it, there is no time for organising when you are working over here! Interning through a company such as Absolute Internship also means you are with a group of people who are in the same boat as you, you are never lonely and you meet some amazing like-minded people from all over the world. Finally the staff of Absolute Internship has the best contacts in the program cities, which ensures you will network with some outstanding business men/women, which may be vital to your future. Shanghai in particular is a great place to be an intern as it is so advanced both technologically and in the business world. It is also very accommodating to Westerners, making life here a lot easier.

So this is it. I am signing off on my last Shanghai blog. It truly has been amazing and I would not trade my experience for anything in the world. Thank you to Absolute Internship and everyone who made this experience so enjoyable.

My final words are….if you are even considering in the slightest interning abroad, or specifically in Shanghai, DO IT.

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