If I could tell someone who was pondering upon the idea of interning in a different country and has the opportunity to do so, I’d say, go for it. It changes the way you think and view the world. It’s a place out of your comfort zone that will only lead to growth and endless stories to tell when you get back home.
A full time internship does not mean having to work all summer long. In fact, traveling can be done and should be done.
Traveling in China was full of fun and some of my favorite experiences abroad. What surprised me was how easy it was to get around in China given the affordable prices and various transportation methods.
While working in Shanghai, I had the opportunity to make weekend trips to Hangzhou, Suzhou and Beijing.
To reflect on this experience is one of the best things I can do. Reflecting allows you to relive moments that are unique to your perspective, which allows you to recognize how much you have grown from the first week to the last week. You could say that China changed me for the better.
I believe my favorite cultural activity that Absolute organized for us was the trip to Nanjing. Since we stayed in Nanjing for the weekend we were able to take advantage of the city.
After a quick train ride from Shanghai to Nanjing we hit the ground running and made our way to Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum. As soon as we arrived I noticed that the skies were blue and the trees were lush with varying hues of green. It was meant to rain, but instead we were left with this reward after climbing 397 steps.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I arrived in Shanghai — I hadn’t been anywhere like it before. China itself seemed like such a big entity to me at the time that to conceive what I would expect seemed like an impossible task. So after the first few days of living in Shanghai I was able to build a relationship with it and understand it a bit more with each passing day. I have found that there are many cultural similarities between Shanghai and my country and even state.
Honestly, it’s hard to describe a normal day at work here at my adverting internship because it doesn’t seem to exist! Last week we had an art exhibition called Now&Them: “Chinese Whispers” where the profits go to our charity, and this week we had a photo-shoot for a Chinese baby company.
Do you know how it feels to go to a country where no one in your family has gone? Well I do. China is the last place I thought I would be spending the summer before my final year in college, let alone intern there. Well, it’s only been 2 weeks and I can say it was one of the best decisions I have made.
My experience in Shanghai during my freshmen summer is one unbelievable, ridiculous, sometimes frustrating, but overall rewarding opportunity that I am so grateful to have had. It was a summer that challenged me and taught me things that I will not forget.