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Ready to immerse myself in the culture

Ready to immerse myself in the culture

Hi my name is Sarra and I live in Sydney, Australia. I study the Bachelor of Business at the University of Technology Sydney.

I am travelling to Shanghai for my internship this summer and am very excited. I have never travelled to Asia and I expect it will be a great cultural experience. I hope to see traditional aspects of China and I believe I will be in Shanghai for Chinese New Year. This is probably the event I am most excited for. I look forward to seeing how the people of the city celebrate this major cultural event. In Sydney, there are Chinese New Year festivals and parades but I expect to see the most extravagant celebrations in the heart of China. I expect to see a lot of things that are typically associated with the Chinese New Year such as red envelopes. Sydney is in fact extremely multicultural and I events on the Chinese calendar are celebrated every year along with western ones, however, I think there will be a huge difference in the way celebrations are conducted in Australia compared to China.

I think there will be subtle cultural differences between China and Australia. As of now, I am not aware of specific social behaviors that I should either avoid or embrace so I think it will be interesting to learn and practice throughout the month. I think it will be great to see the hustle and bustle of city life in Shanghai, especially during peak hours and in the business centers. I feel that the difference in population between Sydney and shanghai will make the city even more exciting. I have experienced the large populations in Indian cities but I think Shanghai will offer a completely original experience in comparison. I really expect there to be an obvious dichotomy in the city. I think it will be similar to Singapore in that there will be more “flashy” parts, perhaps in the business districts, and other areas where the standard of living is low.

I think that the language barrier will be a challenge for me. In general, I don’t think I’m very good at picking up new languages so this is something I definitely hope to overcome. I don’t think there is any better way to learn a language than to submerge yourself in it though so I am looking forward to gaining some knowledge of one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Still thinking about the culture of Shanghai, I think it will offer a completely original culinary experience. I would really like to find street markets where I can buy food. I expect that I will fall in love with dishes that expose me to flavors I would normally not be exposed to. I expect restaurants to serve great food and offer a completely different dining experience than Sydney does. Just thinking about food preparation, I think I could find a great Teppanyaki restaurant in Shanghai.

Thinking about my internship, I’m not quite sure what to expect. The description of my role details what I will be doing broadly but I am unsure as to what the day-to-day schedule will be. I will be working in a wealth management firm with a fund manager, which is ideal for me because I personally want to work in the wealth management sector of finance. I expect the work will be a mixture of learning opportunities, tasks relating to portfolio management and possibly administration work as well. I am hoping to learn as much as possible about not only wealth management, but the business industry in Shanghai as well.

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