09 Mar My Shanghai Moment
I have been putting off writing this final blog post because doing so means that my Shanghai experience will be officially over. For me, my month in Shanghai went by in a moment. It was full-on. I worked during the day in a Chinese law firm where I was the only foreigner. So I was totally immersed in the language and the culture when I was at work, and the language and culture could not be any more different than what I was used to at home. I also don’t think I had a full 8 hours of sleep for the entire month I spent abroad. Shanghai is one of those exciting places that never sleeps, and after spending a whole day in an office at work; I just wanted to see more of the city at night. The great thing about the Absolute program is that they give you the freedom to be self-directed. With the other interns, we often organized our own dinners at various restaurants around the city and we found our own things to do after work and on the weekends. I recommend getting the Smart Shanghai app if you can. You can use that to find great places to eat and drink. It also comes in handy when you want to tell taxi drivers where you want to go and you can’t speak Chinese.
Working in a law firm was a step I thought I would not take until near the end of my degree. I have no regrets about doing this internship after only 1 year of law because now I have a better insight into the life of a lawyer and I can decide now whether that is the direction I want to go in after completing my law degree. I learned so much about law and about the ‘real world’ just from 1 month in Shanghai.
My time in Shanghai will be an experience I will remember for my whole life, not only because I’ve had the experience of living and working in a city that is almost the exact opposite to the city I’ve grown up in, but because I’ve made friends from all over the world through meeting the other interns at Absolute. I never would have expected that I would make amazing new friends in Shanghai and I have Absolute to thank for that.
If you are considering taking the leap and travelling to Shanghai for an internship, I would say do it, because it is probably the best thing I have ever done. I would be lying to you if I said that nothing went wrong, the work was easy and every day was amazing and perfect and wonderful, but I think it is from the challenges that I have learned the most. My advice for you, if you decide you want to go to Shanghai is to make the most of your time abroad. So when you’re in Shanghai don’t do any time-wasting activities such as going to the gym or sleeping. Just kidding! But seriously, the time goes way too quickly and you’ll miss it when it’s over.
If you have the chance, I highly recommend taking this amazing opportunity to travel and work at the same time. I can promise you, you won’t regret it.