Why did you decide to intern abroad with Hutong School in China?
Cecilie: For a long time I had been thinking about studying aboard, but I didn´t quit have the guts to go. Because I have never travelled before so I was very nervous. Then our internship period was coming up and I had to find something. Then my student counselor mentioned Hutong School, that they could help me, and that’s how I came to China.
I had talked to him before, about that I wanted to go to China, to study, but when that did not came true he told me about Hutong.
When I learned about Hutong School it was decided I was going to China.
I choose China because that was the country I always wanted to go to, so I used the opportunity to go there while doing my intern.
What made this experience unique and special?
Cecilie: The people involved and the big culture change. I was amazing. When I was still at home I never ones imagined that I was going to experience so much. I got to know and meet a lot of interesting people, see so many thing I have never see before, experience the culture. I had a really good internship host and I learned a lot for new thing and tips in my working field. I never had a internship that let me do so many different things, asked me “what do you think” and “do you have any ideas” and also used the stuff I made. So I learned a lot in this internship.
And morning classes I had with Hutong School 3 times a week, where I learned Chinese, helped me when I was getting around in Shanghai and the rest of China, talking and bargaining with people and just learn the language. So all in all I got the experience of my life, new friends, I got better at my work and personal development.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Cecilie: Personally I changed for the better. I got braver in regards of pursuing what I want and not always let the shyness and nervousness take over. My network got bigger as I met people from all over the world. I met / visited companies while I was in China so I got to know some of them too.
It has giving me the passion for traveling and spiked my curiosity in wanting to visit other countries or maybe move and live in China for a longer period. Professionally as I said earlier I got a lot better at my work and I learned a lot. I hope that my time and experience in China will give me better opportunity to get a job in the future when I finish my education. And I will continue to learn Chinese and maybe that will give me a job where I can work with companies that do business in China or maybe a job in China.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in China?
Cecilie: My piece of advice for those who are traveling to China for interning is “Make sure your visa is the absolute right one and that I last for the whole period”. I was told that I could only get 3 months (apparently it is different for each country, I don’t know) but I needed 4 month and 2 weeks. But my host told me no worries we will just prolong it when you are in China it is possible or you will just take a short trip to Hong Kong. Here came my biggest mistake, because China apparently changed the rules regarding visas while I was there and they did it twice. But I got a new one without leaving the country, but it was a hard fight. So be sure to have the visa for the whole period.
And be open to the new people you meet they will make your stay more amazing and interesting.