What made this intern abroad experience unique and special?
Maj: The culture differences and the people in it! I chose to intern in China because I knew I wanted to work outside of Denmark for a few years when I'm done with my studies. Therefore I knew I wanted to take my internship outside of Denmark. Right now China is the place to be if you want to do something business related.
I love traveling and am a bit of a travel-holic! I love seeing new cultures, living like the locals, meeting new people, etc. Thus, I found it exciting to live in a country as different from Danish culture as possible, to learn a culture that is so different from what I'm used to. These things have definately made this experience both unique and special. Also, all the people I met in China! Without them it wouldn’t have been the same at all; I found friends for life.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Maj: When I left Denmark, my grandma told me that I wouldn’t be the same person when I come back as I was when I left. I didn't believe her. I've traveled a lot in the past, so why should this particular experience change me?
Well she was right! To live in a country on the other side of the world where you can't read or talk the language had made me much more independent and grown up. I found that Denmark is too small, and so I decided to take my master degree outside of Denmark - a big step that’s gonna impact my future in many ways. But the world is full of opportunities; grab them and just DO IT!
What is one piece of advice you'd give future ImmerQi students?
Maj: Realize that you WILL have days where you think everything sucks and you just miss home! Don´t lock yourself in at home on these days. Go out! Be open-minded and meet new people - it's easy to meet people in Shanghai because there are many just like you in this city. Another thing to remember is that some days you will think that what you're doing in your job as an intern has nothing to with what you've studied at school. The more you are willing to do with a smile, the greater tasks you will get!
Describe your most meaningful souvenir and why you love it?
Maj: My most meaningful souvenir is the Books of Mao Tse-Tung that I got from an old Chinese man, where he wrote a letter to me inside the front cover. I was sitting on a café working with my computer when this old man came up to me. We started talking about everything, and after that he gave me that book. He believed that it was important for me to write, somehow it's one of my greatest memories of meeting the locals and also a great memory of China.
Do you feel you got a chance to see the city from a local's perspective?
Maj: Even though my company is a Western company with only one Chinese person in it, I think I managed to see the city from a local's perspective. One of the greatest things about traveling with ImmerQi is that you have your own Chinese guide ready to help you with whatever you need. When eating dinner with them, you learn a bit about how they see things and I love that.
Did you run into a language barrier? Did you ever think you knew more/less of the language?
Maj: Chinese is a difficult language and no matter how hard you try you will never learn it all in 3 months. In my time in China, I ran into a lot of language barriers and felt really frustrated! But if you know some basic words and have Google translate with you, you can manage to get around. There is luckily many people who know English in Shanghai.