Alumni Spotlight: Sameer Choglay

Sameer Choglay is a 24 year old male biomedical sciences graduate from London. Having worked for a pharmaceutical company for over 2 years he decided to undertake an internship in a hospital in China in order to gain work experience in a medical field, experience a new culture and find a career path he'd like to follow.

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Did you run into a language barrier? Did you ever think you knew more/less of the language?

Sameer: Prior to arriving to China the only Chinese words I knew were "hello" and "thank you". For some reason I was under the impression that English would be fairly common in China. However, on my first night when I was feeling hungry, I realised this wasn't the case as many restaurants in my area had no English in the menus.

My first few weeks involved a lot of bad Chinese, miming and hand gestures in order to do something do so simple as to order food. This language barrier pushed me harder to learn the language in order to be able to express myself.

What did ImmerQi do for you and what did you need to do on your own?

Sameer: ImmerQi were, on the whole, very friendly and helpful. If there was anything I needed from general questions about life in China to specific problems about handling issues regarding my host company if any arose.

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However, even though I had help at hand I felt some issues I should tackle myself such as smaller problems with room mates and accommodation. All the while I knew ImmerQi were always at hand had I needed them.

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

Sameer: I have tried so many new and exciting foods since arriving in China so it's hard to pick just one. I especially like baozi, I feel like I can eat them for days and it can be quite diverse in terms of fillings.

What surprised me is how popular it is in China but for some reason still uncommon in England. There should definitely more places serving baozi in my hometown!

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Do you think your program changed you as a person?

Sameer: Without a doubt I would answer this question with a resounding 'yes'. My intentions for embarking on this internship were for career aspirations and everything else was peripheral.

However, moving across the world to experience a completely different culture, language and mindset and how overcame these obstacles by working and making a real effort to integrate in to society have definitely changed me as a person. These issues are not a problem for me in my home country and me moving abroad has made me opened my mind what I'm capable of doing.