Hello, my name is Celia Lu, I am the program coordinator at Early Bird. I was very interested in this kind of program when I was at university. I planned to go to France. But I was unable to because of personal reasons. So I came to Early Bird. I love helping people who want come to China and know the Chinese culture.
What position do you hold at Early Bird? What led you to join them?
What aspects of your role at Early Bird Link do you most enjoy?
With the cultural exchange students. Every student is very excited when they come to Beijing. I am so happy they like China. We also give them some suggestions about how to get along well with the family. I am very happy they are able to enjoy life here.
What is your favorite story you've heard of a participant's experience with an Early Bird program?
Every student here knows a word "淘宝(Taobao)". It is Chinese Ebay. Lots of things there are cheap. And they have many choices. So students here like it very much. One girl bought many bags on Taobao before she left China, which made her luggage over weight.
What is one common misconception you've encountered about cultural exchange/internship programs?
The host families sometimes think that the students coming from a Western country can speak English well. Sometimes they treat the students as the teachers of the family. And they hope to practice English at home.
Any tips/insights for someone considering their first cultural exchange or internship program?
Get some information about the new environment and know some cultural differences in advance. It will be very helpful in adjusting to the new culture quickly.