Browse our testimonials from Western Sydney University students and read about their time in Dalian – the destination, homestay experience, internship, cultural differences and support from InternChina.
Their program was funded by The New Colombo Plan.Spending five weeks in Dalian was an extraordinary and eventful experience that I probably would do all over again. Sound crazy? It definitely was – but it was an experience that was challenging in so many cool and fun ways and completely out of the norm compared to back home.
The weekly mandarin classes helped me learn key words and phrases to get me through day to day life. I also got to practice mandarin every day during my internship program.
My internship experience provided me the opportunity to immerse myself and gain an insight into the Chinese business culture through the helpful guidance of my supervisor.
The friends that I made on this trip are people I now call family and ones to last a life time.
I was able to meet with other interns who came from all different countries around the world which made my experience in Dalian so much more thrilling and exciting. We spent countless nights together enjoying the night life of the city in either restaurants, bars,
karaoke or just simply exploring the wonderful streets and markets.
One of my highlights was visiting a city called Dandong which is on the border of North Korea and is also where the Great Wall begins from East of China. That day we toured on a boat in a river which separated China on one side and North Korea on the other. We then
climbed the great wall and took some breath-taking pictures of both China and North Korea.
During the five weeks I was able to learn a new language, explore a beautiful city, make new friends, immerse myself in Chinese business, try new foods (that I will sadly miss), visit other great cities and create long lasting memories that will never be forgotten.
Thank you Dalian and InternChina for the wonderful and unforgettable experience.Unsure of what to expect prior to departure I was naturally nervous about living in a country had never anticipated visiting with a family I had never met, working in a company I knew little about. It took only a couple of days for me to realise how lucky I was and how great the coming weeks would be. My homestay family were extremely hospitable and welcoming showing genuine interest in my life back at home while sharing their own with me. Homecooked meals, ping-pong, meeting relatives and sightseeing where commonly on the agenda keeping me very busy throughout the week as I attended weekly Chinese classes and social events catered by InternChina. The role at my internship left me feeling like a travel blogger as I visited restaurants, parks and sporting events writing about them and interviewing partners to help provide a guided experience of Dalian for foreigners. I was thrown into situations which helped expand my preconceived skill set as our company hosted guided tours of new cities visiting historical landmarks informing our customers as we travelled. Because InternChina attracts students from all over the world it was great to make new friends overseas and connections that will prove useful in the future. The dining, nightlife and KTV across Dalian provided endless entertainment for me and all the friends I made along the way. Months after returning, I am still missing Dalian greatly and cannot wait to visit this beautiful city once more.Before I started my homestay, I was pretty nervous. I’ve never stayed at a homestay before, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. When Jasmine, one of the coordinators for Intern China (who ended up becoming a good friend of mine) told me that I would be staying with a mother and her eight-year-old daughter, “Jia Jia” ( 佳佳 ) I became more excited. I’m a Visual Communication student but I also work part time at an after school care, so I have experience interacting with children.
The first day I met Jennifer and her daughter, I felt nervous. Jennifer was immensely helpful and she helped me carry my luggage to her car. She then took me to a Westernised restaurant where the three of us shared some Italian food. We got to know each other over the dinner and shortly, she introduced me to my room. It was spacious and lovely. I really enjoyed my room as there was plenty of sun light always coming in and had my own desk to work at.
Jennifer was incredibly kind throughout the whole experience. Although she was busy as she is a manager at a European-Chinese company, she would always make an effort to ensure that I was comfortable and enjoyed my stay. Jennifer would often take her daughter and I out to dinner almost every night and I was able to try a variety of different cuisines, particularly “Si Chuan” dinners, which I came to like and now that I am back in Australia, I really miss it as meals were often hot and spicy. She also cooked me “congee” often, which is a traditional Chinese meal made of rice, with a texture similar to porridge. As I had an internship to go to throughout the day and several events during the evenings/nights with other interns, it was sometimes difficult to make time to properly get to know Jennifer. However, going to dinner with Jennifer a few times a week made it easier to connect with her and her daughter. There was a park where they lived. I’m still a child at heart and enjoy the park, so sometimes I would take Jia Jia there and we would play on the swings and horizontal bars.
I was also able to celebrate Jia Jia’s 9th birthday with her, her best friends and Jennifer at a Japanese restaurant at the Pavilion, known as the “柏威年” -a luxurious shopping mall. I also ended up getting really sick with a fever and flu that lasted for about a week. Jennifer took me to see a Chinese doctor two times that week, to get “cupping therapy” and acupuncture. She also gave me Chinese herbal medicine, which I felt really helped. Looking back, I actually do not mind that I became so sick because I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation of Chinese medicine. Going through the sickness also allowed me to appreciate how much time Jennifer took out of her schedule to make sure that I was okay and she never complained about it.
Overall, my experience with homestay has been extraordinary and Jennifer and her daughter always have a place in my heart. They said they were planning to come to Australia in the future and I told them I would happily show them around. I am an only child and I’m glad I was able to experience what it was like to have a little sister for a month. Jennifer stuck by me literally through sickness and health. I will never forget Jennifer and her daughter. I’ve also been taking mandarin classes and China was a country I have been wanting to go to for a while. I was able to practice my Mandarin and it has improved significantly and Jennifer was also able to practice her English too. The day before I left Dalian, we had dinner together at one of my favourite restaurants known as “The tree” at the pavilion. Going to China was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I am grateful for all the people I have met including my homestay family, the staff and the other interns from InternChina and that I was able to experience so much in a short amount of time with everyone, including my Australian friends from Western Sydney University. On top of the homestay, I really enjoyed my internship (Honestly, enjoyed is such an understatement. I absolutely loved it!) I am so grateful for my trip and I cannot wait to see more of the world.After 5 weeks in China I’ve learned a lot of things. One of these things is that it is possible to survive the streets, shops and restaurants merely by pointing at pictures and using translators. However, to enrich the experience I’d strongly recommend doing basic Chinese languages just because of how helpful and fun they have been for me. There is also a strangely comforting feeling when you can understand even just a few words of what people passing by are saying. All the Australian interns who arrived in Dalian have been lucky enough to attend language classes at the Youhou Panda Chinese Learning School. Our classes run on Mondays at 9 am for three hours, and have the same extremely friendly and laid back vibe that we Australians love. We get plenty of breaks and can ask questions whenever we want. Our first lesson was purely focused on pronunciation because of the difficulty most people find with just saying basic Chinese words in a way that people can actually understand. Over several lessons, we started to build up small vocabularies by learning the names for foods, countries and numbers among other topics. In the last few lessons we have learned how to construct basic sentences. However, the most important features of these classes are the basic phrases that can be used in real life conversations and scenarios in China. These may seem trivial but just being able to tell your cab driver where you’re from or ask them how their day is going makes the entire trip seem a little more like home. I’ve recently purchased a language book from the school and intend to keep up my learning when I get back!As apart of our internship with InternChina we were invited to attend a business forum hosted by International Entrepreneurship Corridor (IEC) Dalian. This event was designed to give an insight to the support systems are in place in China, namely Dalian, for starting up entrepreneurial businesses as well as providing some case study examples of successful entrepreneurial business models. Following this we had the opportunity to partake in a Q & A panel and network after the session finished. I should disclaimer right now that I have no interest in establishing my own business here in China or anywhere else in the world, I have other career goals in mind, however, I couldn’t help but be totally intrigued, I really wanted to understand the business framework in China compared to my home country Australia.
The first session was presented by Dr Zain Farooq, Co-Founder of IEC, he provided an insight into IEC and the opportunities it provides to foreigners wanting to establish themselves into the Chinese market. He additionally discussed opportunities and some of the challenges that are expected to be faced when entering the Chinese market. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the support that was provided by IEC and how welcoming local districts were at foreigners establishing businesses locally – although it makes sense if it means locals get employed from it.
The next two sessions were the case study examples of current expat entrepreneurs in Dalian, the first of these was by Matthias Kistler. Matthias is the Founder and Managing Director of ECTD Group which basically is a company with multiple ventures within it, such as beer imports, flooring business and consultancy. Prior to him explaining this he took us through his journey, which in my honest opinion I believe was of more value as it gave us an insight into the uphill battle that one may need to push through to be successful. I gained from this that you should never lose sight of your dream goal, regardless to the obstacles along the way, if you work hard at it you can achieve it! It was also refreshing hearing that what might seen like a devastating moment at that point of time, it will become a value lesson for future endeavours. The second case study was a presentation on a innovative newly developed app W@PP – We Are Party People – which is a social media type app connecting people to various nightlife establishments and events. This was co-delivered by Dr Zain Farooq and Freddie Kalongi, they gave us the background behind why it was developed and the timeline to get it from idea to BETA version.
Wrapping up the night was the Q & A Panel and the networking session, this is where I bloomed. My eager questions were setting the scene about the intricate details of businesses starting up and developing in Dalian China.
Such a worthy event to attend, even if it’s just to pique your interest!Before signing up to complete my internship with InternChina, I had no idea about Dalian. You could say I was pretty sheltered from the globalised development of the city and all the western companies establishing themselves in the local Dalian area. However, this changed (perhaps I’m still a little sheltered though) thanks to InternChina. On one of our activity days we were able to explore ‘behind the scenes’ one particular company Eldor Corporation.
For those who are like me, that is, naïve and uncultured in the vast world of global businesses, Eldor is an Italian company that produces ignition systems, electronic control units and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. They originally established themselves on the market in 1972 developing transformers for TV units, however, in the mid-90s they predicted that these units would be phased out due to technology advancements, so naturally they did what any smart business would, they invested heavily into research and development, which lead to them transitioning out of TV units and into the automotive industry – apparently this is a logical transition, something to do with the coil wrapping skills (I just smiled and nodded, I don’t see the similarity of cars and TVs but hey I’m a business student).
The site tour started with a presentation on the company, giving us background knowledge of Eldor and what they stand for, plus they gave us an amazing insight to their impressive operations, seriously they are a well-oiled machine, they would be a great case study for ‘how to business right’! After this insight we had the opportunity to see upfront and personal the manufacturing plant, in action! From start to finish we were able to witness and have each stage explained to us. Personally, I have been in plant tours before but none where I was able to be so up close to see each moving part of the process.
All my preconceived judgements were totally wiped, operational processes that are in place ensure efficiency, and should there be a ‘cog’ in the production line that drags down the assembly line then it is analysed and rectified. I was equal parts impressed and moved that they depict transparency, accountability, gender equality (yes I am a feminist, I’m all about equality) and they focus on their environmental impact. Furthermore, the staff have all occupational health and safety requirements catered for and they are provided with a gym and a basketball court – legit can I work for them??
They have a 3 pillar approach dream, passion and technology and detailed company mission, vision and values which is obviously more than just for show (unlike a number of other companies, personal opinion of course). It is genuinely impressive when you see a company’s approach not only displayed as words but also through their actions. It is easy to see why they have received so many rewards and have over 50% market share in Europe and 22% globally. Did I mention in 2015 they transition to an industrial model that led to zero defects with their products – kind of reassuring when their products are going into our cars!
Excellence is an art won by training and habitation… We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an art but a habit.
-Aristotle- (a quote that Eldor have in the business framework)Hello from China! A few days ago, on the 25th of June five of us were lucky enough to attend a Chinese calligraphy class. We had finished a big lunch and wondered up to the very top of a beautiful thirty story building. Once we were on the 29th level we entered the school and took a set of stairs even higher to a room that overlooked Dalian’s busy streets. Our teacher proceeded to provide a background on the history and evolution of Chinese characters. Following this, she brought out a cover for the table and laid out a large piece of paper for each of us. We were shown the correct way to hold the brush, vertically between your ring and middle fingers, while also being shown how to turn water into ink with traditional ink sticks. The next part was very fun as we were all given Chinese names. We were taught the names of the various strokes and the importance of writing them in the correct stroke order. Only then were we allowed to put brush to paper! I’m not very much of an artist but I’d like to think that my final attempt didn’t turn out so badly. We then learnt how to say and write I love you, which I got to take a picture of and send to my parents back home. I’m sure the other interns would agree when I say it’s an experience worth having when in Dalian.
On May 8th 2018 more than 30 representatives from CPAZ, CTC & InternChina visited the Pingsha Experimental Primary School to distribute funds raised at the Come Together Charity Music Festival 2017 and provide care packs to a total of 50 disadvantaged students.
The bursary money totalled 82,500 RMB, meaning over 1500 RMB was raised for each child in need!
This is CPAZ’s 12th year in a row working with families to support the education of those in need in Pingsha, and the 5th year that the CTC – Come Together Charity Music Festival has raised money for CPAZ’s mission. The day started when representatives of CTC and CPAZ distributed a total of 82,500 RMB to 50 local children in need.
The bursary for each child was 1,500 RMB, along with a care package which including a backpack and school supplies. Afterwards, representatives split into groups to visit some of the families who receive the bursary.
Come Together Community
Come Together Community (CTC) is made up of a collection of like-minded fellows who care about the community, helping out, and making a difference. The founders of CTC have collectively lived in Zhuhai and China for over 40 years, and consider Zhuhai home.
InternChina is a proud sponsor of CTC, and also one of the official organisers of CTC’s annual charity music festival each year, Come Together. The aim of the NGO is to help people in Zhuhai by uniting the expat and local communities to fundraise for charitable causes and local philanthropies.
Come Together Music Festival
In November 2017, the 6th annual Come Together Charity Music Festival was held. It was an extremely successful event, with a total of 900+ people attending and raising a total of 255,000 RMB. The event has volunteers, bands and sponsor work alongside food and beverage vendors, the schools, the venue and more local groups to raise money for local children in need.
As CTC firmly believes transparency is of utmost importance, you can view all the income and expenses of the Come Together Music Festival 2017 here to see how they got the total amount of 255,000 RMB.
The Charity Promotion Association of Zhuhai (CPAZ) is a registered CSO (Civil Society Organisation) in China. They work to promote social activism and public welfare with the aim of providing compassionate assistance to vulnerable sectors of society. They operate a range of projects with the aim of helping financially destitute, disadvantaged people and particularly young students living as orphans or with single parents.
Want to experience charity events like these yourself? APPLY NOW!
At age seventeen, I was awarded a one-year scholarship to study in Tianjin, a two-tier city around 100km from Beijing. Five years later and here I am, my fourth time in China, and interning in a brand new city, Qingdao.
Tianjin was an amazing place to live and is where my true appreciation and understanding of Chinese culture developed. After my Tianjin experience, how could I turn down another opportunity to live in another fast-developing tier two city? Even though they are more than 500 km apart, I have already noticed some similarities between the two cities.
Tianjin and Qingdao, throughout history and up until now, are very important treaty ports. This meant that in the past they were very desirable to foreign powers. The cities are unique as there still remain numerous European-style buildings, such as churches and villas, which stand as legacies from the time of foreign concessions during the Qing dynasty. A direct contrast to the new modern buildings found in every Chinese city, they are an absolute must see when visiting either city!
In true Chinese style, food culture is huge in Qingdao and Tianjin. Due to proximity to the sea, the seafood in both cities is particularly fresh and delicious. A must try Qingdao dish is spicy clams (蛤蜊), which are pronounced as géli in standard Putonghua but in local Qingdao Hua are pronounced gála. Although Tianjin is known for its seafood, Goubuli Baozi (狗不理包子) and “Cat can’t smell” dumplings (猫不闻饺子) are also some well-known delicious dishes.
Before I arrived in Qingdao, I was under the impression that Qingdao locals would have a southern accent. I realised very quickly that this was not the case as the accent is just as northern sounding as it is in Tianjin, with plenty of er’s(儿)! Tianjin was the perfect environment to not only learn Pǔtōnghuà, but also the local dialect (天津话). The locals were always enthusiastic and patient with me as I bumbled my way through sentences in my early days of learning Chinese. The locals also became especially excited whenever I tried out some Tianjin Hua. For example, instead of saying hen(很 )for very, locals will say bèr(倍儿). Qingdao also has its own dialect (青岛话). For instance. here they pronounce hē（喝）, meaning to drink, as hā. So, it’s dōuhāshui!
As much as Tianjin will always be my home in China, Qingdao is rapidly becoming my Chinese home away from home! I can’t wait to see what else Qingdao has to offer!
Tempted by the two-tier city life? Join us! We have branches in four fantastic tier two cities!
Although Christmas in Qingdao is great fun with its Christmas Markets and bright festive lights, one can not help but think of those warm sunny days when the Qingdao Wind wasn’t quite so nail-biting cold! Therefore, if you have a couple of days to take off from your internship, then I would recommend heading down to the Yunnan Province to feel the warmth of the sun again!
After spending a fantastic 5 day Christmas vacation in Kunming and Lijiang. I have put together an action-packed 5-7-day itinerary plan to maximise your holiday:
Day 1: Travelling to Kunming
There are cheap flights from Qingdao to Kunming which can take up to 3-5 hours . Depending on the time you arrive, you can grab a taxi or the airport shuttle bus (25 RMB) to the city centre. Kunming is full of delicious restaurants, and while you are there I would recommend trying these local dishes:
Day 2: The Stone Forest
Some say that heading to Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest is a waste of a trip! The stone forest is a spectacular set of limestone pillars which look like petrified trees! They are part of the world heritage site and is representative of south China’s Karst landscape.
According to legend, the forest is the birthplace of Ashima (阿诗玛), a beautiful girl of the Yi people. After falling in love she was forbidden to marry her chosen suitor, and instead turned into a stone in the forest that still bears her name.
There are tour buses which run frequently daily to the Stone Forest, it takes about 2 hours and costs around 25RMB each way.
Day 3: Yunnan Nationalities Kunming, Guandu Ancient Town and Overnight Train
The Yunnan Nationalities Kunming is a must see! With a student card it costs around 90 RMB, and you can learn about the different cultures and 55 nationalities. You also have a chance to ride an elephant, watch performers and dress up in traditional costumes.
If you have time in the afternoon, visit the Guandu Ancient Town. It only takes about an hour to look around, but it is great fun to watch the locals sing and dance. There are lots of souvenirs, interesting buys, good food and snacks in a nice old architectural environment!
At around 9.30pm, take the overnight train to Lijiang. It is great fun especially if you are in a group together! I would recommend getting the soft sleeper bunk beds which costs around 260RMB, although it’s little bit more that other bunks, you are guaranteed a much better sleep! (Saying that, let’s hope you don’t have a baby with a fever in your carriage apartment like we did!)
Day 4: Lijiang Old Town
When you arrive in Lijiang the next day, although there are many fantastic hostels in the Old Town, I cannot recommend the October Inn enough! This hostel is just for international students,the manager Tommy speaks very good English, and I would recommend eating a home-cooked meal with the other guests around the cosy fireplace.
Make sure to go explore the Old Town and the Green lake (Tommy will give recommendations and tips on how to avoid paying tourist fares!) For the evening activities, there are some great bars in the area to go and visit!
Day 5: Tiger Leaping Gorge
Get up early the next day! We enjoyed Tommy’s amazing scrambled eggs with yak butter before boarding the bus for Tiger Leaping Gorge. For more information about this amazing 2-day hike, check out this blog.
As the route is popular, you will begin the walk with a bunch of people of all different ages and backgrounds. The start of the walk flies by as you hear stories of their own experiences and adventures in China. By the time you arrive at the Half-Way hostel, after 6 hours of climbing, battling the 28 turns, and crossing waterfalls, there is a high chance you will have bonded with your fellow hikers!
The Half-Way hostel not only has great food but spectacular views from the hostel dorms. This is where we spent Christmas Eve!
Day 6: The Descent
The next day, you will begin a 2-hour descent down the mountain to Tina’s hostel where your luggage has been kept. If you have time, I would recommend going down the to see the Gorge, before the bus departs back to Lijiang at 15:30. This walk takes approximately 2 hours, it is very beautiful and a cool opportunity to hear the extraordinary loud roar of the river and to climb up steep ladders!
Option: If you have an extra day or so, I would suggest boarding the bus from Tina’s to the Shangri-La area. From there one can either return to Lijiang or travel a little further north and catch a flight back from Dujing Airport. This region reflects the scenery without incurring the cost of entering Tibet!
Once back in Lijiang, take the overnight train back to Kunming. If you are pushed for time, you can take a flight from Lijiang to Qingdao, however, these flights are expensive and aren’t direct.
I can not recommend this trip enough! Even for a short time, it was great to travel to a different Chinese province to experience a different climate, culture and food. If my pictures don’t convince you, then have a look at the warm average temperature for December and January!
Do you feel inspired to travel from Qingdao to Yunnan? Apply now!
InternChina – More than just an internship!
You all know our slogan, but what does it really means and implies for you? Weekly dinners, activities and 24/7 support are part of the answer !
I’ve been interning at InternChina for almost 2 months now, so I’ll make things more clear for you !
Not only you’ll have the chance to experience China and its business environment during your programme here, but you’ll be able to experience numerous and unique things in Zhuhai. Our InternChina team organise dinners and activities every week for your well being and entertainment ! Also it enables us to know you on a deeper level, know your preferences, make your stay in this new country as comfortable as possible and give you the opportunity to meet lovely people from all other the world ! If you wish to travel, we have a lot of amazing destinations we can help you visit that aren’t too far from Zhuhai.
Organizing dinners, activities and trips for our participants is part of my job as a Zhuhai office intern.
Read this blog and you’ll know what you can expect from our team, what you can do and explore in the city. By the end of it, you’ll feel like a Zhuhai local.
Of course if you have any suggestions of activities or trips around Zhuhai, let one of our InternChina team know about it ! We’ll do our best to fulfill your wishes !
Every week we organise one of our famous “Thursday Dinners.”
This is a social event, to share a group meal, discover new Asian cuisine and talk about our week! We understand that you are students, so don’t worry- we try to make these dinners affordable! Usually, we try to avoid expensive restaurants, but they are always tasty. We usually stick to a budget of 50RMB per person, and sometimes this is even less.
How do we organise these dinners? Usually we make a post on our official Zhuhai InternChina WeChat account, or we post in our IC Zhuhai group chat.
We’ll give you some more details about the restaurant, the cuisine, the food, the time and the location of the dinner. If you’re interested in coming along, then simply join the dinner group by scanning the QR code provided! This helps us know how many people want to come along, so we can book a table accordingly. During the summer, we can have more than 30 people for dinner!
This is our job to organise this, all you need to do is scan the QR code and join! Couldn’t be easier !
After a week hard work during your internship, we know that you’ll totally want to enjoy some fun activities and trips during the weekend. With all the possibilities that the city offers, you’ll never get bored in Zhuhai. IC also organize a lot of activities and trips around Zhuhai as we know that exploring China and its culture elsewhere than Zhuhai is a must.
We try to organise a new activity every weekend, and just like the dinners, we try to make sure these activities are all affordable so you can take part in as much as you can.
What has Zhuhai to offer ? There are lots of fun tourist activities,such as the Lover’s Road, the Fisher girl, Jida Beach, the Chimelong aquarium, the Opera, the Gongbei underground market and the numerous temples. We also want to make sure you see the natural beauty in Zhuhai! Outdoor activities such as exploring Zhuhai’s islands, hiking to a waterfall, archery, paint-balling are always popular, especially during the summer.
We also want you to learn about the Chinese culture while you are here, so we organise cultural activities such as calligraphy classes, Chinese cooking lessons, tea ceremonies, or even Tai Chi lessons!
Following seasons, you may also get to attend the Cixi Festival in August, or some opening ceremonies!
You will definitely never be bored, with plenty of activities available for you to explore the city, have fun, and network!
We also try to organise some weekend trips for you to discover other cities in China.
Recently, we organised a weekend trip to Tangkou- listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites ! In the past we have also organised trips to Beijing, Hezhou, Shanghai, and Yangshuo… the possibilities are endless!
For any weekend trips we organise, we will provide you with a detailed schedule so you can make the most of your time in each city! We will also let you know how much each trip will cost, and this will include your transport, accommodation and activities for the weekend. It will cost more than a regular Saturday Event, but it is definitely worth going and exploring more of China!
Our IC team offers 24/7 support while you are on place, and we are here at every stage of your stay in China – before, during and after !
Upon your arrival, we will pick you up from the airport or ferry port and take you to your accommodation (apartment or a homestay). We’ll also provide you with an orientation to help you understand Chinese culture, and give you some advices about life in Zhuhai.
Your welcome pack will be awaiting you ! It includes a SIM card, travel card, map of the city, and address card and some InternChina goodies! Everything you need to have for your for your debut in China.
Whenever you need us, don’t hesitate to let us know, we’d be happy to help!
Our team on place is also always here to support you! We’ll always have a lot of advices and information to share with you. Moreover, if you feel sick, we will accompany you to the hospital! If you have any other issues, we are here to help if we can!
InternChina’s Favourite Places
When you are new to Zhuhai, and don’t know where to go or what to see, we’re here to propose you some places to go to! Below is a list of our favourite places- you can even impress your colleagues with your Zhuhai knowledge and invite them along!
HuoGongDian 伙工殿 – Try some Hunan food from the North of China ! The Hong Shao Rou (红烧肉) is supposedly Chairman Mao’s favourite dish. This place is a crowd favourite, the food is awesome. Address: 珠海市香洲区石花西路62号(近白莲洞公园) or get off the bus at 伙工殿大厦 (huo gong dian da sha).
The London Lounge – Very popular bar amongst expats. Their Chinese as well as Western staff are always ready to crack a joke and also the Open-Mic sessions every second Thursday are worth checking out! Location: East Coast, Jida
FBB Fresh Burger Bar – A German bar and restaurant located in Jida. Here you can get many Western (especially German) food and drinks ! There’s a wide range of german beer available ! Get off the bus at 水湾头”Shuǐ wān tóu” or just say it to the taxi driver !
GongBei Underground Market – For all of the shopaholics, there is an underground market in 拱北 (Gongbei) where you can get all your branded designer wear for suspiciously cheap prices, as well as a handful of more western companies (H&M, Vera Moda, Only, etc.) in the shopping malls.
I hope these details and pictures convinced you that InternChina has so much more than just an internship to offer you! You’ll never feel alone, and this experience will be unforgettable!
The easiest way to join us is to apply now!
All things come to an end and good things even faster, so does my time in China. It is crazy when I look back on nearly a year that passed, and although I really dislike phrases that are most commonly quoted in situations like this, sometimes we cannot help but use them!
Let us just say, I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. Sad because I must leave a city and people that grew to be my friends and home, happy because I return to my homeland and family.
When I look back on what I experienced, on what I have seen here, felt here, tasted here and gone through here, the impact on me was/is strong. Stronger than I would have thought or guessed in the beginning. When I arrived in February this year in Qingdao, expectations were low. And surprise was therefore even bigger, as I got positively surprised in so many ways!
I have already shared some of these positive experiences in my blogs so far.
I will also never forget my first encounter with the InternChina crew at Mama’s Noodles. I was completely lost and unnecessarily took a cab to get there from the university. The driver just smiled, when we got there I knew why (it was literally 500 meters, and he got his 10 RMB basic charge for only 1 minute of driving). And then I ate the best noodles in my life, joining the first Thursday dinner with meeting the interns and participating first time in the quiz (scored 2 points).
After my time at Qingdao University I started my internship, keen to get some insights in the work of InternChina and keen to use the knowledge I earned over the years in university. After all, I really must say I could do so, and even more.
I got my daily workload but also time to fulfil my own personal goals. If you think now I sat every day at work in front of the computer, then you do not know InternChina. Every Thursday I helped to organise dinner for our participants. Saturday was reserved for trips and activities, which is a task for interns like me to plan and conduct.
With these activities I saw many different and cool things that I otherwise would not have seen. Furthermore, I could show other people activities and places I like to do and share some of my favourites with them, and try to share my experiences and make new ones.
Climbing up the hill to Qingdao-TV tower in 35℃, or having tough times translating at a tea ceremony. With all these out of work experiences, and also living together with other interns, you start to develop a matey feeling which comforts you.
“More than just an internship” is more than true!
Time to Leave China
So now this time of learning living and traveling in China comes to an end. There are uncountable things I will take with me – moments, impressions, experiences, memories. Too much to be able to write them down on a paper when asked, but never forgotten.
Maybe a few years from now something will trigger a flashback from a small impression which then will make me think back to a moment I went through, remembering the people I was with. And suddenly having someone around me asking what it is with me, “because you were silently focusing your eyes somewhere else?!” And you put the memory back in your bag of memories. Where it rests until you take it out once more.
Finally, I just should say the following! Come to China no matter who you are! I will guarantee you will witness two things.
First: The people here are the same as everywhere else on this planet. No heartless working machines, they have the same feelings, fears and hopes that we have!
Second: China will surprise you not only once! Be it food, be it daily life or the people. You cannot be prepared. But this is also what makes it so appealing to go abroad.
One of my most impregnable memories
Nearly everyone has seen Chinese calligraphy in their lifetime. One of these framed “paintings” that are hanging from the walls of living rooms of this world. Mostly in flats of people that have some connection with Asia. However, most people don’t know what the beautiful looking characters stand for or their meaning. But this doesn’t really matter, does it? In fact, some of the drawings may not have any meaning at all, or are not the real deal. Like these Chinese tattoos that mean something like “big pig” or “annoying western dude that payed only 50 bucks for this tattoo”.
But nevertheless, at Qingdao University they provide classes in Chinese calligraphy. As I am interested in arts and drawing, I could not help but register. The first class was chastening, completely in chinese, everyone equipped with a complete set. Containing at least one calligraphy brush, ink, a felt-mat, a small cup for the ink and special paper. I did not have any of the mentioned tools. Also for your information, every child in china that went to school had at least one class in calligraphy. The teacher took this as a reason to politely ask me if I not better want to attend kid’s classes. Translation: “What the heck are you doing here? Get out of this class!”
If someone tells me I can’t do something, it will motivate me to do it! Outright I went out to get the full set of equipment. Some always smiling old lady sold me what i needed. The total package cost about 160 RMB, not too much. Brush and ink are the “expensive” parts, but for your knowledge: you can spend quite a fortune on brushes, depending on the material. Most commonly sheep hair is used, but also fox, badger or Miniver. Depending on the style of the calligraphy different types exist. The ink plays also an important role, it should be of a certain consistency depending on the paper. You can make the ink thinner or thicker by adding water by yourself. Experience is the only teacher to let you master this.
Drawing with my brush
You must follow the order of strokes. The brushwork must always to be according to the regulations. Depending on how you turn your brush your character will have a certain shape. Also depending on the different style of calligraphy you either must draw a character in one go, or the lines should have a certain look. Every single stroke also has a different Name, which I really could not manage to learn. I was happy to be able to properly hold the brush. It is not at all as I thought in the beginning. I thought you just ink your brush and start drawing and that’s it. It needs skill! Slowly I started to understand why it is a highly reputable art in China. People will gather around calligraphy masters and watch them writing. This can be highly satisfying and relaxing.
People will pay a high price to be able to claim one of the calligraphy pieces their own. People honour a 书法家 shū fǎ jiā (Calligraphy master) like a celebrity. In the beginning I smiled at this but the more I got to know about the whole topic the quieter I got. There is a reason why there are museums all over China containing calligraphy from over the centuries. It really is a form of art which takes many years of practice to master. I won’t talk about the whole art and history as well as the different styles that exist, because if I would do so, I would need pages and still not be near to finish this blog.
For traditional calligraphy in China one rule applies: You should not use your left hand to write. But as a lefthanded person I cannot obey this guideline. You might think now being lefthanded would be a disadvantage but it is not. Because some of the strokes are easier for lefthanded because of the stroke direction. The teacher seemed impressed by some of the characters. I had a good time, people would continue to comment on which hand I use for writing. It is the same when people see a colour blind or somoeone wearing glasses, and the come over being like: “what colour does this have to you?” or “how can you read without glasses?” In my case: “wow…you use the left hand to write?” “Wow your gift of observation is impressive!” On one hand annoying yes, on the other hand earned me a trip to a calligraphy exhibition and competition.
Taking part in a “Competition”
The exhibition and competition was one of my early adventures in China. With a few other foreigners we were “shipped” to an elite school outside Qingdao. We gathered in a huge gym. With us hundreds of kids and students and tables with equipment. The National Anthem played then the kids performed dances and choreography. We had to sit in the front and write a short (practiced in advance) sentence to present our skills. With us some other foreign students from another University arrived. They never had a lesson in calligraphy and first time in their life a brush in their hand. Their purpose was to let the competition appear more international. We had to make “snapshot”-pictures with some of the invited calligraphy masters. All of us had to show our great interest in what the calligrapy masters showed us. Some guys even tried to interview me on camera.
Photographers, shouting, a flashlight thunderstorm.People looking at me while I was writing characters with a shivering hand. Standing there and listening to the chinese national Anthem. Going inside this elite school, with fence and guards. And the best part, the journey was about 3 hours, the activity was not even 1. All in all it was kind of akward, but also very cool and a glimpse of the things that would await me in China. I also recieved a nice personal signature stamp, out of marble and with my name engraved. Now I can personally sign my left-hand-writings. And will try to improve my calligraphy skills further, although it is time-consuming. However it will forever stay a remarcable memory for me.
Hello everyone ! My name’s Audrey and I come from Strasbourg, France, and I just graduated with a Bachelor degree in Trade in the European Environment. As part of my studies I already had the opportunity to do an internship in Shanghai in 2015, and this was by far my most memorable and rewarding experience! The idea of going back again to China has been haunting me since, s0 now I’ll be interning in the Zhuhai office for 6 months!
I always had an interest in Asia, I could not explain it, it is just a part of me! My trips to Shanghai made me fall in love even harder. Before I arrived in Zhuhai, I wasn’t stressed at all- I waited for so long after being offered the role that it felt much more like a release to finally arrive! My adrenaline level was at its height when I jumped in the plane and made my way to Zhuhai via Hong Kong and Seoul. At the airport, my roommate and fellow office intern picked me up and brought me home!
Zhuhai so Far
It has been 1 week so far and Zhuhai is better than expected. The people are nice and welcoming, the food is delicious, the views are stunning and the relaxing vibe is amazing! The IC office staff are always keen to help and explain anything I need to know. Although I got overwhelmed in the beginning of my stay, the more time passes by, the more this experience seems like to be the opportunity I needed to move on and find my path. I kind of struggled with English at the start of my stay, but time will help and now I feel more at ease with people. Especially as I can enjoy the nightlife here with people from all over the world!
I hope to :
- Develop my “Guanxi”.
- Acquire new professional competencies through my work within an international team.
- Gain more self-confidence.
- Re-discover and deepen my knowledge of China and its business environment.
- Enjoy the city and its possibilities as well as the local culture.