Five and a half months ago, I made my way to the office for the first time – ridiculously early – and sat down at my desk in the IC Chengdu office. I was really quite nervous as this was the first time I have worked in an office environment, but my colleagues were all very friendly and helpful. I admit I felt quite overwhelmed in my first week, there were so many new faces, so many tasks and programmes to familiarise myself with. There was also my jetlag to deal with and the fact that I didn’t like spicy food (and almost everything in Chengdu is at least a little spicy).
Nevertheless, day after day, I grew more comfortable in my role and in what I had to do. I began exploring the city with the other interns as well and saw and experienced numerous interesting sites in and around Chengdu. The most memorable places were of course the Giant Panda Base and Emei Mountain (see my account on that here).
The food has also been quite a journey for me. As I said, I could not eat any spicy food when I first arrived. Now, five months later, I am enjoying my dishes drowned in red chilli sauce and sprinkled with Sichuan peppercorns. I never knew it was possible to train your taste-buds!
I have met amazing people during my short time here, have made friends for life and I admit, despite the fog, I’ve fallen in love with this ever-changing city. I will miss my colleagues, I will miss the food, I think I will even miss the smog!
But it doesn’t end here! Though my internship is over, my time with IC is not – I’m staying on board to take on the role as Qingdao branch office manager! I am extremely excited to have been given this opportunity and I can’t wait to start my new adventures in Qingdao starting from April.
It has been fun, challenging, and most of all rewarding to intern with IC and I look forward to coming back, meeting new people, visiting new places and trying new foods. It is an adventure I would recommend to anyone and I hope to be able to welcome many more students and graduates to China, and make sure they have an amazing time in this magical country!
Kick start your career with an internhsip in Qingdao, Zhuhai or Chengdu and join in the adventure! Apply Now!
Back in 2012 when I was first in Chengdu, I had the chance to experience my first Spring Festival in China. After the first semester of my studies finished, I had a long period of time to travel around but as my friend was coming to visit me, I decided to stay put in Chengdu.
The Spring Festival was approaching and you could see quite a lot the people leaving Chengdu to go back to their hometown to celebrate the festival. As the streets of Chengdu were emptying we came to the conclusion that there would be no reason to spend Spring Festival in the city, so we decided to spend it elsewhere. We wanted something different but somewhere that wasn’t too far, something that would be an unforgettable experience for all of us. My friend suggested Emei Mountain because she heard that the sunrise was amazing. So that was it, the decision was made, we would spend Spring Festival at the top of a mountain!
Two nights were booked and we were excited about our adventure to Emei Mountain. To prepare for our travels we bought snacks, fruit, water and some instant noodles. We also bought some heated pads that help keep you warm. If your feet are prone to the cold like mine, the heated pads that are made to fit nicely inside your shoes will do wonders for your toes!
Our first day was spent travelling and trekking up Emei. When we arrived at the bottom of Emei, we purchased a bamboo stick and some ice grips each to help us with the trek. We then took another bus up to take us part way up the mountain. On the way we could see the weather changing drastically, snow started to appear on the roads and we felt like our life was in danger because the roads were so narrow and close to the edge of the mountain. Nevertheless, we made it safely and arrived at our destination to a completely white covered mountain. We then made our own way up to our hotel and trekked for what felt like eternity.
Our second day started early as the main reason for going to Emei was to see the sunrise, but to our disappointment as we were making our way to the top, we could see the skies were not clear enough that day. But whilst we were there we did manage to take some great photos including the Golden Buddha. That morning we had also decided to shorten our visit for several different reasons. But before making our way home we had to make a detour to a different part of the mountain to do some skiing!
Although we were unable to see the sunrise, the trip to Emei was still unforgettable in so many different ways. Just to name a few, the scenery was of course amazing but also funny memories that we were able to take home with us such as the management of the hotel refusing to give us extra blankets and shutting the door in angrily our faces, and the time when we asked the ski instructor for advice on skiing (it was our first time), his response was ‘Go with your guts!’.
So apply for an internship in China now. In your free time you can travel to many different places and have your own memorable experiences!
It was one of my last weekends here in China and my host-family planned to go to Emei Shan – Unesco world heritage since 1996 – to show me the beautiful view on top of the mountain.The journey began on Saturday morning at 6 o´clock. We took the bus to get to the city right next to the mountain. Quite early but mei you shijian (no time) because we only had one day to climb up.
Three hours later we arrived at our hotel room which I shared with my Chinese family. Kind of an adventure I thought, but fun nevertheless…
While having a walk we got to a beautiful forest area with hidden temples. One of them – quite interesting and something have never seen before – was run only by female Buddhists.
It took me a while to adjust to the walking speed of my family because my host-mum loved taking photos – of everything and everybody all the time!
So at the end of the day we were exhausted, but still had enough time and energy for delicious Chinese BBQ. It only cost us 16 RMB for about 30 various sticks. One of the things which makes me love China. Well fed and satisfied we fell asleep early as we had to get up again at 6 am the next morning to conquer Emei Mountain.
Because my family isn´t that sporty we decided to take the comfy way: Bus and cable car up to the top! It took us 3 hours anyway…
But even during those few steps we had to take, we saw some cheeky monkeys taking food from tourists, beautiful valleys and a lot of other Chinese people who all tried to catch a photo with me… No worries, I got used to that!
Finally we arrived at the golden summit and got to see the bluest sky – including a sea of clouds – you can only imagine, leaving the Chinese pollution and fog right behind us!
It was so cold that we only could take pictures with gloves on to catch every moment of that perfect scenery. For example, the golden Buddha surrounded by dozen of monks praying for healthiness, money and a long life.
We walked around and took pictures as not to forget a single corner of that beautiful area. And of course we had around 20 kg of snacks, soups, noodles and sweets to kill for lunch – which we enjoyed under the sun we hadn’t seen back in Chengdu for the last few days.
But unfortunately we only had two hours up on the mountain before taking the same way back home!
The next time I definitely would conquer that mountain by climbing…
Bye Bye Emei!
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