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Yin Yang Music Festival, dancing on the great wall

Yin Yang electronic music festival

Dancing people in front and behind the DJ on the wall
Dancing right on top of the wall thanks to this DJ-desk which was the smallest of the 3 stages but by far the best of the festival in my opinion.

Yin Yang electronic music festival

I am sure you have all seen a festival after movie. While you watch them, shivers are going down your spine. You see these beautiful girls with hot pants, glitter in the face and sunglasses in nighttime. Topless six-pack guys dancing, everything filmed in slow motion. All along with crazy costumes lights and colors with fancy background and stages. Picture it like the open-air version of “Cirque du Soleil”.

People obviously enjoying their time and life. And while you watch this, picture yourself sitting alone on your couch or in the hallway of the university. Suddenly think of how your life sucks because you were not there…this applies to every of these after movies. Be it an electro-, pop-, or metal-festival (of course the colors and background may vary).

Surprise and excitement

If you know this feeling you maybe understand the excitement me and my fellow student went through. We were watching the after movie of last years “yin-yang” festival on the great wall in China. It was all there, face-glitter-girls dancing, sunglasses-guy topless dancing, everyone smiling and being happy and some cool Chinese dude smoking a cigarette, all in slow motion. All accompanied by a powerful beat that seemed to be made only for this video.

 

One of the patios with the camping tents so rounded by small cabins. On the pathway a game of the famous “flunky-ball” is being prepared.

As China is known for its amazing electronic music festivals (this was ironic) we were surprised. But on the spot, we decided to attend this years “yin-yang” festival. After showing the after movie to several other fellow students, many of them joined the quest and the fellowship of “yin-yang” festival. We rent a bus including a driver to get to the location near Beijing approx. 700 km away from Qingdao.

 

The yin-yang sign in the middle of the main stage
The place in front of the main stage. A yin-yang sign in the middle

The journey and arrival

The 8-hour drive was exhausting but forgotten once we were greeted by pounding music. The weather was good and warm and it looked all as it did in the video. Beautiful landscape, round red doors and Grey brick walls classical Chinese roofs and the great wall meandering across the valley. A lot of western people were there but also a bunch of Chinese. We had a hard time to find a free space in one of the many patios to set up our tents. After setting up our “accommodation” we went to the main stage for the opening act. I was looking forward to the crowd of people, slow motion dancing, girls in fancy dresses and sunglasses accompanied by the typical festival guy with baseball hat and tank top. The reality was not at all alike. It was a little disappointing. It seemed not to be that cool, the people were just standing around holding themselves tight on their drinks. But later the evening the better it got and by nighttime everyone was in the “slow-motion mood”. Lights colors a laser show on the castle wall of the great wall all together with us in the middle. And suddenly it changed to be like these after movies.

People in front of the wall and a laceshow dancing
People enjoying the music in the nighttime and front of the wall on the main stage

The festival

When you are in the festival mode you stop caring too much about certain things like sleep, accommodation, weather and hygiene. But you will also have instant comradeship with all the fellow visitors and play “flunkyball” with strangers. As always on festivals, it started raining. But let me tell you the feeling of dancing on the great wall, let me forget even the rain. On the second day it rained like in a shower. After minutes, we were wet to the bone, but all carried on dancing. The girl with glitter and hot pants, the guy with sunglasses, his tiny backpack and tank top and the whole crowd continued until all were dry again. Only from the heat of their bodies. You get the feeling of belonging together for these three days of a festival, sharing the same spirit.

Amazingly all of it in China. I cannot stress enough to you how it was a once in a lifetime experience dancing on the wall in front of this ancient Chinese background. A background that would have been a suitable one for movies like “The house of flying daggers” or “Red Cliff”. After all, and once again China showed its vast number of different facets. And left me back with loads of new impressions.

Near the end of the festival, the wall slowly emptied
After two days of festival a portrait of a cannon and me on the great wall

Leaving

On the last day I walked out the entrance past a couple of older Chinese, guards in security uniforms, they were sitting and smoking, like a link in to the past, observing the visitors leaving. The valley would soon sink back into quietness and peace, until next year when electronic music will peal once again from the valleys hillsides like drums did once. In the after movie a crowd in slow motion with good weather and lighting will convey the feeling of festivals. While we were driving back to Qingdao in nighttime, exhausted from the festival full with memories. I could not help thinking that soon somewhere someone will be sitting and watching a magical after-movie.

 

Comparisons, Cultural, Qingdao Blogs

A British, Afghan intern in China.

A little insight into my life in China…

forbidden city in Beijing
Forbidden City vibes- InternChina

Coming to intern in China was never a daunting prospect for me as I had previously visited China a few times, so it felt almost natural to come back and complete a 3 months’ internship. The only obstacle was trying to persuade my parents to let me travel all the way to Asia on my own again but this time for 3 months rather than a 2-week holiday.

Qingdao
First month interning in Qingdao-InternChina
forbidden city
The doors at the Forbidden city were worthy of taking a selfie against- InternChina

Coming from an Asian background (Afghanistan specifically), one would think it wouldn’t be a huge deal for my parents to accept my decision in wanting to intern in another Asian country. However, knowing I would be living in a city I have never visited before genuinely worried them. I suppose what made them feel comfortable in knowing I was going to be safe was that I would have InternChina to rely on in case I felt in any way unhappy or unsafe. But being in Qingdao, the most dangerous thing I’ve come across these past three months has been trying not to cry whilst eating spicy food. Whereas, if this was London, by 11PM I would question and wonder if I should go home yet so I do not face any dangers that we, women, are constantly told to watch out for. I have had the privilege of travelling to many countries and nowhere makes me feel more safe and protected the way China does.

resort
Infinity pool at a resort in Qingdao- InternChina
great wall of china
Just hanging out on the Great Wall, what did you do on Saturday? -InternChina

Culturally, China is not so different from Central Asian countries like Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. We all have a big tea drinking culture. We enjoy sharing our food. We consider family to be our main priority. But most importantly respect and kindness to be shown to visitors. Chinese culture is so rich and pure that it has allowed me to feel at home so far away from home. I would wholeheartedly recommend interning in China, as you learn about a culture first hand and experience a way of living life very differently to your own.

Italian dinner at our apartment
Italian dinner at our apartment- InternChina

 

When it comes to the business aspects of China, the culture is very different to the Western and Central Asian way of life. Only that in China, networking is incredibly important and making connections with whomever you can is the norm. Also, their work hours are somewhat longer but more laid back, as they take their time to complete a task rather than work to a deadline.

cafe in Qingdao
Business hours in a cool cafe? Always fun -InternChina

Being an intern in InternChina has been interesting as I have been given many different responsibilities which would be deemed too high for an intern in the U.K. We are treated more as colleagues than interns which I think is great, not only for our self confidence but knowing we have the ability to perform as well as an employee. It also helps open doors to our futures because being given tasks we would not normally complete allows us to challenge and stimulate our time. Here’s our intern Joe giving us 6 reasons on why we should intern in China (although I could give you many more reasons as to why you should intern here)!

Red Thingy
Lunchtime at work- InternChina

My final words; yolo, come and experience China.

(check out the IC Instagram and you will understand why people consider China  to be travel goals)

Qingdao branch peeps
With my Qingdao IC team – InternChina

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Qingdao Blogs, Travel, Weekend Trips

Trip to Beijing and the Great Wall

Last week I probably did my last trip during my time here in China. After being to Shanghai during Golden Week and visiting one of the holy mountains of China, Taishan, I definitely wanted to see the capital of China – Beijing.
Before the trip started my good friend Aubry came to Qingdao two days in advance and I had time to show him Qingdao (which has been my home for the past 5 months). I showed him around in our beautiful old part of the city, as well as our nice beaches.

beijing jingshan park
beijing jingshan park

On Thursday our trip to Beijing could finally start. We decided to stay in a hostel called Sanlitun Youth Hostel, which I can really recommend to you, if you want to stay in Beijing for a few days or even a while. It has cheap prices, a warm atmosphere, clean rooms and even offers some nice food – I can definitely recommend you the big Swiss breakfast.. yummy! Besides that, you have a young, open minded and very international audience that we liked to hang out with.

winter great wall
winter great wall

The next day we took a trip to the Great Wall which I have really been looking forward to. It was a great experience to walk up all the way on our own and enjoy the landscape. Also the wall itself was quite impressive. At the end of our walk on the wall we found a part which has not been restored – this is where you can have the nicest of all views!

The following day we started exploring the city a bit more. We visited some of the more famous sights of the city as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. A personal tip here is to go to the Jing Shan Park near the Forbidden City. It is not very much crowded and is a really nice area. If you go up the little hill inside the park you have a great view above the Forbidden city and also the city in general.

eating a Scorpion at the Night Market
Stephan eating a Scorpion at the Night Market

After we explored much more of the city area, we decided to find ourselves a nice place to eat. We found out about Sanlitun village which is a big complex with lots of restaurants and shopping. The place you should not miss if you like some Mexican food is the Cantina Agave. Atmosphere and food there are top notch. Near Sanlitun village is also huge bar street where we had some drinks in various bars.

All in all it has been a nice experience and Beijing is a city that is worth a visit. We had a decent time and I guess we have really been lucky with the weather, as it was sunny all day and there was literally no smog at all. Beijing is a bit more Chinese than Shanghai in a way but is also just as lively. Nothing more to say than – bye bye, Beijing!

 

 Would you like to combine travelling in China with an internship as well? Then apply now!

Cultural, Homestay Experience, InternChina News, Internship Experience, Languages, Qingdao InternChina Events, Summer School, Things To Do in Qingdao, Travel

InternChina Summer School

Hey everyone! It´s me again, Daniel. Just now I am at the end of my 5th week and I want to tell you what happened in the past five weeks in three (!) different cities with the InternChina team and the group of students from my university.
One year ago my university just started a partnership with InternChina. InternChina provides a special program called “Summer School“, including trips and activities in the two biggest Cities in China, Shanghai and Beijing. This is a perfect opportunity not only to learn something about a complete different culture but also to spend an interesting trip during my summer vacation with great people.

Shanghai Skyline

Shanghai

Shanghai, the first city we visited for one week, was a great start for a first experience with Chinese culture. I never travelled outside Europe, so I had no chance to get an impression of a big city with over 23 million inhabitants before. I always complain about Germany’s biggest city and capital, Berlin, and the terrible connection between some places. Although Shanghai is much bigger you can easily reach different places and be on time. Furthermore, Shanghai seems to me as a role model city for many other big cities in China. Impressive Skyscrapers, multicultural and modern and a city which never sleeps (You can do activities 24/7!). And you should not miss the unbelievable view from the Shanghai World Financial Center. It is the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the world!

view from China´s highest building

Beijing

We stayed in Beijing for the second week. It is just a bit smaller than Shanghai but not less impressive. As a very traditional and at the same time modern city there are many old buildings worth seeing from ancient dynasties I could never remind. My personal highlights in and around Beijing were the trip to the Great Wall (impressive!) and the Summer Palace close to the city centre. Nice residence for a lonely emperor!

The Great Wall near to Beijing

After all of us adapted to Chinese food and kind of living in China, we finally arrived in Qingdao at the end of the second week. I am living with a very nice host family close to the centre of the city and I have enjoyed a great time so far.  We then visited the language school for the next two weeks. Hence, we got used to more words than “Nihao“ and “Ganbei“. in the following, our programme was also very diverse as we did so many interesting activities like visiting a tea house (including live ceremony),  enjoyed Kung Fu lessons, made a trip to the Tsingtao Beer Museum – including tasting 😉 – and lots of other stuff. So we never got bored!

Internship in Qingdao

As time is running, my four weeks internship at the InternChina office started this week. I am very excited and I’m looking forward to it. Luckily, I have great guys working in the office who help me whenever it’s necessary. We spend our time together after work and do activities like mountain climbing, rafting, playing soccer, paintball or just have dinner with all InternChina people.

Watertown near Shanghai

All in all, I would recommend this experience to everyone. I am just four weeks here and already got a great impression of the Chinese culture, met so many people and friends and had a great time on weekends.

Would you like to spend a great time in China as well? Then visit our website for more information and apply now!

Before your stay, Internship Experience, Languages

Introduction to New InternChina Member: Stéphanie

Ni Hao everyone, my name is Stéphanie and am one of the new interns at InternChina. I come from Belgium and I’m really excited to be here in Qingdao.

Qingdao's newest intern: Stephanie!

So why am I here in China? Since I was a child, I have had a big interest in China and in the Chinese culture. I always wanted to visit China and the Great Wall. When I had to choose my third language, I jumped on the opportunity and decided to choose Chinese and studied it during my bachelor  at ICHEC Brussels Management School in Brussels. It was definitely very interesting and I learned a lot during the two years. What was particularly interesting was that our Chinese professor was a “real” Chinese; he came form Shanghai and has since been living in Belgium for several years now. He teaches evening classes at ULB for a Master Chinese program for older students.

Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to visit Beijing and the Great Wall too. To walk on the Great Wall was extraordinary.I visited a lot during my stay in Beijing and really felt like I was in another world. Everything was so different, the people’s behaviour, the weather, the smells, the way of living and especially the food. There are so many things I saw during my trip to China, but I knew that visiting one city as a tourist was not enough to discover the authentic China. When I found the advertisement of InternChina in my school I knew that this was a great opportunity, so I decided to apply expecting to learn more about the country and its people. I got a reply soon after and InternChina offered me a Skype interview. Everything went fine and here I am in Qingdao.

When I arrived at the airport after a long journey Rita picked me up (she is the customer relations manager at InternChina Qingdao). She took me to the Marina to eat something and relax until my host mother came back home. I’ve only been here for a few days, so I’m trying to get used to the country and its inhabitant. I just started my first Chinese class here at Qingdao Language School. The school is only five minutes by bus from InternChina office and is easily accessible. The school itself is brand new and very well furnished, with several classrooms which are all spacious. All the teachers are young and enthusiastic; they speak good English and are highly motivated to teach their native language. Looking forward to getting to know Qingdao better and mastering the Chinese language!

Interested in learning Mandarin like Stephanie? Why not come to China? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information.

Cultural, Travel

Trip to Xi’an – Home of the Terracotta Warriors

Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, is one of the oldest cities in China. With more than 3100 years of history, Xi’an was the imperial capital to 13 dynastic periods, and is best known today for the Terracotta Warriors.
When one thinks of China, a couple of things come to mind: The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, The Summer Palace, The Terracotta Warriors… One cannot come all the way to China and not see these wondrous places. Thus, Tess (an Australian friend who lives in Zhuhai), Brigitta (one of the Zhuhai interns) and I have set out to see all of these places before we leave China. First on our list was Xi’an, home of the Terracotta Warriors.

When planning trips throughout China, a lot of planning is required, being students and wanting to get the best possible travel deals, we compared the prices of flying out of Zhuhai and Guangzhou.  It is really easy to get to either of these airports, as there are Zhuhai-airport shuttle busses that leave from downtown, so there is no worry of how to get to the airport. Ctrips is a great website to use when flying around China – the deals are great and they offer an array of departure times.

Having chosen a flight from Guangzhou after work, we only arrived in Xi’an at about 2am. We had chosen a hostel inside the wall, which was recommended to us by Tess’ parents – Xiangzimen Youth Hostel – and it was a mere 60 RMB (7.60€) per person, per night, for a 3-bedroom room. We were expecting the standard hostel, but what we arrived to was nothing short of a hotel! Hidden away on a little street, we arrived at these old-style Chinese double doors, only to enter into a luxurious and truly unique space. There were Chinese trinkets everywhere; bamboo door hangings, terracotta warrior statues, beautiful vases, exotic plants – the works. Everyone spoke English, which is a plus when you arrive at 2 am, exhausted. They also have a variety of arranged trips for their guests.

Source: www.bookings.com

On our first morning, Tess’ dad surprised us with booking a private tour of the Terracotta Warriors for us. We were to be picked up at the hotel in a large van, just for the three of us, and we were feeling very exclusive. First, we were taken to the factory where they create the real Terracotta warriors statues and souvenirs, as they use the clay that was used to make the real Terracotta warriors that is only found on that one mountain. It was special going there because we were introduced to how the warriors were made, and the fact that we were able to buy real terracotta souvenirs.

From there we were taken to see the real Terracotta Warriors. We all read about them and learn about them at school, but one cannot fathom actually seeing them in real life – the burial pit is massive, and row upon row are warriors; 8,000 of them made, each one different from the next.

Built in 210 BC (at 2200 years old) the statues were found smashed up from having had the roof cave in on them. All the statues now that are standing have been put back together. Upon finding them, all of the warriors were completely painted in bright colors, however almost immediately after being dug up from the earth, the paint flaked off.

We also got to meet the farmer that found the warriors. He spends his days signing books (and gets really angry if you try to take a photo of him).

The mountain in which the emperor is buried contains an abundance of jade and gold, and in this region the special black jade can be found. The girls each bought a beautiful black jade bangle that turns dark green in the sunlight.

When we got back to the hostel in the evening, we passed by a board which was advertising a trip to the Music and Dance Opera, a show of the Tang Dynasty music and dances. It is said that the Tang Dynasty (from 618-907) was one of the most glorious and prosperous periods. We quickly decided to join, and again were put in a private bus and taken to the Opera. What we saw was a combination of beautiful musical acts and many beautiful traditional dances.

To add to the many great things that we had discovered about our hostel, turns out it was right on the bar street as well! After the show we decided to take a walk down the lively bar street, picked a bar that looked chill and sat down to people-watch.

We had heard that a great thing to do in Xi’an is to take a bike ride on top of the city wall. Built during the Tang Dynasty, the wall encircles 13,7 km around the city center, and at 700 years old, it is the oldest and best-preserved wall in China. So, although it was 32 degrees and the sun was blazing, we decided we could not miss out on this activity. Apparently, you can only hire the bikes for 100 minutes, so you have to make it around the 13,7 km wall before then. This quickly became the highlight of our trip – we were able to get a top-view of the city around us, as well as to experience biking on China’s most preserved ancient wall. That was a really special experience.

For the remainder of our day, exhausted after the intense bike ride, we walked along the Muslim Quarters of the city. Here, there are many markets that sell interesting trinkets, from wooden masks to silks to delicious sweets. It seemed that there was food at every turn, and so we had to give in and taste some. Unlike the food in Zhuhai, which tends to be spicy, the food in Xi’an was sweet and bursting with interesting flavors. We sat down for the traditional Liang Pi Cold Noodles, Buckwheat Cold Noodles, Stewed Pork Burgers and tofu.

Before having gone to Xi’an, we were told that other than the Terracotta warriors, there was not much to see in Xi’an. Instead, we arrived and found a beautiful and ancient city, packed with exciting people and special foods.

Would you like to travel to beautiful and exotic places in China? Apply now for an internship or send us an email for more information!

 

Cultural, Qingdao InternChina Events

German Summer Business Program

We are pleased to announce that today we will be welcoming 37 German students of all ages from Hochschule Fresenius University of Applied Sciences to participate in the first ever German Summer Business Program in Qingdao, followed by an opportunity to work as an intern in a Chinese business environment.
Arrival and Culture week

When participants arrive, they will be greeted into China by a friendly team to make them instantly feel at home. Welcome packages will be handed out and a shared dinner will be set up to allow them to interact with other people in the same position. To make students feel even more comfortable and to get the most out of their experience, we have arranged a culture week starting the day after their arrival. On the 17th of July the students will spend three days in Shanghai followed by a further three days in Beijing. In Shanghai we will be visiting famous landmarks like the Technical Museum, the Shanghai Museum of Chinese Art – Chenng Hua Miao and opportunities to shop in Nanjing Lu.

InternChina – Shanghai

Then off to Beijing on the 20th to continue the tour of two of the most famous cities in the world.  In Beijing there will be the chance to visit TiananMen Square- the memorial hall of Chairman Mao, stop by some traditional Chinese neighbourhoods known as ‘hutong’ and take a look around the eagerly anticipated Great Wall of China at the Ba Da Ling site.  In the evenings there will be a chance to check out the nightlife of both cities, or if tiredness creeps in from all the touring, relax with a traditional Chinese massage.

InternChina – Great Wall

Business Program in Qingdao

After the cultural tour has come to an end, applicants will arrive in Qingdao on the 22nd of July and will be either collected by host-family or brought to the apartment, depending on prior arrangements. The homestay option has proven to be successful as it presents students with the opportunity to get to know more about the Chinese culture and we are told all the homestay families are really excited to host the German students. Both living arrangements will give students a chance to find out more about upcoming events without leaving them in the dark. Once settled, the next day will be the start of the Business Studies course at Ocean University, where the students will be greeted with an opening ceremony and will be guided through what is in store for them in the coming weeks.  There will be three weeks of classes with first time to China classes available. The lessons will run from 8am till 4pm, Monday to Friday with a lunch break at 1pm. Lessons will include Basic Chinese, Business Management in China, Chinese Culture and China and the World Economy to name a few!

There are key activities to keep all students entertained and it may be helpful for anyone in Qingdao to make a note in their diary.  KungFu classes will be on offer on the 28th of July and either a climbing activity in Fushan or a hike in Laoshan is available on the 4th of August. There is also an option on the 11th of August between a cooking class and a Beerfest which is the 3rd biggest Oktoberfest in the world so for beer and festival lovers, it is one not to miss!

Internship in a Chinese workplace

The Business Program will end on the 10th of August and the students have three days to refresh before they start an internship on the 13th in Qingdao. While they may be working hard in the day, there is still plenty of opportunity for them to enjoy their surrounds in the evening and on weekends. With activities such as sailing, calligraphy classes and organised trips such as the one to Golden Beach on the 1st September, there will so much going on boredom will not be possible.

For all those who will be joining us from Hochschule Fresenius University, our team at InternChina will do our upmost to make sure you enjoy yourself and get valuable experience which will benefit you in the future. We wish you all a safe journey and can’t wait to meet you all 🙂

Calum

Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao, Travel, Weekend Trips

Fushan October 23rd, 2010

InternChina-On-top-of-Fushan-in-Qingdao
InternChina- On top of Fushan in Qingdao

From left to right- Dennis, Martin, Simon, Viet-Ha, Mia, Andrea, Steve, Kristen, Nicole, Danou, and Jacob-(he is a teacher who has just graduated from college in the U.S.).  We had a great journey that day.  We had tons of laughs and took some amazing pictures and the hike really wasn’t that long.  Fu Shan is one of the coolest places to hike.  I found it to be the single most spectacular view that I have seen in China (even better than my experience in Beijing at the Great Wall).

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