Having just graduated from university, I wanted to take a year out to get some life experience before heading back to the books for a Masters. CRCC appealed to me as it was a chance to travel and also to get valuable international work experience in a sector I wish to work with in the future. I decided to take part in the one month internship program in Beijing and chose to work in the NGO/Charity sector. I was given a company which works with economics/environmental protection. Due to this internship, I have been inspired to take this topic into further education.
Coming from Scotland, my wee country is a world away from Beijing! I was prepared for lots of cars and lots and lots of people but did not quite appreciate it until I came here. It can get crazy especially on the subway in the morning on the way to work, but so long as you are determined and fight through the wall of people charging in your direction then you’ll survive – that’s all part of the fun! There are so many opportunities in Beijing and there won’t be a moment to get bored.
The internship and work experience is what this program is all about, but this should not stop you enjoying the out of work activities as this is part of the whole experience of living in a foreign country. I was lucky enough to be with a good group of fellow interns. CRCC brings people from all over the world so not only do you get insight into Chinese culture and language but you also learn many things from the people you are with and anyone you may meet. For me, I’ve learnt some Italian, Ciao! As a group we managed to see most of the main areas in Beijing, both new and old. The best and most memorable experience would have to be our group trip to the Great Wall. This is a thing not to miss!! Time it well and go either very early morning or stay for sunset. The food is another thing not to miss in China so make sure to research where/what to eat.
Having the chance to travel alone and engage in a totally different working experience has allowed me to learn an array of things both professionally and personally. At work this has given me insight into how countries work together as well as how working environments differ globally. Personally this has allowed me to develop and become more self-assured and determined in what I want to do with my future – which is exactly why I decided to go on the program.
There is never a dull moment, whether going to see the old Hutong or grabbing a coffee/cocktail with the other interns after work, you are always busy and there is always something new to see. I think that will be what I miss the most, constantly experiencing something new. This is a chance to do something different which will open many more doors than you think! Research well, and come prepared to make the most of your time. Beijing has a whole load of things to offer and you don’t want to miss a thing!