“It is better doing internships abroad than accepting local internship offers” Jay Davids (Our finance Intern in Shanghai)
Above was the exact words from Jay Davids, one of our participants from the UK who joined the Go Abroad China internship program from May 2014 and will end in December 2014. He acknowledges that his experience has been blown beyond his expectations and thinks that it is worth the money invested.
Students always face tough decisions when it comes to choosing local internship opportunities to that of traveling abroad. It might be an issue of family pressure, cost, peer pressure and or fear of the unknown. It is normal for an uninformed graduate to take such decisions because they are not aware of what happens to their learning experience when they take a trip abroad. The situation is prevalent in the UK and some other European countries where students are encouraged to embark on a placement year before graduating. The individual reserves the right to go abroad or choose to do an internship with a company locally. As such, internships in China for international students have become very popular in recent years, and is a continuing trend. Many young graduates are tempted to think that choosing an internship locally could be a good substitute to Abroad Internships because of cost. Jay disagrees with this stand and concludes that there are serious benefits in Interning abroad with the right program.
He acknowledges that once you reach your final year, you have to start thinking about other things as serious as internships, graduate schemes, flats in London, contacts, grad fairs, the list goes on and on. He had in previous years thrown his student loan into holiday pleasures. He used to think
“I need to make myself more employable, get more work experience’ was something that may have run through my head once or twice. Yet, I still wasn’t willing to tear myself away from my beloved holidays.”
Therefore, instead of applying for internships in London, he decided to try and achieve the combination of the perfect balance of holiday and new professional beginnings. He decided to take the advantage of China internship placements through us at Go Abroad China. Essentially China is a place completely different to the UK with cultural variations and different ways of thinking when it comes to social or cultural perspectives. This meant that not only was he in a working environment with compelling and motivating tasks, but also was learning to adapt to a different culture with different attitudes and mindsets. This made the whole experience ten times more difficult and intimidating. And yeah, this led to one or two “culture shock breakdowns”.
He also took the opportunity to actually learn Chinese in China, gained proficiency after 5 months with all the necessary facilities and provisions. He will not have to pay those whooping sums of money in trying to learn mandarin in the UK. Costs wise, his decision was worth it. This also made the whole experience more rewarding. Although it was initially scary and having people stop and point at you in the street is not particularly fun, the fear was soon replaced with the desire to learn. He wanted to learn not only during the internship but also about the culture and the people he was staying with. Trying as much as of the food as possible, exploring as much of the city as best as he could.
These are experiences that one will never get if they had decided to stay back in the UK and be scared of costs. He concluded “I would do it again in a heartbeat. And yes, it looks awesome on your CV.
For a lot of people, Chinese internships will prove to be very benefial, especially in the areas of business and the economy. To complement a work/internship purpose trip to the Middle Kingdom, one can also learn about Chinese holidays and festivals central to the Chinese culture for a well rounded perspective on China.